Fabric softener certainly isn’t a laundry must; however, the softer, fluffier feel that it provides has made this laundry product a staple in many washing machines. Without the use of a fabric softener, your clothes can be left with a scratchier, rougher feel to them.
How Much Do You Know About Fabric Softeners?
It’s important to remember that fabric softeners are made of chemicals that are then applied to your clothes, which comes in contact with your skin. If you notice that your skin is irritated after using a specific fabric softener, try a fragrance or dye-free version. It’s often the chemicals added to provide a colour and scent that causes skin irritation.
In addition to adverse skin reactions, consider unwanted side-effects with your clothes. Studies have shown the chemicals found in fabric softeners can impede their ability to properly absorb water. This can create an issue with items like towels or cloth baby diapers, in which these items’ performance is compromised.
Alternatives to Fabric Softener
If you have decided that fabric softener isn’t the ideal option for you or your family, you’re in luck. Don’t settle for scratchy clothes! Here are some alternatives to using fabric softener in the washing machine:
- Lower your washing machines spin speed. This reduces the chances of hard towels coming from the washing machine.
- Make your own fabric softener. Homemade fabric softener is a great way to avoid the unnatural ingredients found in store-bought products.
At the end of the day, it’s your decision how you choose to wash your clothes but if you’ve been looking for a replacement for fabric softener, hopefully you have gained valuable insight on alternative clothes washing products.
Are your favourite pair of sneakers so dirty it’s hard to make out their original colour? Much like our shirts and pants, sneakers are subjected to our sweat and dirt through daily use, but can we wash them the same way?
Can My Shoes Go in the Wash?
Whether or not shoes can be washed in the machine is highly dependent on the sneaker’s material. Leather or suede shoes can be damaged by the water. Also, any shoes with embellishments should be cleaned by hand to avoid damaging the design. On the other hand, trainers or shoes made out of cotton, nylon and polyester can tolerate the washing machine.
Prepare Your Shoes for the Washing Machine
Prior to your shoes going in the washing machine, scrub off any excess dirt with a toothbrush or cloth. This step goes a long way in making the washing machine more effective when you throw them in there. Next, the laces should be removed from the shoe and placed in a mesh laundry bag. Your shoes can also be placed in a mesh bag, which prevents them from getting caught on the side of the drum during the cycle.
Prep the Washing Machine
Washing your shoes in cooler water prevents the colours from running or fading. Use a good detergent, but cut the amount in half. This load will be substantially smaller than your usual load so no need to use a large amount.
Once your shoes have completed their washing cycle, opt to let them air dry over placing them in the dryer. A dryer’s high temperatures can cause the glue on the shoes to melt, compromising their shape and integrity. It’s best to put your shoes in a warm dry place, with some scrunched up newspaper or cloths in your shoes. This helps absorb access moisture and enables the shoes to keep their form as they dry out.
Although it is a necessary chore, it’s probably fair to say that most of us don’t enjoy partaking in laundry day. Hopefully, this advice will help reduce how long it takes to complete your laundry and allows you to spend more of your time engaging in activities you appreciate.
Lower How Often Clothing Articles Are Washed
Not all clothing (i.e. jeans) needs to be washed after their first use. Only washing clothes that are truly dirty reduces your load size. Smaller loads take less time for machines to wash and dry and you will be faster at putting them away.
Use Less Detergent
Using too much detergent creates an unnecessary amount of suds in the washing machine. This can mean a longer washing cycle for your clothes to be properly cleaned.
Incorporate Multiple Hampers into Your Laundry
Multiple laundry baskets may seem excessive to some; however, it’s a great way to stay organized and save time come laundry day. Using two hampers allows you to divide between colours and whites every time you put an article of clothing in the hamper. This means come laundry day, your clothes are already divided into their appropriate groups and ready for the washing machine.
Treat Stains Right Away
Treating stains right away can prevent you from having to do another load and ultimately having to replace your shirt. Treating stained clothing immediately prevents the risk of the stain becoming permanent–and no number of washes will get it out.
Fold Laundry Immediately
Folding laundry after removing it from the dryer is the most time-consuming part of the laundry process. Instead of putting off the agony for a later time, do it right away! Folding the clothes as they are placed back in the hamper also prevents them from getting wrinkled.
For many of us, our clothes are a reflection of who we are as individuals and we take pride in keeping them in good condition. Your laundromat has a significant role to play in maintaining the quality of your wardrobe, make sure you choose one that takes laundry as serious as you do.
What Services Are Offered?
Depending on the laundromat, the services offered may vary. In addition to washing machines, certain laundromats will also offer pick-up and delivery, dry cleaning and alterations in their facility. With so many of us operating on a tight schedule, these services can be of great value to our already busy lives.
Having the ability to entrust your laundry responsibilities to a reputable business can win over many customers, so, make sure you uncover all the services a laundromat offers.
Take Space into Consideration
Size is another important feature of a laundromat. Larger facilities can fit more washing and drying machines for customer use. Access to more machines reduces the waiting time and allows you to maximize your productivity–by maximizing the amount of clothes washed at once.
Make sure employees have experience handling different garment styles and materials. It’s also important to find out what detergent is the laundromat uses. Some people have been known to have allergic reactions to certain chemicals found in detergents. If you know specific brands don’t work for you or have damaged your clothes in the past, make sure laundromat is using a brand you are comfortable with.
Hopefully, this gives you a better idea of what to look for when you’re searching for the ideal laundromat. Remember, using laundromats can provide benefits such as:
- Saving on your house’s energy bill;
- Cutting down on the amount of time you spend on laundry;
- And gives you access to features you may not have at home.
When loading the washing machine, do you fill the machine to capacity to maximize the amount of clothes you can wash? This common mistake can cause more harm than good. So, next time you’re at the laundromat remember, avoid overloading the machine! Here are some of the possible outcomes of jammed laundry machines.
- An overloaded machine can lead to wrinkled clothes. Increased wrinkles in clothes can create more creases to catch dirt and prevent them from becoming as clean as possible.
- A high-clothes volume limits the amount of room available for water in the machine. This means lower water circulation to wash your clothes, which can also compromise the cleanliness of your clothes.
- Large loads often prevent detergent from being properly washed from your clothes, meaning another rinse cycle for clean clothes.
- If your load is too compact, damage can be done to clothes as they rub against the agitators.
At the laundromat, avoid overloading the machine by loading your clothes into multiple machines. Yes, using more machines is costlier; however, you’ll save money and time in the long-run as you won’t have to do additional cycles and you’ll minimize the chance of clothes getting damaged and having to replace them.
So How Much Do I Fill up the Washing Machine?
As a rule-of-thumb, don’t fill the machine more than three-quarters full. If you’re dealing with a front-loaded washing machine, don’t fill past the last row of holes nearest to the doors. This will help you optimize the washing machine’s space without compromising its effectiveness or efficiency.
Are you unsatisfied with the quality of your clothes after running them in the wash? Your choice of detergent is a huge factor in the effectiveness of your wash cycle, so here’s what you need to know!
Laundry detergent comes in three main forms–each with their unique properties.
- Liquids are easily measured to prevent overuse.
- They can be applied on articles of clothing prior to loading to remove stains.
- This form of detergent can be very successful in removing ground-in stains from laundry.
- Powdered detergent also tends to be a cheaper option than its liquid form.
Detergent Pods or Packets
- Pod detergents are sometimes more expensive, but they provide convenience and tend to be less messy.
Do You Have Sensitive Skin?
If you have sensitive skin, it may be in your best interest to say away from scented detergent. These options are known to contain common skin allergens that may cause discomfort when wearing your clothes. This is especially important to consider for parents: a baby’s skin is sensitive and may react poorly with certain allergens.
What Detergent Should I Use?
The answer to this question can vary, depending on your goal. Some people are looking for the most cost-effective option to clean their clothes, while others want the best stain remover on the market–even if it means a higher price point. So, if you’re trying to determine which brand of detergent is best for you, a reputable comparison of detergents can be a good place to start.
Remember Don’t Use Too Much
Surprisingly, increasing the amount of detergent doesn’t equate to cleaner clothes. Here are some of the negative effects of overusing your detergent:
- Excessive detergent use can leave clothes with a stain or residue;
- Large amounts of detergent can cause an odor;
- Overuse of detergent is a waste of money as you will have to purchase the product more often.
The main reason to wash clothes is to prevent bacteria build-up that can lead to smelly clothes or even skin irritation and infections. For example, wearing dirty socks numerous times before a wash could result in athlete’s foot. Let’s not forget food stains either! This can be a real problem, especially if you have young children.
Although there are many reasons for washing of our clothes, excessive clothes washing can accelerate the wearing out of fabric and loss of colour. So, how often should you be washing your clothes to prevent bacteria build-up without shortening their lifespan?
Guidelines for Washing Clothes
Generally speaking, the frequency of washing should increase the closer clothing is to your skin or sweat glands. For example, clothing such as socks, underwear or t-shirts should be washed after each use because they have closest contact with your body’s sweat glands. Even your towel should be washed after every few uses. Regular washing helps remove bacteria, skin cells and oils that can accumulate on clothing throughout the day.
Sports clothing such as your child’s soccer outfit or swimsuit come in contact with a great deal of contaminants and should be washed after each use. Swimsuits are a good example of clothing that not only contacts your own skin and sweat but also various chemicals (i.e. chlorine in the pool). If any of your clothing touches chemicals, washing often can avoid skin agitation.
How Often Do My Jeans Need to Be Washed?
Unless you have been sweating while wearing your jeans, it is not necessary to wash them often. The same goes for shorts and skirts. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to how often they want to wash their clothes; however, a guideline can sometimes be helpful.
In life, we only get so much time. And it can certainly seem like that oh-so-precious time is being wasted as you sit waiting for your clothes to dry in a laundromat. So, what are some creative ways to spend your time at the laundromat, you ask?
Have no fear—here are ideas on how to spend your spare time at the laundromat.
Waiting for your clothes to finish in the washer or dryer can be an effective time to get groceries out of the way. Make sure to keep track of the time so that you will be back prior to your clothes finishing in the machine.
Interact as a Family
Most laundromats have a small waiting area to sit while your clothes are being washed or dried. For those with young children, make laundry day a family event. Teach them the importance of good hygiene and steps involved in properly cleaning your clothes.
While waiting for your clothes to dry, use the time to interact with your kids. In a society constantly going, slowing down to enjoy the people around you is necessary. Whether it’s playing a fun game with your kids, helping them with homework or just talking, family time is always important and working it into your life should always be a priority.
Read a Good Book
Between the washing and drying of clothes, you’re looking at approximately an hour and a half of free-time. Take this opportunity to delve into an enthralling novel–be it a fantasy novel, self-help or relational book. Reading is a great way to clear your head or acquire knowledge to better yourself as a person.
In different situations, you can choose to view it as the glass is half empty or half full. Your perspective determines what you get out of a situation. So, next time you’re at the laundromat, think of all the potential.
Are you looking to a laundromat to solve your laundry needs? The laundry market is changing and laundromats are changing with it! Traditionally, the consumer-base for laundromats have been those who did not have a washer and dryer at home; however, due to the immense amounts of laundry that many families generate, this is changing. Many people appreciate completing all their laundry needs at once opposed to completing small amounts every day.
Recognizing the amount of time consumers spend on laundry has prompted laundromats to create atmospheres catering more towards comfortability and productivity. More modern laundromats will offer complementary services such as:
- Free WIFI
- Snack Bars
- Video Games
- Kids’ centers
To better serve their market, some laundromats have expanded their services to include wash-and-fold and dry cleaning. This adds convenience as customers must only drop off their clothes.
These additional features make modern laundromats more appealing for both customers and owners. The customer experience is enhanced and owners have the ability to make more profit and grow their consumer-base.
So What Are Some of the Benefits to Laundromats?
Increases how much laundry you can do at once.
In most cases, doing laundry from home limits a person to one washer and one dryer. This puts a pretty small cap on how many clothes can be washed at once. Laundromats allow for one person to have multiple washing and drying machines going simultaneously.
Reduces how often you need to do laundry.
Although using a laundromat does force you to leave the comfort of your own home, it also minimizes how often you need to do laundry. At home, laundry may be a daily event, but using a laundromat can cut it down to once a week. That extra time off can be spent on more pressing issues in our lives.
Take advantage of better features
Due to the commercial nature of laundromats, they may provide you with washing options that your home washing machines did not have.
Have you ever done laundry only to find that your favourite shirt or skirt developed a pull in the wash? Or maybe your son managed to spill dinner on his hoodie and you just can’t seem to get it off. To increase your effectiveness the next time you do laundry, here are some simple tips that can greatly benefit your laundry experience.
1. Don’t Forget to Zip Your Zippers!
The metal teeth on zippers can cause damage to clothing, if they have not been properly zipped up prior to being loaded in the machine. Unzipped zippers can result in pulls or tears in your clothing, so pay attention to those zippers.
2. Careful Not to Overuse the Detergent
Surprisingly, more detergent doesn’t equal cleaner clothes—who would have thought? Using too much detergent can lead to an excess amount of suds; these suds can hold the dirt coming from the clothes, only to be caught in areas where they won’t be rinsed away (i.e. the underside of a shirts collar).
3. Pay Attention for the “Dry-Clean” Label
I don’t know about you, but I often forget to check clothing to see if it is supposed to be dry cleaned opposed to the washer. Now if you make the mistake of washing an article of clothing that ideally was supposed to be dry-cleaned it is not the end of the world. However, in the case of certain categories like leather, suede or anything with embellishments, dry-cleaning is still your best route to go.
4. Don’t be Aggressive Rubbing Out Any Stains
Aggressively trying to rub out any stains on your clothing can actually spread the stain on the shirt and potentially wear down the fabric. Instead, lightly and systematically scrub the stain from the article of clothing.
We all work hard for the money to buy our clothes and then spend our valuable time navigating numerous stores to find certain pieces or brands we like or think represent who we are. The last thing we want to do is go through all that work just to have our clothes ruined in the process of trying to clean them! These are just some pointers to keep in mind when washing clothes or trying to remove a stain threatening your fashion statement.