How to wash clothes: 8 simple steps to wash clothes at home


If you are new washing, it can be difficult to know where to start. There are washing machine settings to understand, loads of detergent options, and stains that need to be dealt with – whatever that means!

What “stain treatment” even means, as well as what type of detergent and wash cycle to use, are essential parts of understanding the basics of how to wash clothes. In this guide, we’ll cover those topics, as well as how to collect and sort laundry, and the best way to dry clothes to prevent damage. Even if you’re an old-timer when it comes to laundry day, you might learn about an approach to laundry you’ve never considered or discover a trick you never knew about. So stick around! We will have some fun. (Really!)



The first step to washing clothes is choosing to wash the clothes – there are usually three factors driving the choice:

  1. It is a designated laundry day.
  2. The washing tray is overflowing.
  3. You find yourself wearing a bathing suit as a pantyhose.

Rachel Hoffman, a cleaning and organizing expert and author of Unf * ck Your Habitat and Cleaning Sucks, specializes in helping those who find cleaning overwhelming to set up the system for household chores; She offers this simple yet very useful advice for managing laundry: “Do your laundry periodically. For some, it’s once a week, for others it’s more than that.”

If you’re someone who uses the laundry box to signal that the wash day has arrived, the model with the lid is a smart choice as it will help you be honest – when the lid doesn’t close it’s time to wash.

BirdRock home laundry box with removable lid and lining

BirdRock home laundry box with removable lid and lining

A subdivided compartment allows you to separate laundry as it enters the drawer, instead of having to go through a huge pile of dirty laundry during the wash day to separate lights from darkness or clothes from towels.

Greenstell split laundry box with removable lining pocket

Historically, the way laundry has been separated has been simple: Whites and light coloreds go in one wash, darks in another. This rule is driven by two main factors, choice of washing water temperature and dye transfer concerns. While dye transfer – i.e. dyes from dark or light clothes that run during the wash and dyed white or light colors – remains a concern, water temperature is no longer a factor. important anymore.



“Most laundry can now be done with cold water. That should be the default,” said Brian Sansoni, senior vice president of communications at American Cleaning Institute, speak. “It is usually equally effective, but it is more sustainable and [using cold water will] reduce wear or fade. ”

Separating laundry by color is still the default, but a newer way to think about separating your laundry is by fabric type. Modern fabrics that are stretchy or have sweat-wicking properties should not be washed with overly minty fabrics such as cotton, thick cotton or fleece. Find out how to keep linenwool and sneakers can also mean you may need wash some items by hand. As a result, many launderers today choose to separate their clothes into one pile, and bed sheets and towels into something else, regardless of color.

If you choose to wash dark and light together, and dye transfer is a concern, use a color catcher in your washing machine to capture loose dyes before they can stain. lighter colored items.

Scream out colored papers for laundry

While separating the laundry, you should also keep the items to be washed separately in the protective mesh bag; this can include items like robe belts or shoelaces that need to be bagged to prevent them from wrapping around everything else during the wash, or things like bras with hooks that can pull other items and bent.

Set of 5 Bagail mesh bags

The stains on the laundry should be pre-treated before washing; A good time to do this is when you are separating the wash water. (An even better time to do this is before placing a dirty garment in the tray; storing stain removal products by the drawer makes this difficult.)



Unfortunately for laundromats everywhere, there isn’t a single universal stain remover and here’s why: Stains have different makeup chemicals – for example, chocolate stains , chemically speaking, is completely different from sweat stains.

Most people won’t need a stain remover for every possible stain, although having a variety of stain removers on hand isn’t a bad idea. The trick is to consider what types of stains your clothes are most likely to suffer from, etc., and stock up on stain treatment products accordingly. Here are some of the best options for removing the most common types of stains.

Best for food and drink stains

Call to remove stains in laundry

Best for grease stains

Lestoil Heavy Duty Multi-Purpose Cleanser

Best for protein stains and stem soils

Zout Triple Enzyme Formula Laundry Stain Remover

Best for ink, dye and makeup stains

Rite Aid Brand 91% Isopropyl Alcohol Spray - 10 oz

Best for red wine, cranberry, pomegranate, blueberry and coffee stains

Wine Away Red Wine Remover Remover

There seem to be 10,000 different detergents on the market, and figuring out which detergent to use, not to mention how to use it correctly, can be daunting. We could be here all day talking about detergents (trust me when I say this, because I graduated from something called “Laundry School” and I even have a diploma to prove it. prove it!) But for now, just the basics will do.



There are three main types of detergent: Detergent, liquid detergent, and detergent packs or pods. They all work, and so choosing one formula over another is a matter of personal choice. Broadly speaking, here are the reasons why you might choose one cleaner over another.

Liquid laundry detergent has three outstanding advantages over other types of laundry detergent. The first is that it is better soluble in water, regardless of temperature. The second is that it can do double duty as pre-treatment of stains. Third, because it is more soluble in water, it is the detergent of choice when it comes to hand washing.

Tide Liquid detergent, removes microscopic stains

Depending on the design of your washing machine, the rinse aid will either enter a compartment, which will release soap at the right time in the cycle, or directly into the machine’s drum. If you have a compartment washing machine, one compartment should be designated for liquid products and another for powder products; Do not mix the two in a single compartment to avoid clumping and clogging.

Detergent: An affordable and eco-friendly choice

Since it does not contain water, detergents have a more stable shelf life and require less packaging than liquid detergents. Powdered laundry detergent wears off more slowly, allowing you to buy in bulk to save money, and because it requires less packaging, it’s also a more eco-friendly choice.

Arm & Hammer Powder Detergent

Arm & Hammer Powder Detergent

Just like liquid detergent, the design of the washing machine dictates how the detergent is added to the machine.

Detergent packs are the best option for people who do laundry outside the home (i.e. at the laundromat or in a shared laundry room) as it is much more convenient to throw a pack of laundry detergent in the pocket of your dirty clothes. with carrying. a separate bottle of detergent.

However, the detergent package has some limitations. They are more expensive than liquid or powdered cleaners. And, because they’re pre-parted, they don’t allow you to control how much detergent is being used; Using more detergent than necessary leads to product build-up that can cause clothes to smell even after they are clean and make clothes dirty.

Increase Pacs Laundry Soap Flings

Unlike liquid and powder detergents, detergent packs or pods should always be placed directly in the drum of the washing machine. Add the detergent package before putting dirty clothes in the machine.

The cycle setting on a washing machine typically controls three factors: 1. water temperature; 2. cycle length; and 3. cycle speed.

Water temperature refers to cold, warm or hot options. To reiterate Sansoni’s instructions, cold water should be the default for all laundry.

Cycle length Determine how long to wash. Use a longer cycle for dirty and bulky items, and a shorter cycle for less dirty or fragile items.



Cycle speed refers to the speed and force with which the laundry is agitated in the washing machine; Use a slower speed for delicate items and a faster speed for bulkier or more soiled items.

Washing machine cycles go by many different names, but typically you’ll see one called “regular”, another called a “permanent press” and a third called “delicious”.

The regular cycle It’s really a misnomer, as it’s the one you’re least likely to need. A typical cycle is quick/fast, which means both the wash and spin cycles are fast. Use this product for bulky items such as towels, or things that are heavily soiled like outdoor work clothes.

Resident press is the cycle you will need to use most often. It’s fast/slow, which means the wash cycle is fast but the spin cycle is slow, and it’s the best choice for most clothes, as well as bed linen.

The sophisticated cycle slow/slow, and should be used when washing fine or delicate fabrics, or decorative items.

When the wash cycle is complete, remove the laundry from the machine as soon as possible. Laundry can be air dried (indoor or outdoor) or machine dried.

“If it’s a nice day, drying on a string, out in direct sunlight, is a good option,” says Sansoni.

Honey-Can-Do T-Post Outdoor Line

If an outdoor drying method isn’t an option for you, but your laundry room or another space in your home allows it, you might also consider an indoor drying method, as drying by air will better preserve the fibers, color and elasticity than machine. dry the will.

Yameaer's retractable clothesline

However, machine drying will probably be the best option for most launderers. Choose the shortest and coolest cycle suitable for the item you are drying to prevent damage from overexposure to high heat. Sansoni recommends using your dryer’s moisture sensor feature, if yours has it, as it’s a good way to avoid over-drying, which can cause fading, shrinking and weakening of fibers. Go.



There are two ways to speed up the drying time of your machine and reduce the amount of heat your laundry is exposed to, which is to shake the clothes out when switching from the washer to the dryer, rather than tossing them in a drenched pile of water in the dryer. . , and use a drying ball. The dryer ball, which comes in wool and plastic, helps reduce drying time by providing better air circulation and preventing fabric from clumping.

Wool dryer ball

Whitmor dryer ball

Once the clothes or linens are dry, remove them from the cord or dryer and fold them immediately to prevent wrinkling. Then put them away.

Yes, that’s also part of the laundry job.

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