Laundry Tips 101 – The Basics to Keep Your Clothes Looking Good

“Clothes maketh the man”.. the Ancient Greeks said it and so did Shakespeare in Hamlet”.

Jan 15, 2019. First impressions do count and if your clothes are looked after, clean and neat, then this goes a long way to giving out the right message. Learning a few simple laundry tips to keep your clothes looking good over time will become second nature eventually.

Here are six laundry tip basics we want to share with you:

Laundry Tip 1: Read the labels

Always read the label so that you know what the manufacturer recommends. Sometimes the labels can be overly careful, but as you get to know your garments, you will be able to make your own judgement calls on how to wash them.

Having said this, always read the label and stick to the manufacturers recommendations when you start out.

Laundry Tip 2: Know your fabrics

Every fabric reacts differently to cold and hot water, detergents and dryers. Cottons including bedding and towels are all fine for washing machines and dryers. With polyester, viscose and other synthetic materials, cold or warm water is recommended as they may lose their elasticity or texture with warmer water. Often drying is not recommended for these fabrics but check the care label to confirm.

  • Cotton clothes – mostly fine to wash in hot water
  • Jeans – wash in cold or 30 degree water, inside out to retain their colour and elasticity
  • Sheets, bedding, cotton or feather doonas – can wash these in hot water and this will also sanitise them
  • Synthetics like polyester, viscose and nylon – wash in 30 or 40 degree water
  • Wools – wash in cold water, or maximum 30 degrees on a gentle cycle that does not agitate the clothes too much
  • Silks and other delicates – wash in cold or 30 degrees maximum on a gentle cycle

Laundry Tip 3: Take care what you put in the dryer

  • Here’s a brief run down on what is ok and what is not ok in the dryer.
  • Cottons – including towels, sheets, cotton and feather doonas, cotton underwear, T-shirts and shirts are fine for dryers.
  • Jeans that don’t have too much lycra/spandex may also be ok. Check the label and if they recommend no drying then stick to this as drying can destroy the elasticity which means that your skinny stretchy jeans will become baggy too quickly.
  • Underwear – polyester, synthetic, lace and nylon underwear are best dried on the clothes line or in some cases, on a towel laid out flat.
  • Wool – definitely a no-no for the drier.
  • Silks and other delicates – another definite no-no for the drier, dry these flat, in the shade, on a towel.

Laundry Tip 4: Sort your clothes and colours

If you are going to buy white or light colour clothing, then do your best to keep them white and light. Pulling your brand new white shirts, tees and sports socks out of the washing machine with a tinge of grey is ever so frustrating when you know the culprit – those dark grey sports shorts that should have been washed with the darks!

Sorting your clothes will save you money and keep your favourite tees and shirts looking good.

Sort clothes piles into whites, lights and darks. You can combine your whites and lights only if the lights have been washed before, so that any excess colour has already faded out.

Separate your delicates and make sure you choose a gentle cycle for these. Using laundry bags to put your delicates into protects them and helps them to retain their shape.

Laundry Tip 5: Treat stains prior to washing and remove items from pockets

Treat stains before you put them in the washing machine as warm or hot water and washing machine agitation can make the stain set and much harder if not impossible to remove later. Don’t assume a washing cycle can get rid of all stains so treat them first.

Any stain remover from the supermarket (no brand stain removers work just as well as branded ones) will do the trick. Spray a little on the stain and wait five minutes before you turn on the washing machine.

Check all pockets and remove everything. Tissues can wreak havoc with the rest of the washing creating a haze of tissue fibres that are hard to remove, a sneaky pen will set stains for life and a lipstick the same. It’s best to remove everything from pockets before you place in the laundry basket and teach other household members to the same.

Laundry Tip 6: Fold your clothes straight out of the dryer

If you don’t like ironing, the best way to avoid it is to make sure you fold your clothes immediately after drying them. Otherwise you will eventually get around to the pile of clean laundry but it will be crinkled and wrinkled – so save yourself time and fold!

Other useful tips

  • Use only cold water to wash out blood stains, preferably pre-treated with some stain remover
  • Use a laundry bag for socks, undies and bras to prevent losing them and also to keep them in shape
  • Close all zippers but keep buttons open, this will protect the fabric
  • Sort your clothes in multiple laundry baskets at home before bringing them to the laundromat
  • Bring a laundry basket to the laundromat to take home your folded clothes

Find a Star Laundromat at an Adelaide or Sydney location near you

Conveniently located near shops and supermarkets so that you can do your shopping while the washing gets done. All our laundromats are equipped with state of the art washing machines and dryers. We have free WiFi, free mobile charging and free detergent!