What you should have learned at school: how to do laundry


Every week, Perdeby takes a look at something you should have learned at school that would assist you in day to day life. This week, we take a look at how to do laundry.

Laundry is a basic skill that everyone attempting to be an adult needs to learn. Whether you live at home, in a commune, or on your own, you need to know how to clean your own clothes. You cannot send them home every week for mom to do.


1. Separate your clothes

If you wash your red socks with your white t-shirt, you are going to end up with a pink t-shirt. The dye in the clothing seeps out, thus running the risk of ruining your other clothes. Separate your laundry into three categories: whites, darks and colours, and underwear and delicate materials. The latter category will need to be further separated if you have (for example) a neon pink lace top and a white bra. 


2. Become acquainted with the dials

Although many neglect to do this, it is important to actually read the manual and figure out what the strange symbols mean. After you understand the dials, decide on a setting that works best for your laundry needs. You would not wash five items from the delicates pile on a heavy setting that runs for an hour. Often there are different settings for heavier, normal, and lighter loads. Some washing machines have an eco-friendly setting if you want to save water. It is also important to look at the labels of the clothing to identify whether they need to be hand-washed or if they are okay for the machine. Once you have become acquainted with the settings, put the load into the drum (the middle bit where the door is).


3. Put in the laundry detergent and fabric softener

Once again, you will need to turn to the manual to figure out which substance goes where. There is usually a little drawer at one of the top corners, or a space in a cylinder in the middle of the machine – depending on the model. It is important to know which goes where, as putting softener liquid in the detergent’s slot can mess with your machine. A common result of this mix-up is the perpetual presence of water in one of the slots, which can be highly annoying. The type of detergent and fabric softener is dependent on personal preference and budget, but Sunlight Washing Powder and Sta-soft prove to be very popular. Just make sure that you do not buy hand washing powder when you mean to buy machine washing powder. Bear in mind that softener is preferable, but not necessary. Another alternative, albeit an expensive one, is Ariel’s 3in1 Pods. These pods include detergent and softener. All you do with these is throw one in the drum with the load of clothes. Once you have inserted the detergent and softener or the pod, start the machine.


4. Hang the clothes out to dry

Please do not leave the clothes in the machine. They could become mouldy and smelly, and the fabrics could be compromised. If you do not have access to an iron (or if you do not know how to iron), hanging the clothes out to dry is essential. Make sure you shake out all garments before hanging them up. This will reduce creasing. Put the clothes on a clothes horse or a washing line and place in the sun. Do not leave them in the sun too long, though, as this runs the risk of hardening the clothes – which can be very uncomfortable when it comes to wearing them.


5. Fold and pack away

To avoid unwanted creases, you must fold your clothes neatly or hang them up. This depends on the garment: t-shirts, shorts, short skirts, tights, and similar items can be folded; dresses, formal pants and skirts, jackets, dress shirts, and similar items should be hung up. 

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