Washing made easy

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If you are one of those people who finds washing a bothersome task, then you should try these washing strategies and tips.

When washing clothes, if you like your whites white, then you know that you simply can’t just throw anything and everything in the washing machine. No matter how good a colour catcher detergent you use, it is always best to sort the clothes into similar colours before washing them; this will save you from so many washing disasters. Don’t throw clothes in a washing machine and hope for the best when you know what you are doing is not the best. Having a good washing routine and knowing what you are doing puts the joy into washing, allows garments to last, gives your washing machine a long life but most importantly, it saves time and money. Below are some do’s and don’t’s for washing clothes.

Do’s for washing clothes.

  • Always sort the clothes into similar colours.
  • Always read the washing instructions on the garment.
  • Always check pockets before washing and remove the contents.
  • If you are in any doubt about washing a garment, try hand washing it or putting it in the washing machine on a quick wash separately, to see how the garment looks after washing it.
  • Always observe your washing when you take it out of the washing machine to see which garments colour run so these can be washed separately in future and preferably on a quick wash.
  • Always wash delicate garments e.g. coats, jackets, cardigans (especially those with wool or fur), cushions, pillows, duvets and soft blankets, separately and on a quick wash. This way the garment is less likely to spoil or get coloured by other clothes.
  • Always check the following before putting them in the washing machine: garments with sharp objects, trainers with spikes, bags, curtains with heavy decoration and fabric blinds with sharp objects. Where possible remove any sharp objects or else wash inside another garment.
  • Always remove laces and put trainers inside a pillowcase when washing them.
  • Always select the correct cycle for the clothes which you are washing.
  • Always add stain remover to the whites as this helps keep whites white.
  • Always add fabric conditioner when washing bedding, bathroom and kitchen towels and clothes with strong odours.
  • Always use the correct amount of washing detergent – you will find instructions on the box or bottle.
  • Always wash clothes which catch fluff easily, inside out.
  • Always wash long and heavy curtains and blinds one at a time if you are washing more than one.
  • Always fold the clothes when you are taking them down from the washing line or clothes airer. If you don’t have the time, part fold them to avoid creasing.

Don’t’s for washing clothes

  • Never put different coloured clothes in the wash – for instance, black, whites, pinks and greens in one wash just because you are trying to save time or energy.
  • Avoid using too much washing powder when washing dark clothes, jackets, and coats, as the powder can remain and stain the clothes.
  • Avoid overloading the machine.
  • Avoid putting the following in the washing machine: bags and curtains with non-removable heavy decoration and fabric blinds with non-removable sharp sticks.


Always read the instructions on garment labels. Take time to divide clothes into similar colours, this is extremely important especially when washing delicate garments.

Try to wash long curtains separately because curtains become extremely heavy when they are wet and make it difficult for the washing machine to spin, which could damage the washing machine.

Mixing coloured clothes together to save time, energy or money could take up more of your time, energy and money if you have to re-wash the clothes.  If the colours do run, the changes might be irreversible, and you may need to replace the garment.

Most washing machines have a menu on the outside which tells you how long certain clothes should be washed for.  For example, dark clothes, baby clothes, or cottons. However, whites should always be washed on a long wash; between 1 hour and 50 minutes to 2 hours.

Always check the pockets of clothes before washing for things such as tissue, money, toys, jewellery, food or any other content which might be left in pockets, especially when washing children’s clothes.

If you have young children, always check the inside of the washing machine before each use, as children can sometimes put toys and other objects inside the washing machine drum and the washing powder compartment.

Putting sharp objects in the washing machine may pierce or damage the door seal or other parts of the washing machine.

Putting the correct amount of washing powder allows the clothes to get cleaned properly and reduces the chances of washing powder remaining on the clothes. This is particularly important when washing dark clothes, coats, and jackets.

Avoid using the tumble dryer on a regular basis, instead, allow the clothes to dry naturally.  Depending on the material the clothes are made from, a tumble dryer can shrink and change the colour of the fabrics.  Use the dryer for when it is necessary e.g. in the cold or rainy seasons.

Clothes are easier to iron if they are folded or partly folded straight after they’ve been dried. Hanging and removing washing from the washing line or the clothes airier is a perfect chore for young children. It teaches them skills such as folding clothes and doing things neatly, but do supervise and give direction while your child is learning how to do this and give directions while he or she is carrying out this chore.


If you have a washing machine or tumble dryer with a drum big enough to fit a child, always check to make sure that there isn’t a small child inside the washing machine or tumble dryer drum before each use and before shutting the doors. Small children are known to either; hide, play and fall asleep inside washing machines and tumble dryers. Unfortunately, there have been fatal accidents of this kind.

It’s extremely important to keep an eye on small children while in the kitchen, especially where there is a washing machine and a tumble dryer, as some children are not only able to open the flap covering the drainer but can also remove the lid off the drainer hose, causing leakages but more seriously putting the lid in their mouth.


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