|Why is this never what I find in the laundry room?|
You suck at doing laundry. Case in point: Partner. When Partner tells me he's been doing laundry, I have this out of body experience where I see myself running in slow motion down the hall to the laundry room in order to survey the damage. What was incorrectly washed in hot water? How many different colors were thrown in the same load? DID HE WASH WOOL?!
But, seriously, did he wash wool?!
As I am a god of laundry - Laundrificus? - I thought I would share my wisdom gleaned lo these many years I've been on this earth.
Men, I realize that you beat the hell out of your blue jeans. I get that they are our go-to source for clothing our nether regions, but, surprisingly enough, they need a bit more TLC than you'd think.
With a brand new pair of blue jeans, you should wait to wash them until you've worn them at least 5 times. This helps the twill to form to your body, and will allow the jeans to fit you better after you've washed them. Also, if this is the first time you're washing said jeans, they should be hand-washed in your bathtub in a solution of water and vinegar. Not much vinegar, but a little. (I forget the actual ratio. Just put like half a cup in about 1/4 a tub of water.) This will help keep your dye from bleeding off when you do wash them.
After all of this, you can wash your jeans in the washing machine. But from here until eternity, they should be washed inside out in cold water with other blue jeans.
Don't use it. Just don't. Your clothes will wear out much faster after being washed in hot water. I can't think of any clothing that asks you to please subject it to scalding buckets of hot water and then get tumbled around for an hour in it. Though... If you are going to wash anything in hot water, it should be white cotton basic clothing items. Your undershirts, socks, underwear, etc. These may be washed in hot water with a little bit of bleach. These items, socks especially, tend to be a bit thicker, and if not treated with hot water/bleach can fade to yellow-ish over time.
But, seriously, good detergent will accomplish the same thing.
Don't wash them in a washing machine. Please? For me? Just don't. Typically they shrink in all the wrong areas, despite material.
But, since you're going to do it anyway.
Check to make sure the item you're washing isn't wool. If it's wool, DRY CLEAN IT! I don't care if the label says you can wash it. DO NOT DO IT! Resist the temptation, my friends. RESIST! Dry cleaning is like $3-$5. I promise.
Anyways, if you're not washing a wool sweater, wash it in cold on your delicate cycle. Do not dry it in the dryer. Get a couple of thick terrycloth towels, lay them out over your washing machine, and lay your washed sweater out over the towels to dry. After several hours, you'll need to turn them over to get the other side. It's like slowly waiting for wet pancakes to get less wet before you flip them.
Thick and Sweaty
Towels, gym clothes, sweatshirts, etc. These can be washed together. Wash them on heavy duty in warm water with the spin setting as high as it will go. This is important, because otherwise they will not be able to dry properly. Also, use a bit more detergent than recommended. Again, because of the thickness of the clothes, more is more in this instance. But, not much more.
If it's not the aforementioned wool sweater (DO NOT WASH), and you wear it to work, it should be washed on the delicate cycle at all times. Your work clothes are worn out faster than almost anything. Whether it's white, plaid, khaki, or whatever, wash it in cold on the delicate cycle. This will help preserve the stitching - so it doesn't wear out and cause rips - the color, the fit, etc.
Remember to dry it on the delicate cycle as well!
Separate Your Piles
This one is debatable. If you use cold water, you don't have to worry about it so much. But I would be remiss if I didn't mention separating your clothes into true whites, brights, and darks. Personally, I don't do this, as I have a front loading washing machine, and my clothes don't sit in the water long enough to take much of a bleed. But...do this thing. It's better than not.
Dry Cleaners Are Your Friend
Seriously, find the nearest $3-$5 dry cleaners (believe me, you have one near you) and use it. Use it for work clothes. Use it for sweaters, jackets, new denim, etc. Drive through McDonald's or Starbucks one less day a week and have nice looking clothes.
What about detergent?
Here's the thing: I've never in my life found a detergent that rules them all. My mother swears by Tide, but I've used Gain, All, and even something cheap like Dreft. As long as you follow the above tips, you should be fine. However....
Spend the money on liquid fabric softener. I use Snuggle. It tends to be cheaper than the store brand in most places, and I like the way it makes the towels all soft and snuggly.
OxyClean has done well for a reason. Buy it. Use it. Don't buy a knock off. Buy the real thing.
Unless.... You use Tide Pods. These little babies have come out in the last year, and I'm in love with them. They have a stain fighter that works just as well, a brightener, and detergent. You end up using less chemicals - which is good for everyone - and it works just as well. So buy the Pods, some Snuggle, and some dryer sheets to fight static, and you're gold.
Those are my tips for laundering your goodies! Do YOU have any?
Love and Lyte,