It never ceases to amaze me that so many very intelligent 20 somethings I've met from coast to coast don't know how to do their laundry properly. Every single weekend when I trudge down to the basement to use the laundry room and pull out someone's laundry from the dryer, I consistently find 50'sesque laundry washing has been going on. You know, the whole wash your whites together and your colors together thing is totally not the best way of taking care of your clothes.
And granted, maybe I'm just way too picky about how to do laundry since I've been doing it for myself and others since I was 12 (Baptists get you ready super early to be a wife, you know), but whatever, this is how you should be washing your laundry:
Separate clothes by weight, not color
This is the major issue people don't seem to realize is very important for your clothes to last longer. Usually people just break things up by color and don't even think about how destructive a wet towel can be on the threads of your lighter weight clothes. I have heard people complain about their clothes falling apart as they wash them all the time, but no one EVER considers this option. But it's totally the only way to go.
I generally separate my laundry into 3 weight categories:
- light weight - all my girly clothes
- mid weight - tshirts, sheets and most of my boyfriend's clothing
- heavy weight - blankets and towels
This is a necessary companion to washing clothes by weight since you'll be mixing colors. Not only will this keep your clothes' dye from bleeding into each other, but it also is a massive energy saver and it keeps your clothes lasting longer - cold water doesn't fray threads the way hot water does.
Use the light cycle
This is just another tip to keep your clothes lasting longer. Generally speaking, unless you are a very dirty person, the light cycle provides all the agitation your clothes need, without using as much force, water or energy. I wash everything including my towels in the light cycle and I've never had a problem with them not being clean (and I'm not using the highest of high tech washing machines here).
Use nontoxic laundry detergents/fabric softeners
This is good for your clothes (and the environment! yay!) because most cleansers leave a film on your clothes that over time will dull the colors. Nontoxic laundry detergents, on the other hand, wash out completely and aren't made of the same chemicals that scum of your clothes in the first place.
Put your delicates in a laundry bag
Ladies, if you want your lovely things to stay lovely, use a laundry bag! I can't stand watching women washing bras with towels... you don't want these things to get all crappy. Bra shopping sucks too much.
Happy clothes washing!
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