Did you know the average family does around 350 loads of laundry a year?! That’s a whole lotta of laundry! We know the never-ending routine of laundry gets monotonous, until you’re doing it mindlessly and as quickly as possible, but doing laundry without thinking about it could be costing you money. If you’re not prepping your laundry correctly before tossing it into the wash you could be getting clothes that aren’t as clean as they should be or even ruining whole clothing items. Here’s how to save your laundry (and some money!) with prep.
1. Gauge the levels of dirt. It’s tempting to throw everything into the wash at once and put it on the most vigorous cleaning cycle, but all dirt isn’t created equal. Your pajamas and the clothes you wore in the garden don’t need to go through the same wash cycle. In fact, washing something like pj’s on a setting that’s intended to get out dirt and mud from gardening clothes could cause the less dirty clothes to wear out quicker. Making different loads according to dirt level - and a separate for denim because it’s a material that can rough up clothes made from less durable material - can save you from replacing clothing items sooner than you should.
2. Like colors belong with like. After you’ve separated out your clothing according to the level of dirtiness, it’s time to group like colors with like. It may seem unimportant to separate by colors, but different colors are washed more thoroughly at different temperatures. Cold water can turn whites dingy and gray, while hot water can fade darker colors. Separating laundry by color ensures your wardrobe will last longer.
3. Read the tag. Every article of clothing you own has a tag with instructions on how to properly wash it. It’s another step in the laundry process that may seem pointless, but actually reading the instructions will help your clothes stay their best.
4. Zip it up. Did you know that a washer spin cycle can get up to 80mph? That’s about the speed of a category one hurricane! And when it comes to the spin cycle, if your zippers are zipped and your buttons aren’t buttoned, you’re looking at them catching on other clothing and causing microtears. So, remember to zip it up!
5. Check your pockets. Yes, it’s a pain to go through twenty sets of pockets in a load of laundry, but when you don’t end up with melted Chapstick wax on your clothing, you’ll be glad you checked. Even if your clothing makes it through the wash cycle unscathed, there’s still the dryer where easily meltable items can become a fire hazard!
Just a bit of prep time before actually putting your laundry in the washing machine can save you a lot of money. Prep means you won’t be replacing clothing sooner than you normally would and can even help prevent dryer fires!
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