||Handy Tips for Getting|
Clothes Their Cleanest
One of the worst things is doing a load of wash and when you're folding it, realizing several garments, or worse yet the whole load, needs to be rewashed. No one likes double work, but that's especially true when trying to get a handle on laundry monster overall. Here are some tips on how to get clothes their cleanest. This article covers a variety of topics, including how water temperature affects cleaning.|
Take time to pre-treat tough stains. Whether you use a commercial stain formula or a homemade version, cover the stain in the treatment and let sit before washing. Unless otherwise stated on the label, do not use hot water when treating a stain, since this usually sets it.
To help prevent color streaking, turn jeans and other dark-colored clothing inside out.
If possible, reserve a load for just red-toned clothing. Red often bleeds from clothing, and can do so even after several washes where it hasn't bled. If you don't have a full load of red, wash those items with black and/or other dark items.
When separating clothes by color, consider separating by the amount of soiling. Lightly soiled garments need less washing time and less detergent, which also means less wear on those clothes.
Don't put too many clothes in one load. Even those super washers that say to pack them full still need enough space to move freely. Make sure that your garments have enough space to easily allow water to penetrate the fibres, or else they won't get clean.
Cleaning times. Each machine is different, and many of the wash times are pre-programmed by cycle. However, as a general thumb, the following wash times should get your wash clean: Regular loads 10-12 minutes. Synthetics and knits 8-9 minutes. Delicates and washable wools 3-4 minutes.
Hard water can greatly reduce the effectiveness of your washer. If possible, install a water softening treatment system. Otherwise, consider using a laundry additive (Borax is a natural water softener).
Sometimes the source of your dingy clothing is not your detergent or your technique, but the machine itself. Even your washer needs to be washed once in a while. Add a bottle of white vinegar to the machine and run it on hot for a full cycle. This will remove the soap scum that can build up on the sides.
Liquid chlorine bleach is still the most effective whitener and sanitizer. However, bleach can be very hard on clothing and weaken the fibers. Use these steps to help avoid damage:
Using a fabric softener can help reduce clinging, static, and in some instances may help reduce soiling. However, be sure to use only the recommended amount. Overuse of liquid softener can reduce the absorbancy of diapers and towels. Overuse of dryer sheets can leave oily spots on clothing.
- If your machine does not have a bleach dispenser, be sure to dilute bleach before adding to your wash load.
- Do not soak items in bleach for more than 15 minutes. If the stain is not gone by then, chances are it can't be removed.
- Do not use chlorine bleach on silk, wool, spandex, foam, rubber (as in a rubber-backed rug), or spandex.
Recommended Wash Temperatures
Many professionals will state that you'll get better cleaning results with hot water temperatures higher than 120 degrees F. However, that temperature may be too high for safety reasons, especially if there are young children or elderly adults in the home, in which case the standard setting is 120 degrees F. If the hot water temperature is 120 degrees F., in most cases the warm wash water setting will be 80 degrees F. or lower.
NOTE: Temperatures below 65 degrees will not activate laundry additives and may cause lint, residue, poor cleaning, etc. In addition, detergent manufacturers and care labels define cold water as 80-85 degrees. Many granular detergents do not dissolve in cold water and will leave a powdery white residue on the load. If the temperature of water in the tub is too cold for your hands, the detergent will not activate and clean effectively.
- Use a hot water (120 -140 degrees F.) wash for most white fabrics and heavily soiled colored fabrics, if they are colourfast.
- A warm (80-105 degrees F.) wash is the best choice for most other clothes.
- A cold (65-75 degrees F.) wash is recommended for very lightly soiled or brightly coloured garments.
- Keep in mind cold water should not be lower than 65 degrees F.
- If the temperature is below 65 degrees F., select a warm wash water setting or partially fill with warm water and complete the fill with cold water.
- Use a liquid detergent when washing in cold water.
- Pour the detergent into the washer tub before adding the load, or into the dispenser.
- If using warm or cold water, add a non-chlorine bleach (like Clorox 2) for better cleaning or pre-soaking heavily soiled items.
To save energy, always use a cold rinse. A cold rinse is just as effective as a warm one.
Article by: Michelle Lehmann
2007 - Lotsofkids.com