Laundry Sorting 101
Sorting the laundry is not necessarily a hard job but it can be time consuming. The time it takes for you to sort the laundry basically depends on two things: the size of your family and your lifestyle. Obviously, if you have a family of five you will spend more time sorting the laundry than someone with a family of two. Also, if you or another member of the family has a job that requires business attire, you might have to spend more time than someone who has to deal mostly with casual wear and sportswear.
While sorting the laundry takes time, it is well worth it as you can avoid laundry disasters such as your son’s favorite white T-shirt turning pink, or your husband’s favorite sweater coming back two sizes smaller. Today, clothing is not cheap, so you will want to protect the investment that you put into your wardrobe. The following are some helpful laundry sorting tips.
Check Clothing Tags
When washing an item for the first time, you should read the tag carefully to determine if that item needs special care. Many items will have normal washing instructions. However, you might find that many or your clothing items need to be hand washed and should not be placed in the dryer. When the tag says, “dry clean only” you will be safer following those instructions. Occasionally some people will disregard the instructions about dry cleaning and wash the item anyway. If you disregard laundering instructions you are taking a chance on ruining the garment.
Separate Delicate Items
Delicate things like lingerie should be washed separately. Lacy items or other delicates can be placed inside a pillowcase or a special laundry bag when you wash them. This will prevent them from getting tangled in with the rest of the laundry and possibly damaged.
It is most important to separate whites from other colors if you want them to stay white. One red item can turn an entire white wash load pink. Whites usually need to be washed in hot water.
Reds and most other colors can be mixed together to make a full load. However, you should be careful with darker denims. The dye may still bleed into the wash. It may be a good idea to wash these items separately.
Bedding and Linens
Towels and blankets are naturally lint producers. If you are concerned about getting lint on certain clothing items, you should wash towels and blankets separately. Sheets can sometimes be washed with other items, but most people like to wash them separately. When it comes to larger items such as quilts, it is usually necessary to wash them separately because of the space they take up in the machine. If you have a king or queen size quilt, you should make sure that your washing machine can accommodate bulky or heavy items such as these.
Most moms like to wash their baby’s cloths separately. Perfumes, dyes, body lotions and wool fibers can irritate a baby’s skin. So it is a good idea to keep baby clothes away from the regular laundry. You can also purchase special detergents that are formulated especially for baby clothes.
More Laundry Tips
If you don’t check pockets while sorting laundry, it could cause not only problems with the laundry but other valuables may become ruined. Here is a list of items that often get washed unintentionally: cell phones, watches, lipsticks, keys, money, pens and photographs. Now, you may notice that these things may look cleaner after being washed, but they will most likely be damaged. So it is a good idea to always check pockets before washing.
While sorting through the laundry you should also set aside anything that may have a stain that won’t come out with just regular washing. You may need to soak the item or pre-treat it with a special laundry aid. If a stain is washed and dried it may stay on the garment permanently.
It is just as important to be careful about drying clothes as it is washing clothes. If you check the tags on the clothing, it will tell you if the garment needs special care for drying. You should be familiar with the different settings on your dryer. Most drying machines have several settings to accommodate different types of fabric.
Laundry is not a fun job, but it is a necessary one. There are some people who don’t bother taking time to sort laundry beyond the colors and whites. While they may get away with that most of the time, they may be sorry after a garment is ruined because of improper washing. Taking time to sort laundry correctly will save you time and money in the long run.
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