Tired of your colours fading or your whites greying? To help you step up your laundry skills we’ve compiled our top tips to get your clothes looking fresh and fabulous.
1. Sort laundry thoroughly
The secret to whiter whites, bolder colours and fresher-looking clothing isn’t just about sifting and separating your light and dark items. You should also be looking out for fabric type and temperature when sorting your laundry. Check the labels on each item before filling your machine.
2. Don't overfill your washing machine
While piling as many clothes into your washer at once may seem like a clever way of saving time and money, you’ll find your clothes don’t come out looking as clean or smelling as fresh. As a guide, your machine should be about ¾ full.
3. Check the washing settings
Sounds obvious, but when was the last time you actually looked at that tag on the inside of your clothing? Every symbol relates to a specific washing or drying temperature, as different materials have their own requirements. This handy fabric care cheat sheet has everything you need to know! (Tip – right click on the image and hit ‘Open image in new tab’ to see a larger version.)
4. Keep whites dazzling
An innovative way of combatting greying and making sure you retain that fresh white glow is to pop your whites in four litres of water with 180g of bicarbonate of soda. Using a hotter wash will also help keep them whiter for longer.
5. Stay colourful
To prevent your coloured clothes from fading, wash them inside out and toss a teaspoon of salt in the machine with them. Great for keeping them bright and avoiding the dreaded first-wash colour bleed!
6. Catch stains quickly
Acting fast is essential if you don’t want blotchy food and drink stains to become permanent. Quickly blot liquids from the outside to prevent them spreading, then make sure you treat the stain before washing – Vanish Oxi Action works like a dream.
7. Keep yellow stains at bay
No one likes clothes with unsightly sweat marks, especially if you’re wearing them to work every day! Add a ¼ cup salt and ¼ cup of baking soda to a gallon of water and boil the items for an hour to restore some of that crisp whiteness.
8. Rejuvenate your towels
With older towels, you’re better off using vinegar and baking soda instead of detergent. Two washes in hot water – the first with vinegar and the second with baking soda – is all it takes to boost their absorbency and softness.
9. Dry sweaters flat
To ensure your favourite jumpers hold their shape, gently squeeze them after washing and lay each flat on a dry, heavy absorbent towel, taking care to pat the sweater into shape.
10. Make time for rugs and curtains
If their colour has started to fade, adding ⅓ cup salt to your laundry detergent will give them a new lease of life. If they’re too large for your machine, just soak a cloth in salty water and give them a good old scrub.
11. Clean your machine
Washers require a regular rinse every few months to keep them in tip-top working order. Wipe the interior clean with a wet cloth, run a short, hot wash cycle with detergent and then put on a final water cycle. Using disinfectant is another option for a truly pristine machine or, if you prefer something easier, most bathroom products (mouthwash being the best) also work a treat!