A general assumption of washing the clothes is to dumpthem in the washing machine, turn the knobs for the setting, add detergent andwalk away from the machine. The remaining work is done by the washing machine.However, this is not the correct way of washing clothes. Before washing theclothes one needs to do some sorting and preparation so as to wash the clothesin the correct and eco-friendly method which will not only lengthen the life ofthe clothes but also is environment friendly.
To give a good wash to the clothes first of all one needsto separate the clothes by color and fabric, make sure to select the suitablewashing cycle and use proper quantity of detergent. Not all fabrics are thesame and each fabric has its distinct quality which should be remembered whenwashing it. Like, denims and towels which are heavy fabric should not be mixedwith delicate items while washing.
Heavy fabrics need a different washing cycle compared tothe delicate clothes. Delicate items like women's lingerie can be spoiled inthe machine; if not washed in delicate cycle. However, if you put them in theregular wash remember to put them in a net bag for protection. It is wise, tokeep all the whites aside and wash them separately.
Always remember to separate the light colored from darkcolored clothes. This is because dark colored clothes shed coloring dye duringthe wash. Hence, if light or white clothes are mixed with the dark ones, thelight color fabric will pick up the dark color leading to change in itsoriginal color. If at all you need to mix light and dark clothes as you don'twant to go for two rounds, make sure that dark ones are not new and use coldwater while washing.
It is a good habit to turn the clothes inside out beforeputting them to wash. To maintain the denim color and T-shirt prints fromfading, it should be washed inside out. In order to save the clothes from anydamage, zip all the zippers and also check for lose buttons and the pockets forcoins, handkerchief or anything else before putting it for wash. It isrecommended to read the washing instructions on the clothes before washing.
Once the clothes are sorted and set for washing, it is essential to choose to the correct settings. The general settings on a washing machine go by water, temperature, load, and type of wash. It is preferable to use hot water for light colored clothes particularly if they are soiled and stinky. Likewise, cold water is suitable for dark colored clothes especially if they are new, as there are more chances of color coming out. To avoid shrinkage of cotton clothes, it requires cold water wash.
Furthermore, do not overload the machine with clothes as there should be space for water. Besides, if the machine is stuffed; the clothes will not be cleaned properly. Hence, the water level should be selected according to the load size, more the clothes higher the water level. Using cold water has its benefits like saving electricity, therefore save money, energy and environment. Also, cold water causes less fading and wears out on clothes. On the other hand, clothes are cleaned better in hot water as it easily washes out the dirt from the clothes.
Moreover, the water type, dirt on the clothes and load size decide the quantity of the detergent. Normally it is sensible to use half the amount of detergent than suggested as the recommended amount is double than required. It will not only wash the clothes clean but elongate its life too. Only in case of hard water one should use the recommended quantity. It is necessary to understand that by dipping the laundry in soap water does not clean the clothes. Cleaning is done through the agitation in the machine due to which the clothes rub against other garments.
It is better to use bleach on whites and not on any colored clothes. However, one needs to be careful while using the bleach as they contain Chlorine which is great for making white clothes even more whiter particularly cotton and linen. However, never use chlorine content bleach on colored clothes as it will fade the color. All fabric bleach is safe to be used on any type of clothes as it is sensitive towards fabrics.
Lastly there are some useful tips that will benefit you and your clothes. Use eco-friendly washing powder that do not contain phosphate and do not over use it. Avoid using fabric softeners and products that contain chlorine as they pollute the water and are harmful for the environment. Do not run the machine when it is half empty, this will save energy and simultaneously have positive effect on the environment.
Some garments need only dry cleaning while wool needs to be hand washed and dried on a towel or a stand. Ensure that the detergent is dissolved before putting the laundry. Also, dark colored new clothes may have to be washed individually for the first few times. In any case if you are not sure about the fabric, it is better to hand wash or wash at a low temperature, in cold water without spinning the clothes.
To conclude, washing clothes is an easy task when done correctly. The right methods of washing not only cleans and makes clothes last longer but also save electricity, money and our beautiful environment towards which all of us have a responsibility.