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  • Writer's pictureDola

5 laundry tips for making your clothes last longer

Doing the laundry can oftentimes feel like a chore but understanding the type of care to give to your clothes really helps in keeping them lasting for a long time. When I have to do our laundry I try to set out days midweek and at the weekend for washing and folding. I tend to start by sorting our clothes by colours, cycle, water temperature, type of fabric, and level of soil because these help elongate the life of our clothes.

Step one: Separate the clothes 

It’s good practice to separate you your laundry first by colour, the type of fabric, and how soiled the clothes are. Then you can go ahead to read the care labels. Doing this helps you know how best to care for your clothes. Some fabrics are more delicate than others and will need a different type of care. Some may be prone to fading and others wash colours on lighter clothes. These are a few thing to think about as you prepare for laundry day.

Step two: read the care label

After you have separated and read the care label on your clothes. Pay careful attention to the instructions because sometimes it can be easy to shove everything into the machine but this may result in your clothes being damaged. Once you’ve done this the first time, it becomes second nature for future laundry days. 

A few things you need for laundry day 

  • Laundry baskets - for whites and coloured clothing 

  • Laundry pegs (optional- for drying clothes in the sun) 

  • Detergent and other laundry products

Step three: coloured fabrics

This is the part where I get everyone around the house involved. I mean I might as well make it somewhat interesting to get the job done. Start by separating whites from darks and grouping colours into likes. At first glance it may look like a pile of skittles but it’s the best way to ensure you don’t end up with whites looking like the rainbow!

Step 3: sorting the laundry  

You’ll find that washing wools with cottons and other heavier fabrics can damage your clothes with stains or tears. It’s best to separate the delicates and wash them in a different load. You can find the information here by checking the labels, it should usually tell you the type of washing that’s needed for the specific fabric. For example turning your clothes with heavy embellishments inside out to avoid damage to the fabric. Some other fabrics that are considered heavy are denims, khakis and jogging bottoms. Feel free to name some heavy and delicate fabrics you have at home in the comments. It’s helpful to know the type of fabrics that would benefit from washing on their own and the ones that are generally easy to pair. 

Step 4: stained laundry 

Check your clothes for the ones that are heavily stained or soiled because it might be worth going a pre- treatment to care for the stain. I always recommend using Vanish Oxi action to get rid of stains. As part of my laundry routine, I add 1 scoop of Vanish Oxi Action on top of my normal washing detergent. It’s perfect and safe to use on both coloured and white clothes. 

Step 5: loading the machine 

 A golden tip here is to try not to overload the machine. Check the settings of your machine to make sure you are using the right temperature required for your clothes. Remember again to check the fabric care label as a guide because the instructions usually tell you what is needed to get the best results. 

Here’s a quick temperature guide from Ariel uk 

Hot washes (60°C and above) are best for washing tough stain items or items that contain high levels of bacteria, for instance clothes worn by someone who has been ill.

Warm washes (40°C) are best for items that have come into contact with body fluids, such as underwear.

Cold washes (15-30°C) should be used for lightly- to moderately-soiled daily items. Washing on cold wash also protects brightly coloured garments from fading and prevents dye transfer. The cool wash is gentler on clothes and uses less energy too.

I hope you found this useful and if you did, please let me know in the comments!

Xo Dola

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