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How to Wash Clothes 1

Are you clueless about how to wash clothes?  No worries!  I've got you covered!

As a young person many years ago, I was never taught how to laundry.  Many young people today also were never taught how to do this basic chore. How or why this basic information doesn't get transmitted to the next generation is still a mystery!

Thank the Lord for the information age and the Internet!

If you need information on how to wash clothes, then look no further. The tips on this page and the laundry tips section are here to help you.

How to Wash Clothes 2

How to Wash Clothes 3

How to Wash Clothes
Regular Wash Time

Part of good organizing is setting aside time for regular chores. Laundry is something that should be done weekly. Don't wait until you're down to your last pair of socks!

Many people find Saturday morning a good time to do laundry. Others would rather do other things with their time on the weekends.

The main thing is to pick a regular time to do your laundry.

We picked Thursday night. We find we can watch TV and put a load on to wash during a commercial. It's amazing what you can accomplish instead of watching advertising!

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How to Wash Clothes
The Basics of Where to Start

Sort It Out: Be sure to take time to do this step first:

  • Presort your clothing. This item may come in handy.
  • At the most basic level, separate whites from colors.
  • Wash jeans separately.
  • Don't wash sheets and towels together as towels could leave fuzzy bits on your sheets.

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How to Wash Clothes
Check Labels

Check Labels: Always, always, always (did I say always?) check the labels:

  • Check the labels on your clothes.
  • Some items are not washable.
  • Some need to be washed with the garment turned inside out.
  • Some are okay with chlorine bleach others are not.
  • Some are dry clean only.
  • Some can be washed but must use the delicate cycle.

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How to Wash Clothes
Stay Out of How Water

Stay Out of How Water:  It's not necessary!

  • It really isn't necessary to use hot water to wash clothing.
  • Modern detergents do well in warm and/or cold water.
  • Use either a warm wash/cold rinse or cold wash/cold rinse setting.
  • This not only saves your clothing but saves energy and your money as well.

How to Wash Clothes
Set Up the Washer

Set Up the Washer:  Washing machine settings should be set for the load you will be doing:

  • Set the washing machine for the load you will be doing.
  • Most washers have a small/medium/large load size.
  • Set the temperature to warm/cold or cold/cold.
  • Check your washing machine instructions (if you have them).
  • Some machines want you to put in the detergent first, then the clothes.
  • Other machines recommend clothes then detergent.
  • Some of the fancier machines have settings for jeans and/or delicate cycles.

How to Wash Clothes

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Soap: Make sure to use the correct soap.

  • Using a gentle detergent is better for your clothes and the environment.
  • It's really not necessary to use anything harsh.
  • If you have stains, pre-treat the clothing at least 5 minutes before washing.
  • Check the how to do laundry tips for treating stains.
  • Let the water and detergent mix well prior to adding your clothing.
  • I recommend using a liquid detergent over a powder as it mixes with the water easier and there is less chance of soap residue on your clothes.

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How to Wash Clothes
Load Up the Machine

Load it Up:  It's time to add your clothes.

  • Time to add your clothes, but don't over-load the machine.
  • Putting in too many items can cause damage to your clothes such as soap stains, etc. as well as damage to the machine (weight of too much water and heavy clothing puts a strain on the motor).
  • Break it up into smaller loads.
  • The clothing needs to move freely through the soapy water to clean properly.
  • This is especially true with heavy items such as jeans and towels.
  • Clothing with patterns/prints should be turned inside out to wash.
  • This preserves the color and avoids fading.

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How to Wash Clothes
To Bleach or Not To Bleach?

Bleach?  Maybe:

  • For your whites, adding bleach to your load helps whiten, brighten and remove stains.
  • Some machines have a special place to add bleach which is gradually added to the clothing.
  • Measure out the appropriate amount of bleach (check your washing machine instructions).
  • If your machine does not have a special compartment for bleach, add the bleach to the water/soap mixture and let it mix well with the water prior to adding your clothing.
  • Be careful about splashing bleach on you and the clothes you're wearing.
  • For clothing with color, there are color-safe bleaches that can be used but be sure to check the label of your clothing to be sure prior to use.

How To Wash Clothes
Get Ready to Start!

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Get ready to start the machine: Let the machine work for you!

  • Put in the clothes (remember one load at a time and don't mix the colors and whites).
  •  Let the machine do the work for you!
  • My clothes are clean now what?
  • Good question! Washing your clothes is only part of the job. They need to be dried.

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How to Wash Clothes
Dry Time

Dry Time: Check those labels again!

  • Some clothing should be air dried.
  • Others (like sweaters) need to lay flat to dry.
  • Always, always check the label to be sure.
  • You don't want to shrink anything!

How to Wash Clothes
How Hot is Too Hot?

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How Hot is Too Hot? Check temperature settings.

  • Most dryers have a temperature setting of some kind.
  • You really don't need the hot, hot, hot setting.
  • The majority of clothing do better with regular heat setting that has a cool down cycle.
  • This helps reduce wrinkles and the need for ironing.
  • Some have settings for how long the dryer runs.
  • Basically, the heavier the item, the longer it takes to dry the item.
  • Jeans and towels will take longer than ladies delicate items.

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How to Wash Clothes
Catching Lint

How to Catch Lint:  Don't forget this important step!

  • Every dryer has a lint trap that needs to be cleaned out prior to using the dryer. 
  • Not cleaning the trap will cause problems such as:

            *Longer time to dry your clothes (or they don't dry at all) and/or

            *Potential fire hazard from lint in the trap catching fire due to

              the heat.

  • Always check the trap before and after every load to be on the safe side.

How to Wash Clothes
Don't Over-Load

Don't Over-Load:  This goes for the dryer as well as the washing machine:

  • Just like the washing machine, you don't want to over-load the dryer, either.
  • Jeans, sheets and towels can be very bulky when wet.
  • If you did a good job sorting, you shouldn't have a problem here.

How to Wash Clothes


  • You've cleaned the trap and checked your dryer settings.
  • Load your clothes
  • Add a fabric softener dryer sheet to the load before closing the door
  • Start the machine.

How to Wash Clothes
What's That Buzzing Noise?

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What's that Buzz?  The dryer buzzed, now what?

  • That means the load is done.
  • Check everything first to be sure they are completely dry.
  • Clothing can wrinkle and even mold if not dried well.
  • Removing your clothes and folding/hanging immediately (while their nice and warm) will help prevent wrinkling.

How to Wash Clothes
Get "Hung Up" For Success!

Hang it Up!  You're almost done!

  • Now that your clothes are clean and dry, hang them in your closet
  • Fold what needs to be folded and place them in your dresser drawer.

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Good News - Bad News

How to Wash Clothes -- The Good News:

Congratulations! You've successfully completed your first load of laundry. You now know how to wash clothes!

How to Wash Clothes -- The Bad News

Now that you know how to wash clothes, you have no excuses for dumping 3 months of laundry on your over-worked wife or mom!

Links to Other Related Topics

For more information on laundry, check the information on these pages:

Go to: How to Remove Stains,

Go to: How to Solve Common Laundry Problems,

Go to:  How to Wash Clothes,

Go to:  Laundry Room Organizers

Go to: Stain Removal Chart

Go to:  Tips on Laundry

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