A Few Laundry Tips for First Timers

Do you remember the episode in Friends where Ross teaches clueless Rachel the secrets of laundry? Most people feel just like Rachel when they leave their parents’ house and start taking care of themselves. Doing your own laundry the first time is practically a rite of passage. Congrats, you’re a certified adult now. But the task can be very confusing for first-timers, which is why we could all sympathize with Rachel. For all of you first-timers or those who are still embarrassed to ask, here are some helpful rules.

Sorting done right

It should go without saying that your clothes need to be sorted into lights and darks. Sorting will help you prevent the darks from bleeding into the lights and maintain your clothes’ original colors for longer. Use the cool wash cycle for your darks to save energy and keep your dyed colors looking saturated. Higher temperatures will help your lights and whites look even brighter. Don’t worry about the detergent, it’s equally effective for both cycles. Where does that separation leave gray clothes? As we all know, gray has many shades. So grays are more a matter of tone than color. Load light gray with your lights and dark grays with your darks.


Read the tags, people

Read the little tags with laundry instructions on your clothes. With time you’ll learn to identify the materials and know just how to take care of them. You’ll learn that your delicates and your fancy sleepwear need some more TLC — rather than loading it with the regular wash cycle, put them in a mesh bag and load them with a delicate wash cycle. Don’t put them in the dryer! Let them air dry on the clothesline and they will last for years.


Lights should also be sorted

Hot temperatures may help clean some clothes but be harmful to others (especially shrink-risks and elastics). So, after separating your lights from your darks, separate the take a look at your lights pile. Does it have any heavily stained garments, towels, underwear, sheets, or items worn by a sick family member? Load them all separately and use the hottest washing cycle. The rest can be washed regularly or even with the cool cycle.


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