For most people, doing laundry is second nature, but did you know there are things you could be doing to keep your clothes looking and feeling fresher? If you’re someone who never really put much thought into cleaning your clothes, then you might not be making the most of what your washing machine has to offer. These top tips will have you falling in love with the smell of fresh laundry all over again. While they might seem like a little bit of extra work at the beginning, soon you’ll barely notice them as part of your routine.
Clean your washing machine
If you’ve been wondering why your washing machine won’t drain or what that bad smell is, then your washing machine filters probably need a good clean. Most people don’t realise how dirty and clogged their washing machines can get without regular maintenance, so take out your filters and give them a good rinse. You can even run a hot cycle with vinegar (without putting any clothes in) to give your machine a thorough cleanse.
Reduce detergent and softener
Logic seems to dictate that more washing detergent will equal cleaner clothes, but that’s not the case. Using more washing powder or gel than is specified on the back of the box or tub can actually do more harm than good. Instead of clean clothes you’ll be left with soapy residues that are prone to developing a mildew scent over time. And while fabric softeners give clothes a fresh scent, they’re actually only adding even more residues and decreasing the absorbency of items like towels and gym wear. If you’re really committed to a cleaner laundry routine, skip the softener altogether and swap your detergent for an eco-friendly brand.
Don’t overload your machine
Nobody likes doing laundry, which is why so many of us are regularly overloading our washing machines. If you’re guilty of cramming as many clothes as possible into the drum, then it’s likely your clothes aren’t getting washed properly. While it’s good to put a full load on instead of just half, as it saves both water and energy, you should pack your clothes in loosely. If the drum seems to be getting full, don’t squash clothes together. Instead, accept that you’ll have to do a bit more laundry later on in the day.
Did you know that you can wash most of your clothes on a cool wash? Washing everything on a high temperature can lead to fabrics looking worn out more quickly. But make sure that bedding, towels and underwear are all washed at a higher temperature to get them squeaky clean. These items are more likely to have build-ups of bacteria or mildew, so a cool wash is unlikely to cut it, especially in the long term. Don’t forget that if someone in your home is unwell, you should wash all of their clothes and bedding at a higher temperature to avoid spreading any viruses between family members.