Modern technology has made doing laundry simple enough that a 2-year-old could use a washing machine. (True story; we actually do know some 2-year-olds that can do the laundry! Well, okay, help Mom do the laundry.) But it’s one thing to make sure your clothes come out clean and quite another that despite all the washing, they still retain their bright colours, textures and softness. The matter of fact is not all fabrics are created equal and some might need an extra TLC than others.
So what’s the first step? Hold on, don’t toss them all into the washing machine! Believe it or not, that is the wrong way to do laundry. The most important step in doing your laundry lies in sorting. Knowing what laundry products to use with what fabrics is the secret to getting your clothes out the same quality you put them in – only cleaner!
1) Delicate Fabrics
Silk, pure wool, cashmere, and pashmina are all delicate fabrics that fall under the “hand wash if possible” category. So roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty or simply send them for dry-cleaning. You can wash these in a machine, however, to use an extra mild detergent, such as the Delicate Laundry Liquid, washing only at 30°C and putting it on a very slow spin cycle no higher than 600rpm.
Lingerie and underwear are also considered delicates and they end up stretching easily if tugged. So make sure you put them in a mesh laundry bag before tossing them in.
2) Icky Stains
Clothing that require stain-removal attention need to be placed aside and treated differently before wash. But you also don’t want to spend an entire day just tackling stains, so something that you can easily rub in is the perfect solution for this. Try our Stain Remover, which contains grime-fighting enzymes to wrestle tough protein-based stains from your clothes. Take that, food spills, mud prints, blood splotches and sweat pools!
3) The Heavy-Duties
Do you have a bunch of jeans sticking out of the washing basket? Did you just change the sheets and the towels in the bathroom? All these go into one load together, separate from thinner office shirts and delicates like bras and lingerie. You don’t particularly want towels going in with your work clothes because you don’t want to spend an entire meeting removing lint from your body (unless maybe if that’s more interesting that the actual meeting)!
4) The Extra Dirty Stuff
If you are doing laundry for your family and there are family members who always make their clothes extra dirty, don’t worry. Just toss these clothes in with some Bio Concentrated Laundry Liquid and let it work its magic. Its special formula uses natural enzymes to kick the grime from everyday life to the curb. (We know a friend who says it’s perfect against her husband’s sweat-stained shirts.)
5) The Little Ones
Don’t forget all the clothes for the little ones in the family! They probably produce the most laundry too. Good thing they’re all small! When it comes to newborns and infants, it’s always better to be on the safe side and not use anything with chemicals that they could still be sensitive to. After all, they’ve barely spent time exposed to the world! Ecover’s ZERO range is specially formulated with only plant-based ingredients and absolutely no fragrance, colourings or enzymes. It is also irritation and allergy free! In the range you’ll find the Ecover Zero Laundry Liquid and Ecover Zero Fabric Conditioner especially for your baby.
6) The Good Old Friendlies
Now that you’ve taken out certain items that call for special attention, you’ll be left with the good old friendlies like cotton, linen, fleece, nylon, acrylic, rayon and polyester. They’re friendly because they’re the easiest bunch to do in your laundry. You can wash them together, in any temperature from 30°C–50°C, with an all-purpose detergent such as Universal Washing Powder or Non-Bio Laundry Liquid. Keep them soft and nice by adding a fabric softener like Gardenia and Vanilla Fabric Softener or Apple Blossom and Almond Fabric Softener. But wait, there’s one more sort to do!
7) All the Colours of the Rainbow
…do not fit in the same laundry load. This is the last sorting, we promise! Separate whites from dark colours, like black, gray, purple, red, and from lighter colours, such as pastels and yellows and do them in separate loads if possible. You can use Color Washing Powder to keep your whites crisp and your colours strong. Also, to test colourfastness, spray some water on the article of clothing and use a paper towel to blot to make sure the colour doesn’t run easily.
Phew! Now that you look at it, laundry does seem a bit of an uphill task, doesn’t it? Thankfully, you can actually have a multi-slot basket and sort as you go. That way on Laundry day, all you have to do is toss in the clothes, add the right detergent, press a button and sit back and relax!