The Beginner’s Guide to Doing Laundry

Lifestyle, Home / Wednesday, August 21st, 2019
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Honestly, doing laundry isn’t that hard. But if you’ve never had to do it before, there are some tips and tricks you really need to know about. So for all of you newbie adults, we’ve put together this handy-dandy guide to doing laundry.

If you’re a newbie adult, laundry might not be your forte. But fear not, it’s easy to handle and this handy-dandy little guide to doing laundry will make your life way easier.

From separating your laundry to loading your washing machine, this guide to handling your laundry will make you a clothes washing pro!

Step 1: Separate your laundry

The first step in our guide to doing laundry is the art of separating your clothes. You can’t simply throw your laundry into the washing machine all willy-nilly and hope for the best. You need to separate.

To properly separate your clothes you’ll need three piles—lights, darks and colours. Definitely make sure your lights are all white, light grey and more neutral colours like taupe.

Do not throw your lights in with your colours, I once made the mistake of throwing in colours with my white shirts and ended up with a faded red shirt that was supposed to be white. Oops! Likewise, dark wash jeans, especially new ones are disastrous with light colours.

Finally, separating your laundry also means separating delicate clothes from heavier, more hearty materials. You don’t want to wash things like towels with delicate tops. So, do your towels and other household items separate.

Step 2: Pre-treat any stains

Once you’ve separated your laundry, it’s time to pre-treat any stains that you have. I recommend using a stain remover like OxiClean or Shout. 

If you have a household remedy that you’d prefer to use, you could go with that instead. But I personally haven’t had any success with them. On the other hand, I got blood on a nice sheer kimono the other day and pre-treated it with Shout and it took it right out!

Pre-treating your stains is important in the laundry process, and if you don’t do it or you leave it too long you risk making the stain permanent. Make sure when you pre-treat your stains you follow the instructions!

Step 3: Use the washing machine

The third step in our guide to doing laundry is finally to put your clothes into the washing machine. This should be obvious, you’re going to want to do this one load at a time.

When filling up your washing machine, make sure not to over-stuff the machine. Putting too many clothes into the machine can cause your machine to leak and you definitely don’t want that.

Before you start the machine, make sure to read the washing instructions on the tag. The clothing tag will tell you whether you should use a regular, delicate or heavy wash. Typically, I wash all my clothes on regular except for delicates.

Load your soap into the washing machine—the machine will say right on it where to put the soap. My washing machine is one of the compact apartment front-load machines, so the soap goes into a pull-out compartment at the top corner.

Once the machine is loaded, turn it on and let it go through the cycle.

Step 4: Switch to the dryer 

Once your washing machine has finished, it’s time to move your clothes to the dryer. Using the dryer is incredibly easy, simply load it, set the temperature and time and turn it on. 

If you’re not sure what temperature to turn it to, check the tags! If you have a dryer that tends to take longer, then I’d recommend putting it on a longer cycle. 

My dryer tends to not dry as fast as it should and we typically have to dry it on “Extra Dry” then throw it on for an extra 20 minutes. That said, most of the newer dryers have sensors in them and will stop once the clothes are dry.  

If you’re aiming to save a tad bit of money on washing your clothes, I recommend only using half a dryer sheet. That’s all you need, especially for the smaller loads and it’ll mean your box lasts longer. I had a box of Bounce Dryer Sheets that lasted me almost three years!

When switching out your laundry, if you have a front-load washing machine don’t close the door once you’ve emptied the washing machine. Leave it open to air out, otherwise, you’ll end up washing your clothes in a stinky, foisty machine.  

Don’t forget to clean the lint trap out after every dryer use! Leaving stuff in the lint trap is a huge fire hazard and is the cause of a ton of household fires.

What do you do if you can’t use the dryer?

Not all of your clothes can be thrown into the dryer. Some more delicate materials will shrink rendering your clothes to small to wear. In that case, there are old-school drying racks.

Drying racks are pretty simple. Just unfold the rack, hang your clothes and leave them until they’re dry. When I air-dry clothes, I tend to leave clothes overnight to dry. If you’re having a particularly hard time drying clothes, it helps to flip them over.

Step 5: Put away your clothes

Once your clothes are washed and dried, the last step in our guide do doing laundry is to put away your clothes.

This seems like an obvious tip, but I find that if I don’t put away my clothing right away, it sits in the basket for days. Beyond that, the longer your freshly-washed clothes sit in your laundry basket, the more wrinkled they’ll be. And wrinkled clothes are not cute to wear!

If you have more delicate pieces or even work-specific clothes, I highly recommend using some garment bags. This is especially the case for fancier dresses or blazers. I also recommend pants hangers to keep them from wrinkling. 

A few more tips for doing laundry

Before you head off to get your laundry on, I have a few more tips and tricks that I’d like to include in my guide to doing laundry:

  • Avoid using laundry soap packs. I used to really like them because they were super easy, just grab one and go, but I found that they left a powdery residue on my clothes, especially my business pants. I personally use a liquid detergent, I’ve had no issues with it.
  • If you want a nice scent for your clothes, I recommend throwing a few Downy Unstoppable beads into the washing machine. You don’t need to do anything special with this, just grab 6-7 beads and toss them right on top of your clothes. They’ll do the freshening work for you.

Doing your laundry doesn’t have to be hard, after a few rounds you’ll be a regular ol’ pro. Happy washing!

Do you have anything to add to our guide to doing laundry? Share them in the comments below!

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