If you are new to the world of doing your own laundry do not despair. It is not as difficult as you might have thought. There are many types of new detergents, washers, and chemicals out on the market today that may confuse you but follow these steps to be on your way to clean clothes.
Separate your white clothes from your colors. Never wash white clothes together with colors because the colors can bleed off from the clothes and stain your white clothes. This is what happens when you sometimes hear the stories of a person’s white socks turning pink in the wash.
Do not fill the washing machine to the brim with clothes. This decreases the efficiency of the cleaning process. It is best to half fill to three quarters fill a washing machine with clothes.
When washing colors add the designated amount of laundry detergent, either dry or liquid. Do not use bleach with colors. It will run the dyes of the colors all out and they will mix with other clothes, ruining them. Also add fabric softener to the laundry load. Fabric softener coats the fibers of your fabrics making them softer to the touch.
When washing whites, fill with laundry detergent as in step 3 above. You may also use fabric softener. Use bleach either every load or every other white load. You do not need to use too much bleach in a laundry load. A few tablespoons to half a cup will do the job. If you use too much bleach in the load your laundry will have that chlorine type pool smell.
Use the hot water cycle to wash whites. Use the warm and cold water cycles for colors. Do not use the hot cycles for color clothes because the higher temperature water may spread the colored dyes around and they may mix.
If your laundry is particularly soiled and dirty you may use a stain remover spray on the soiled portions of the clothes before washing them. Just a couple of squirts on the stain will work. Also you may use the 2nd rinse setting on the washing machine.
When the loads are done, transfer them to a laundry dryer. Put a fabric softener sheet in the dryer. This will reduce static cling on the cloths and also add a nice perfumed smell to the clothes. You may use the regular heat setting on the drying machine. Use the permanent press setting if you want to reduce the amount of wrinkles in the clothes such as with collared shirts.
Never add bleach to color clothes. It will ruin the colors.
When dealing with a new or different type of fabric that you are not used to, use the gentlest wash and dry cycles as possible.