Consumer Reports says we use around 70 billion kilowatt hours doing laundry at home. To save on your costs, start by using cold water when you can. Increase the spin cycle to remove more water and reduce drying time. Clean the lint filter and dryer duct to keep air moving. If you still use dryer sheets, know that they can reduce air flow. Use the dryer’s automatic cycle instead of the timer. Or simply hang everything on the line for free drying.
Real Simpleoffers expert tips to extend the life of technical undergarments. Start by laundering in a mesh lingerie bag – that prevents unnecessary wear and tear – and lay flat on a clean towel to dry or hand on a drying rack or clothesline. Absolutely avoid fabric softeners. Most workout clothes are made with synthetic performance fabrics and softeners prevent moisture wicking.
Chlorine laundry bleach can irritate skin, eyes and lungs and weaken natural fabric fibers. Four other methods for whitening laundry, some of them as old as washing itself. The juice of half a lemon added to regular detergent in your next load will brighten and freshen. Hydrogen peroxide in a 3-percent solution can whiten whites, but it’s not safe for colors). Baking soda naturally freshens, softens and whitens laundry – try a half cup per load and use to pretreat stains. Remove rust stains (that chlorine seems to bring out) by moistening stain with lemon juice, then cover with table salt overnight. Next day, rinse in cool water and launder.
Keep gym clothes fresh by presoaking in warm water mixed with an ounce of laundry detergent and the juice of a lemon to penetrate water-resistant technical fibers like Spandex and Lycra. The lemon’s citric acid helps break down oily buildup. Gently scrub armpits, neckline and any other stained or odor-retaining areas before soaking overnight. Then launder regularly in warm water with a white vinegar finishing rinse. Or bring the whole pile to us for professional stain removal and laundering. We know how to get the stank out, that’s our job.
Soak cranberry stains 15 minutes in a mixture of one tbsp white vinegar and ½ tsp liquid laundry detergent in a quart of cool water. If the stain persists, sponge with rubbing alcohol and rinse. Scape off gravy spills, sprinkle with baking soda to soak up the grease, then pretreat with a small amount of dish detergent before washing in hot water. Or get even better (and easier) cleaning by bringing your table linens, aprons, dress shirts or neckties to us for professional spotting and cleaning.
First, zip up. Open zipper teeth will snag and tear more delicate items in the washer and dryer. Check the pockets for tissues, pens (and money), unbutton shirts and hook bras or use a lingerie bag. Securely tie draw strings to prevent them from slipping inside the garment. Separate colors from whites and wash new items separately to avoid sharing colors with the whole load. We do these steps for every item – it’s easier to prevent a problem than try to fix it later.
After summer’s hot and sweaty nights, it’s time to freshen your nighttime environment. Begin by stripping the bed down to the mattress. If you use a mattress pad, launder (or bring to us) and dry thoroughly, hanging on the line, if you have one. Flip and rotate the mattress. Is it time to replace your pillows? Unless they are very high quality down, it’s usually less expensive to buy new than clean old. Sniff test the winter comforter, blankets or quilts. We can clean them to like-new freshness – even king size is no problem for our machines. Be ready to snuggle up when winter chills arrive.
Unwashed new jeans can lead to blue dye on your hands and shirt. When dye is transferred by friction, it’s called crocking, and the indigo dye in blue jeans is a notorious crocker. Before you leave blue everywhere, your washing machine is the first stop. Do a first wash with cold water, before the rinse cycle starts, stop the machine and add two cups white vinegar and let soak for a couple of hours. Then turn the machine back to finish. Hang and air dry your jeans, then press with the hottest iron setting.
After a shower or bath, there’s nothing as refreshing as a big, clean terrycloth towel. Home laundry fabric softener can prevent a towel from soaking up water, incompletely rinsed detergent can harden the fibers. If towels aren’t smelling so fresh, add a cup of baking soda to the wash. White vinegar freshens mildewy staleness. Nothing smells better than a towel that’s dried on a clothesline in the sunshine.
Beer stains should be blotted as dry as possible. As soon as possible, rinse the stain with cold water from the back of the stain. Mix liquid laundry detergent (or dish soap) with cold water and soak the stain at least ten minutes. Rinse thoroughly and launder in warm water. Yellow mustard can be tough to remove, so bring your garment to us ASAP. We’ll work that yellow spot out – we never charge extra for routine stain removal. Getting your clothes clean should be fast, easy and affordable so you can enjoy what matters, like a hotdog with the works. Enjoy the rest of the summer—we’ll be outside BBQing with family and friends.