One of the most important weekly tasks that we take on as an adult is laundry. After all, everyone need clean clothes, bedding, etc. And, while laundry sounds like a simple enough process, especially with modern washing machines and dryers, essentially, there is more to the process than meets the eye. You see, far too many laundry newbies have accidentally ruined their favorite clothes and linens because no one ever told them how to do laundry, step by step.
Doing Laundry at Home vs. an Apartment Building or a Laundromat
Some of us have a washing machine and drier in our homes, but not everyone has that luxury. Many people who live in apartment buildings or complexes use one dedicated, shared laundry space. Then, some of us use a public laundromat.
If you’re doing your laundry in a shared space like an apartment laundry room or laundromat, there are some basic rules that you will need to follow.
- Never leave your load in the washer or dryer – take it out once the cycle is done.
- Never handle someone else’s laundry. Wait for them to do it themselves.
- Wait for someone else to clear the laundry area before taking your turn.
- Clean up your space when you’re done. Throw out dryer sheets, etc.
- Don’t use any products other than what’s permitted by the management.
1: Check All Labels
The most common question a laundry beginner will ask is how to know which items should be handwashed, washed through a cold cycle, washed through a hot cycle, dried in the drier, hung to dry, and so on. While figuring all that out may be intimidating, the information is actually right in front of you. Garments and linens come with care labels, which tell you everything you need to know about how to launder, including the wash cycle, dry cycle, and whether or not the item can be ironed. Some care labels write this information out in text, while others use universal symbols you can easily reference online. Don’t ignore these care labels, as doing so could mean ruining your favorite garments.
2: Separate Your Laundry
The next step is separating your laundry according to the care labels. First, you’ll want to separate light pieces (white, pastel, beige, etc.) from dark pieces. Otherwise, the dye in your dark pieces may tint your light pieces.
After that, separate garments according to their needs. For example, make a pile of pieces that require a delicate cycle, a pile of pieces that need to be handwashed, pieces that can be washed in warm water, and so on. Bedding/linens should be washed separately from clothing.
3: Choosing Your Laundry Detergent
You may be surprised to discover that not all laundry detergents are created equally. Some just aren’t made with effective enough ingredients to properly clean your clothes. Others contain toxic or environmentally harmful ingredients, which should be avoided for obvious reasons. And, some contain known allergens that may irritate your skin and/or respiratory system.
It's always best to choose a “clean and green” laundry detergent – that is, one that’s free of toxic and environmentally harmful ingredients, as well as known allergens, dyes, and artificial fragrances. Grab Green Home supplies a variety of laundry detergents (everyday detergent, bleach-alternative detergent, gentle detergent, and more) like 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Pods, 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Powder, Delicate Laundry Detergent Pods, and even Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods - all made with natural, safe, and environmentally friendly ingredients.
4: The Washing Cycle
If you’re wondering how to do laundry in a washing machine, the good news is that it’s quite simple. With your items separated and your laundry detergent ready to go, it’s time to load the washing machine, starting with whichever pile you choose. Make sure not to stuff the laundry machine to the point that items are compacted, because this will prevent water and detergent from totally getting through, and lead to clothes that aren’t fully cleaned. It can also damage your washing machine. Make sure clothes have space to spin, and don’t cover the agitator, if there is one.
From there, choose your settings according to the care labels of your pile, and press the start button to begin the washing cycle. This includes water temperature, cycle type (Normal, Delicates, Quick, etc.) and any other settings that may apply.
When it comes to where to add your detergent, it comes down to the type of washing machine. A front-loading washing machine usually has a drawer for where you put your detergent, and with a top-loading machine, you’ll add the detergent beforehand. Measure it out according to the directions on the detergent, keeping in mind that you can choose between liquid detergent, pods, or powder based on what you prefer. If you want to use a bleaching agent for whites, there should be a separate compartment for that in a front-loading washing machine, otherwise you can also add that first into the washing machine if you have a top-loading model.
5: The Drying Cycle
Once the washing cycle is done, remove the clothes as soon as possible to prepare them for drying. Leaving your washed laundry in the washing machine for too long means that it can develop mildew from staying wet.
Gather your clothes and start separating again, this time according to the drying part of the care label. Then, once again, load the dryer, one separated pile at a time, being sure not to overstuff the inside, so that the clothing has space to move around and thoroughly dry. Just like with your washing machine, select the appropriate settings and press start.
Most people prefer to use a dryer sheet or dryer balls, to prevent static cling. You can find eco-friendly, nontoxic versions of these products at Grab Green Home.
Try to remove your dried clothing from the dryer as soon as possible. Letting them sit too long can mean that they get wrinkled. Once they’re removed, fold them and put them away, and prepare for the next laundry cycle, if applicable.
Start Doing Laundry the Right Way, the Eco-Friendly Way!
We know it sounds like a lot of steps, but laundry is such a straightforward process that it’ll become intuitive in no time. We recommend committing one day a week to doing laundry, including your clothing, bedding, and the linens that you use regularly, such as bathroom towels.
Grab Green Home is thrilled to provide a wide selection of laundry products that you can feel good about using on a regular basis. Our formulas are environmentally friendly, gentle, and free of the toxic ingredients and irritants found in so many commercial laundry products. Explore our wonderful laundry selection today!