Even with all of the new high efficiency and high tech washing machines and amazing laundry soaps, there are still laundry basics that should be followed in order to protect your fabrics and get your laundry as clean as possible. A great laundry detergent can’t do its job well if it isn’t used properly. Follow these time honored “rules” to get the most out of your detergent and washing machine.
The size of the load, the amount of detergent, the temperature of the water and separation of whites, colors and fabric types are all important factors in getting your laundry clean.
- Separate your clothes according to whites, colors, darks, sheets, towels and blankets. Wash whites in hot, colors in warm and darks in cold. Towels and blankets are generally washed in warm water. If the water is too hot, dark colored towels can eventually become scratchy and fade. White towels and light colored sheets can stand higher temperatures.
- The size of a load is very important. When the washer is over loaded, the detergent and water cannot circulate well enough to clean the clothes. It also causes clothes to wrinkle. If the load is too small, there is not enough friction between the clothes for adequate cleaning. Most washing machines have water level settings or they fill according to the weight of the load. The rule for load size is generally the same for all types of washing machines. A small load will fill about 1/3 of the machine, a medium load ½ and a large load 2/3. The best laundry load is the one that mixes varying size of items.
- The amount of detergent and when it is added to the washing machine is important too. Too much laundry soap can leave residue on your laundry and with too little you may not get the cleaning power you need. With Grandma’s Lavender Laundry Soap you use 1 tablespoon for a small load and 2 tablespoons for a medium or large load. For a top loader, set the water level and temperature, start the water, add the laundry detergent and partially fill with water, then add laundry, close the lid and continue filling. Most front loaders sense the size of the load so you just need to set your water temperature, add the detergent to the designated spot and add the laundry. It will fill with water once the door is shut.
- Drying is important also. Over drying can cause clothing and towels to wear more quickly. Dryer softener sheets can cause a build up on towels making them lose their absorbency. They also leave chemical residue on clothing. They are formulated so that the scent (thus chemicals) stay on the clothing. I recommend using wool dryer balls or a Grandma’s Lavender Dryer Pouch in place of fabric softener or dryer sheets.
- Last but not least, the soaking bucket! I feel like this has become a thing of the past but should be revisited especially if you have small children or other family members that tend to stain clothing. When my children were little I kept a bucket about half full of water and ½ cup Borax. I now use 2 tablespoons of Grandma’s Lavender Laundry Soap instead of the Borax. When you have a heavily soiled item just drop it the bucket, give it a little swish and let the item or items soak until you are ready to wash them. Clothing can soak in the bucket safely for several days. This works well for cloth diapers too.
I recommend using a non toxic natural laundry detergent like Grandma’s Lavender Laundry soap in place of chemical laden commercial products. These chemical free products actually clean well and leave your clothing fresh and free of heavy scents and residue. For more information on toxic laundry care products click here.
Kathie Kesterson, Founder and Creator at Grandma’s Lavender