Tips on Cleaning Every Kind of Fabric
You are a busy person, and you’ve got plenty of household chores to keep up with as well. Getting the laundry done seems to be one of those never-ending tasks that keep creeping up on you. Help has arrived! We will go over some tips to make laundry day more efficient.
Start with Quality Clothing Items
You work hard and are on the go all day. If you wear nurse scrubs, you are likely wearing them not only at work but while you run errands and maybe even while you lounge around the house. Making sure that you purchase quality items ensures that you are starting with fabrics that can take some abuse, as well as a good scrubbing, and still come out of the laundry looking fresh and new.
Check the Labels!
Make sure to read the labels and check what type of material you are working with, as well as the laundering instructions. Certain fabrics like linen and wool need special care during washing. Fabrics with a high percentage of linen and rayon may also need some ironing after being dried.
Prep the Clothes for Washing
A lot of people just toss everything from the hamper right into the washing machine, but taking some time to prepare the items can make for a much more efficient cleaning, as well as extend the life of your clothes. Go through the pockets! All of them! One pen left in the pocket of your jogger scrubs can destroy a whole load of laundry. And an overlooked tube of lip balm can leave you with oil stains on all your clothes. Turn the pockets inside out if you can. This lets them get a good cleaning, as well, and gets rid of built-up debris that hides in the bottoms of pockets.
Tie up drawstrings into a bow to keep them from working their way out of place, or from getting tangled into one big knot in the spin cycle. Fasten snaps and zip up zippers, like on scrub jackets, to keep them from catching on other items. Leave buttons unbuttoned, though! This will help prevent the button holes from getting stretched out. Make sure to remove any pins or clips from clothes as well. Don’t forget to unroll cuffs, and give bunched-up socks a shake to get them opened up and ready for a good washing. For the most thorough and efficient cleaning to take place, the detergent needs to be able to easily access the fibers of the fabric, as well as be easily rinsed away.
Deal with Stains Before the Clothes Go in the Washer
According to the Guru of All Things House-Related (yeah, we’re talking about Martha, here), the sooner a stain is dealt with, the better. Immediately remove the surface residue, and then gently dab the spot with cool water to try to prevent it getting too set in. Some people have good results with portable stain removal pens and sticks, but be cautious with colored fabrics.
If you work in a medical setting, chances are you’ve got plenty of alcohol swabs within easy reach. These can be great for immediately tending to a stain with an oily base (like when you drop your hastily eaten lunch on the front of your scrubs) or when you get ink on your clothes.
Give every item a quick look before throwing it in the washer, or keep items that you know will need a pre-wash treatment in a separate hamper. Treat stains with a pre-wash stain remover or some directly applied laundry detergent. For those pesky oil spots, a high-quality liquid dish detergent applied before laundering can really make a difference.
After laundering, make sure to check if the stain is removed before putting the item in the dryer. Going through a dryer cycle can set a stain for life. If the stain is still there, treat the item again and rewash. For those oil stains that don’t have a color, let the item air dry to make sure your cleaning process was a success, and then next time launder as usual.
Extend the Life of Your Clothes
When taking clothes out of the washer, give each item a shake to help straighten it out before it heads into the dryer. This helps reduce the tension and strain on the fabric that happened while being bunched up and creased in the spin cycle. Shaking out your clothes also separates and detangles items, which helps them dry more quickly and come out of the dryer with fewer wrinkles, as well as saving energy.
Buying quality clothes and scrubs, and taking good care of them, extends the life of every item you own. Following these tips can not only help you on laundry day but leave you feeling satisfied with a job well done. Removing stains and properly laundering clothes keeps them in good shape and looking new so that you can put your best foot forward every day.