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Basic question : Teach me to do laundry please

(48 Posts)
Bisquick Thu 12-Oct-17 09:26:34

I'm sick of always messing up the laundry and clothes coming out looking tired and faded. I've always been lazy and just chuck in whites along with colours that I don't think run. I wear mostly jeans / tshirts and it doesn't matter too much and DH gets his workwear laundered outside (shirts which all need ironing and suits). But with a baby on the way I'd like to get better at it. Please help!

- Should I be soaking stuff before washing? Soaking in what?
- If I do a separate load of whites how do I get them to be bright and sparkling? Detergent? Bleach? What is safe for baby clothes?

I run the quick 35-40 min cycle on my washer/dryer at 30 degrees. And run the drying cycle during winter or when I can't air dry.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 12-Oct-17 09:29:48

Separate darks and whites.

Whites should go on a higher temperature cycle.

Darks should go on 40 degree cycle.

30 is really only for wool or delicates.

Use a Vanish Gold rub in stain remover for any stubborn marks and leave for 5 mins before washing.

Use a bio detergent.

SleepingBooty Thu 12-Oct-17 09:32:32

Darks I wash at 40°
Lights at 60°
Whites at 60-90°

I think you can definitely tell whites that haven't been separated. My clothes also seem cleaner from switching to powder from liquid.

Bisquick Thu 12-Oct-17 09:36:37

So far 90% of these whites are just underwear that I have slowly turned grey.
And by me I mean mostly DH because he does the laundry but I "taught" him when we first got married so we're both similarly useless. grin

But I've just bought all these lovely sleep suits and things for the baby and would like to keep them nice and bright.

So separate them for sure, wash whites at higher temp. Anything I can do to perk up existing whites? I also was given some baby clothes by a friend and those whites definitely could use some brightening. Any specific detergent to use for whites?

Bio detergent makes my skin itch, so I use Persil non bio.

GatherlyGal Thu 12-Oct-17 09:37:43

I think powder for whites makes a difference as it has brighteners in it. Liquid for everything else.

I agree wash at 40 unless it's whites or sometimes I do sheets and towels on 60.

A quick wash just might not be getting things clean enough. My machine is big but a full wash takes over 2 hours.

TheFaerieQueene Thu 12-Oct-17 09:39:17

I wash whites at 40’ but use a scope of vanish white in the detergent tray. They come out sparkling.

Bisquick Thu 12-Oct-17 09:40:13

Is Vanish White safe to use for baby clothes? Or will I need to run two washes then?

Chatoyant Thu 12-Oct-17 09:41:10

Washing machine repair man told me that liquid detergents can leave build up in your machine and damage it so best to use powder.
Separate whites, darks and lights. 40 degree wash with non biological powder (non bio recommended for babies). When baby starts weaning, sunlight is fantastic for getting rid of stains.

DontDrinkDontSmoke Thu 12-Oct-17 09:42:33

I switched to non bio when I had my first baby. I don’t find any difference between branded powders or stores’ own.

I do whites at 60

Everything else on a 45 minute 40 Deg wash. Nothing is ever that dirty as clothes are worn once (aside from jeans) and towels are changed regularly.

I sometimes add a splash of fabric softener if I remember.

gamerchick Thu 12-Oct-17 09:44:41

I do piles on the floor. Whites, colours (unless they’re strong new clothes which need washing separately to check for runnage.) blacks and hot wash (socks, towels, underwear) bedding I wash together separately also. Anything with zips need to be done up and turned inside out so they don’t catch on other clothes. Bras, done up and washed together on a delicate wash and then there’s novelty tops with pictures on that need a hand wash cycle with minimum detergent to prevent fading.

I do one month powder and one month liquid due to sensitive skins. I use dettol laundry to deal with stinky pit smells and for the hot wash and twice a month I chuck in half a bag of Epsom salts with a wash to sterilize the machine from staphylococcus

If you only use the quick wash cycle only load your machine up to 8kg. A bigger load use the longer wash.

DontDrinkDontSmoke Thu 12-Oct-17 09:45:09

Oh yes sunlight for stains. Vanish etc will start off the process but sunlight will get rid completely...especially tomato stains.

Sunlight also works through a window for stain removal... my elderly friend, who is a stain removal whizz taught me that!

steppemum Thu 12-Oct-17 09:45:34

WOAH - washing most whites at 90 will destroy them!
They include bras etc, which are certainly not designed to wash at 90.

You do NOT need to wash any clothes at 60, really, modern washing powders are designed to work best at 40.

The only thing that might need hotter is towels or sheets, and really nothing need washing at 90. Only 100% pure cotton can be washed at that temp anyway.

I would say that your key probelm, is bunging it all in together.
You need
darks (black/navy blue and jeans)

I only use the quick wash setting which takes an hour, and everything comes out clean. But there does seem to be a differnce when it is 30 degrees, doesn't quite sem to shift it.

as to powder
sorry, but I think your persil may be part of the probelm.
It is likely (according to dermatologists) that it is the perfume in the bio making your skin itch rather than the bio.
I di use a different powder for colours and whites, I use a colour specific powder for colours and darks (supermarket own brand) and a bio powder for white.

I think it is hard to get white clean and bright without a bio powder. You could do them once a month in bio, and then put them through a re rinse to get the powder out?

Also, if you use fabric conditioner, that may be causing the itch

mando12345 Thu 12-Oct-17 09:45:41

Whites/pales at 40, darks at 40, middle/brights at 40.
White towels done occasionally at 60.

I wouldn't wash all whites at 60, some things might be ruined.
I use colour detergent for everything except my whites wash to avoid colours/deals fading.

Anatidae Thu 12-Oct-17 09:47:28

Obtain the following:

Bio or no bio colour safe powder and whites powder
Colour catcher sheets
Delicates type fabric wash like woolite

Take your pile of laundry. Read the labels. Things that are cotton can generally be washed at a higher temp. Anything wool or delicate needs a cooler gentler wash. I usually separate as follows:

Towels, wipey cloths, dishcloths, tea towels- all go in a 75 wash. Separate by colour if you need to

Bedsheets (cotton) go on a 60 wash with powder and softener.

Clothing: separated into lights and darks. Anything darker with light patches is classed as light.

Separate dark and light loads, colour catcher in the light wash. Wash at 40, if your machine has an eco water saver try turning that off because I found it wrecked clothes! Eco mode has less water so it takes forever and is harsher.

Separate by fabric type too - I do one delicates wash a week, on a wool cycle or by hand as needed

I don’t soend much time on laundry, I don’t iron and I have a tumble dryer ;)

Only tumble dry cottons - synthetics and wool can’t take it.

Colour catchers are great for preventing the colour runs

Make sure you do one hot wash every week or two to clean out the machine

gamerchick Thu 12-Oct-17 09:50:48

Yeah the only time I use a 90 is if there’s a stomach bug in the house. 40 is fine for most things.

Bisquick Thu 12-Oct-17 09:50:51

Thank you so much!
Esp Anatidae and Steppemum for the v clear instructions. I've just spent the morning sorting through the piles of clothes I have for the baby and now inspired to do a quick shop and get them all sorted!

This is all so helpful!!

martellandginger Thu 12-Oct-17 09:51:32

I would also not put my good clothes in a dryer. School jumpers on the playground and the ones that are tumble dried weekly are hard and full of bobbles whereas other jumpers have remained soft and newer looking.

Maverick66 Thu 12-Oct-17 09:51:33

Steppemum and a native have it spot on.
Trust me I have been doing laundry for 30 yearsconfused
They have all the basics covered.

Maverick66 Thu 12-Oct-17 09:52:11

Sorry that should read anatidae

SheRaaarghPrincessOfPower Thu 12-Oct-17 09:59:38

40°C is fine for white, use powder though it seems to work better.

You don't need anything to make white brighter other than being strict about washing white separately.
Have another load for pale stuff that isn't white, anything that isn't pure white doesn't go in the white wash.

Hanging white stuff on the line helps too.

Everything else is just in colour groups. I wash bright stuff separately, and all very dark/black stuff goes in together too. Also a red wash (school uniform)

Run towels through on a hot wash once a week, and then use soda crystals on a hot hot wash once a month to clean the machine.

Anatidae Thu 12-Oct-17 10:00:15


Get some vanish spray or powder.
Biological stains (blood, pasta sauce GODDAMN PASTA SAUCE MY NEMESIS) etc need to be treated in cold water first because warm or hot ‘cooks’ the proteins into the fabric.
Rub some spray or soap or whatever into the stain, rub gently then soak in cold water. Repeat until it’s gone then bung in a normal wash.

Only towels /facecloths/teatowels etc and only pure cotton should be washed on hot. 40 is ok for most stuff.

You should t wash everything at 30 because it’s not warm enough to flush out biofilms in the machine and on clothes etc. Some stuff is fine at 30, most 40, towels at 75.

You can make you own colour catchers if you can get hold of soda crystals. Cut up an old towel into book sized squares and soak them in a solution of soda crystals. Leave to dry and put one in each wash.

If you don’t have any woolite, shampoo is fine to hand wash woollens and delicates in. The secret with wool is no mechanical shock (rubbing, scrubbing) and no thermal shock (keep the water lukewarm. )

ridinghighinapril Thu 12-Oct-17 10:05:48

Dampen stains and squirt neat washing up liquid directly on it and gently rub in before washing - works blood, chocolate, tomato sauce and red wine

Bisquick Thu 12-Oct-17 10:09:55

I believe I have a plan. Going to tape this up to the cupboard above the washing machine and hopefully we'll finally master doing laundry like adults! grin

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 12-Oct-17 10:13:16

I only every use a 90 degree wash when I do a monthly empty wash with a dishwasher tablet in the drum. I agree that hot a wash will destroy clothes.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 12-Oct-17 10:14:04

I also agree that washing up liquid is fab for stain removing especially grease stains.

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