Sunday, June 11, 2006

Suds! I Need Suds!

To me, suds are an indicator of how clean my laundry will be each time I do a batch of wash. The frustrating thing about my need for suds is I have to be patient - not one of my virtues.

According to the instructions printed on the inside lid of my washing machine... You can turn on the machine, toss in the batch of laundry and add the laundry detergent or soap (soap is better for fine washables and babies and children's clothing because it is less harsh and won't irritate delicate skin) while the tub is filling with water.

If I follow these instructions, which are certainly easy, No Suds!

However, if I follow the instructions on the container of laundry detergent/soap I should fill the tub with water, add the detergent and then after the tub is filled (and there are lots of suds) - add the batch of laundry.

When I follow these instructions, which take patience - Ladies and Gentlemen, We have Suds!

So, guess which method I choose to follow? The sudsy one!

Are my clothing and other washables any cleaner? It's hard to say, but I feel better about the results.

One thing I have learned about laundry detergent/soap is that the textile manufacturers say the worst thing we do for our clothing is use too much detergent/soap. That's right, we should follow the loading instructions listed on the detergent/soap containers but we should not follow the instructions for measurements.

I use half the amount of detergent listed in the instructions.

Hard water, too much detergent/soap, the wrong water temperature and inadequate rinsing all cause dingy results. Of course mixing lights and darks contribute to off-colored apparel, too.

So, my tips for better results in your laundry room...

1. Pre-treat stains
2. Don't go outside in your stocking feet (that's why we have shoes or slippers)
3. Use less detergent/soap - 1/4 cup max (it's the residual detergent that makes fabric dingy and stiff)
4. Separate Lights and Darks (don't put red socks in with white socks)
5. If you have hard water - use a water softening agent (20 Mule Team Borax)
6. Follow clothing label instructions - if it says No Bleach - don't use bleach, use non-chlorine bleach - like Biz or Clorox 2
7. If you can, do a second rinse (that's when I add fabric softener)
8. Wash towels twice - the second time without detergent/soap (basically that's 2 extra rinses and they'll be very soft)
9. Never use fabric softener on your towels (they'll be more absorbent)
10. When possible, hang your laundry outside to dry, Mother Nature is the perfect whitening agent for your whites
11. When using a dryer - fold or hang clothing while still warm - it will eliminate the "Yes, I slept in my clothes" look.

Well, that's it for Laundry 101 by rrrt!

If you have more Tips and Tricks for awesome laundry results - please share!

May all your batches of laundry be filled with suds!

Love you!


BusyMaMa said...

I line dry pretty much everything I own. It seems to keep my clothes looking and fitting better longer. Brian's? I ALWAYS dry them in the dryer. Because it seems no matter what I do to his clothes, they always look brand new.

What's up with that? Boys don't even care what their clothes look like.

Go figure, his require the least maintenance!

Kara said...

I love this post! It makes me want to get a house or some place with a yard so I can hang my stuff to dry outside and do lots of laundry. Thanks Ruth!

Emily Kate said...

Ruth, I just had to say that I've been thinking of you every time I've done my laundry! :)