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The Laundry

The_LaundryThe hygiene of the dress we wear is as important as that of the food we eat. Unclean or improperly washed clothes can cause allergies and rashes, and in extreme cases, even diseases, which can prove fatal. An important aspect of our cleaning routine is the daily laundry that includes daily wears, upholstery and various soft furnishings such as bed sheets and covers.

Most people dread the washing day, as it could turn out to be a very tedious task. Washing the colored clothes and the light ones separately, softening of the fabric, dying and starching, and dry cleaning are some of the common washday routines.

Laundry Aids

Very often, when you take a trip to the local store for buying detergents, you are confused about the relative merits and demerits of amazing range of laundry products on the shelves. There are innumerable questions that arise in your mind such as which one is better, the one with the mild effect or the strong one, the one that smells good or the one that has natural softeners in it? The following are some of the common laundry washing items required by people.


People buy detergents based on various criteria ranging from the price, form {such as liquid or powdered}, smell and color, to its mild or strong nature. The most expensive detergent may not necessarily be the best; even a local brand could be equally effective in cleaning your clothes.

Different detergent types work for different kind of fabrics. Liquid detergents work much better in cold water than in hot water. Powder detergents are used for washing off dirt and soil. The ones with color-safe bleach or fabric softener are useful in saving both your time and money.

For woolen and delicate materials like lace and silk, gentle detergents are available in the market. Some of these also have an appealing fragrance, but this should not be the chief criterion for your buying decision, as it's not the fragrance but the cleanliness of the clothes that you are looking for.

Fabric Softeners

It's a myth that fabric softeners loosen the fibers on the clothes; in reality these softeners are effective if you hang the clothes for drying. They use cationic, a chemical that acts as a lubricant, electrically charging the fibers to bond together.

Bleaches and Boosters

Chlorine bleaches are mostly used for whitening and for killing bacteria and germs in the clothes. Their use should be limited to white towels, socks and undergarments and they should not be soaked for more than 15 minutes as it disintegrates the material.

The color-safe variation of bleach can be used on colored as well as white clothing. Liquid bleaches are useful in washing a big heap of cold-water clothes.

Besides the bleaches, boosters like OxiClean and Borax can be used as additional supplements to make cleaning more effective and easy.


Hot Water (around 120 F) - Wash only clothing items like bedclothes, whites, bathrobes, washable kitchen and bath rugs and pet bedding in hot water. Do not wash articles stained with protein such as grass, urine and blood.

Warm Water (around 95-105 F) - Synthetic fabrics, light colored clothing, blue jeans and wrinkle free shirts and pants should be washed in warm water.

Cold Water (around 75-85 F) Fragile lingerie and delicates, dark colored clothing items, T-shirts, washable suede and silks should be washed in cold water.

Tips for stain removal

Ink Stains- Two methods work very effectively for removing ink stains. Firstly, you could spray hairspray on the affected area and after letting it stand for 10 minutes, wash it away. Secondly, you could dab a milk soaked cloth from the outside inwards to rub off the ink stains.

Coffee Stains- Moisten a cloth in a mixture of warm water and egg yolk and rub on the stain till it is removed. You can put it in normal wash thereafter, but if the stain still remains, add a few drops of rubbing alcohol to the mixture and repeat the procedure.

Egg Stains- Use cold water to remove egg stains, as hot water would cook the egg, making it even more difficult to remove.

Blood Stains- Wash bloodstains in hot water. If necessary, you could also add a few drops of ammonia to the water if the stain is challenging

Useful Tips for Laundry

Laundry can be a tiring and boring chore. You could make it less strenuous if you organize and set aside days for washing the clothes. Place laundry baskets in each bedroom of the house to facilitate collection of dirty clothes. Additionally, the following tips could be very useful in speeding of the whole procedure.

  • Make separate baskets for colored and light clothes
  • Wash synthetics and natural fibers like cotton separately.
  • Don't use bleach silk, wool and treated cottons.
  • Check the garment labels to know the washing procedure to be followed.
  • Don't over dry the clothes, as this could lead to the fiber loosening and further tearing the clothing.

Washing clothes should be an activity in which every member of the house participates and equally contributes to lessen the burden. We all love the excitingly fresh smell of clean clothes that spurs healthy living. This should be the prime motivation behind following a clothes-washing regime rather than as an unavoidable chore.
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