Raise your hand if you happen to know ANYONE who’s a laundry enthusiast. I’m sure there is no such thing. And even if there happens to those that love doing laundry, then maybe they’re the ones whose livelihood depends on it. But even then, nobody likes doing laundry. And this applies to both those living a hectic life and the not-so-busy types.
Whatever the case, the moral of the story is that you have to do your laundry. Even if that means going to a Laundromat once a week or something like that. And you know what, comparatively speaking, using such self-service laundry services is more cost-effective than actually buying a washer and dryer and also installing it.
Now let’s get to the point. In this article, you’ll find a comprehensive guide on how to do laundry. Along with the most effective tips for the best Laundromat experience!
Table of Contents
All You Need to Know About Using A Washer and Dryer
Understanding the Whole Machinery
Do you really know how washers and dryers work? Of course, one model differs from the other. Nevertheless, you should understand the general rules before you go about doing piles of laundry.
Understanding Washer Settings
Any washer offers 3 primary functions – water temperature, cycle speed, and cycle length. These three factors have a direct impact on your laundry items. And not all three need to be combined. Meaning some washing machines feature the three functions as individual units. Therefore, placing more customization and control into your hands.
On the other hand, other machines have linked up the water temperature, cycle speed, and cycle length settings.
- Cycle Length
So let’s start with cycle length, also known as a timer. It’s the length of time the washer takes for cleaning your dirty clothes. Needless to say, a shorter cycle is more suitable for delicate, less soiled/dirty items. Plus, shorter cycles also mean that your garments spend less time spinning around in the machine. So they last longer.
But then for bulky, heavily soiled clothing, a longer cycle is a must.
- Cycle Speed
Moving on to cycle speed, it’s the force/speed at which your clothes are washed. The options in this category are Delicate, Regular, and Permanent Press. In simpler words, Delicate is slow, Regular is fast, and Permanent Press is fast/slow.
Regular cycle speed involves fast wash and fast spin cycles. And it seems like the perfect choice for your bulky clothing items. Also the most commonly used for everyday laundry.
The fast/slow Permanent Press cycle’s washing process is fast with a slow spin cycle. So if you have any fabrics you know are highly susceptible to getting wrinkled, then select this particular setting. Because slower spin does indeed minimize wrinkles.
What about the Delicate speed? It has slow washing and spinning cycles the most fitting for delicate materials or embellished items.
- Water Temperature
Now let’s talk about what the temperature of the water should be. And how it affects the whole process.
Cold water is the go-to option because, for one, it preserves energy and saves money. And secondly, using cold water is good for your textiles too. So those favorite ripped jeans or fancy sheets you spent so much money on are sure to last for a much longer time.
But then what’s the general rule here? Cold water works the best with dark colors. While hot water does a better job of washing heavily soiled and white items. But then the drawback of using hot water is that it tends to fade colors in the long run.
No wonder cold water is the most commonly used for both bright and dark colors. And hot for light colors and white. However, the upside to hot water is also that it delivers additional cleaning power. So if your laundry is extremely dirty or even contaminated, then hot water is the way to go.
Understanding Dryer Settings
Not many know how to use the dryer, so the clothes end up frayed, shrunk, faded, etc. Little do we know that the process of drying also plays a huge role when it comes to making sure your clothes last longer.
But then these mistakes are so common because most dryer settings seem to be incorrectly labeled. So let’s find out the basics of using a dryer for the long-term benefit of your laundry items.
The Regular heat setting is the highest. So it’s supposed to be used for just heavy, bulky items. For example, towels, jeans, sweatshirts, and the like.
And there’s no denying that the Regular label here is used incorrectly. Because the highest heat setting isn’t really the Regular one.
- Permanent Press
Now this one’s the moderate heat setting that has a cool-down process toward the end for minimizing wrinkling. No doubt, Permanent Press is more regular than the Regular option itself.
The one setting that’s labeled appropriately is Delicate. It’s the lowest of the lot perfect for delicate and shrinkable fabrics like cotton, linen, wool, etc.
Not many know this but the Delicate dryer setting is also the most suitable for clothing that often retains odor even after it’s been washed. Such as yoga pants.
- Tumble Dry
This particular setting uses zero heat for the drying cycle. Therefore, also known as Air Dry. You can select Tumble Dry instead of Delicate in the case of very delicate textiles. Those items that are highly susceptible to shrinking or have embellishments have to be tumble-dried.
- Air and Line Dry
Do you have any whites you think could use a little bit of extra brightening? Or maybe those gym clothes that work so hard to absorb your sweat and make sure you don’t smell unpleasant while working out? If yes, then these are the types of clothing that benefit from such a drying cycle.
Plus, it’s the best for saving energy, money, and making sure your clothes maintain their original, high-quality condition for longer.
7 Most Important Tips for A Self-Service Laundry Experience
When it comes to laundry services, there are plenty of local Laundromats in America. Be it for residential laundry, commercial laundry, business laundry, or laundry online.
One such very popular establishment is this 24-hour Laundromat in Houston, Texas. It’s a laundry store that offers Wash and Fold services too. Along with a convenient lounge and free Wi-Fi services while you wait for your pile of clothes to become clean and fresh.
The average American takes around 1.5 hours for going through a single batch of laundry. And 1.5 hours are indeed LONG. But then you can make your wash-and-fold Laundromat experience less time-consuming with the help of these following tips…
#1 Sort Your Laundry Beforehand
Beforehand here means at home itself. So when you reach the laundry store, you don’t have to waste time sorting out your dirty clothes. You’re more organized for sure.
But then how to sort them out in the first place? Based on fabrics, colors, and other such preferences you may have. Once there, you can just get to your machine and start with the first load right away.
#2 Bring Your Own Detergent
But then isn’t the whole idea of carrying a large container of detergent from home to the Laundromat service inconvenient? Of course, it is. Instead, make small packs. You can use small-sized sealed polythene bags to make it less burdensome.
#3 Clean/Check the Machine Before Using It
You Google Laundry Near Me like so many people out there. What this means is that such laundries are crowded and busy. So it only makes sense if the inside of every washer is not 100-percent clean. So before you add your clothing items into the machine, check to see if there are any sticky detergent leftovers.
Likewise, check the automated bleach dispensers too. These should be dry and empty. Otherwise, use paper towels for soaking up what has remained.
Another rookie mistake people make at a laundry store is not checking if the washing machine is empty before stuffing in their laundry. You don’t want a leftover colored item, like a red sock from the previous batch, to ruin your clothing. So don’t forget to inspect before you start loading.
#4 Check Washer Settings
The widely popular Houston self-service laundry mentioned earlier, no doubt, offers high-quality washing machines. And such units feature multiple settings for accommodating all kinds of washables and clothes.
In that context, be sure to customize or select the water temperature, cycle length, cycle speed, etc. based on YOUR laundry. For instance, delicate items are only going to get damaged when the water temperature is hot and the cycle length is long.
#5 Time Your Laundry Load
With the help of the many laundry apps (available for free), you can get done with your laundry more quickly. Right when the washing cycle ends, you know you have to remove your freshly washed and dried clothes before someone else grabs them and just dumps them on the floor or counter.
#6 Shake Your Fresh Laundry Before Folding
What this does is prevents the formation and setting in of wrinkles from your fresh batch of laundered clothes. So when you shake them right after washing/drying and prior to folding, the need for ironing afterward is not of the utmost importance.
#7 Carry A Large Laundry Bag to the Laundromat
This bag should be large and clean, so you can just dump your clean washables and clothing into it post-washing and drying.
At the same time, make sure the bag is waterproof too. Because you obviously don’t want rainy weather conditions to spoil the whole thing while you’re on your way home.
Frequently Asked Questions About Laundry and Laundromats
How to Sort Laundry?
You can sort your laundry in the following manner…
- By Color
Keep in mind that dark colors bleed dye when subjected to the washing cycle. In that light, it’s not only important but necessary to separate dark from light.
- By Weight
Needless to say, some fabrics are heavier and bulkier than others. So these should also be washed separately from the ones that are light or delicate, thus more prone to getting damaged in case you happen to load both together.
- How Dirty They Are
Obviously, the items that are stained or very dirty demand a heavier, longer washing cycle. So keep these away from those that just require regular wash settings.
How Often to Do Laundry?
Consider saving water, energy, and even the money you spend per Laundromat visit by doing laundry no more than is required. If your clothes and other items are smelly or stained, then it goes without saying that they need to be washed immediately to look and feel fresh. But not every garment has to be washed every single time you wear it.
How often to wash jeans? 1 wash per 4-5 wears.
How often to wash towels? Bath towels once every week and hand towels once in 2-3 days.
How often to wash bedding? Once a week or two.
How to Load a Washer?
Even a simple task like loading the washing machine properly can save a lot of energy and time. Take into account the washer’s drum size and then your laundry load size. Your clothes should have enough space in there to tumble properly. And all this without squandering water for no reason at all.
Use the popular palm trick for preventing the possibility of overloading. Place one hand into the unit’s drum. Does the hand fit between the drum’s wall and your clothing items? If yes, know that you’ve got the right amount of clothes in there.
Avoid cramming washables past the machine’s (front-loading especially) final row of holes that are present in the front. Top-loaders, on the other hand, do not accommodate clothes that go over the agitator.
So the next time you decide to just cram all your clothes into the machine just because you’re in a hurry, think again. Because excessive loads tend to damage fabrics.
Heading down to your local self-service Laundromat or even your dorm or building laundry room, you have to prep first. And those steps involved with prepping are discussed at length in this post. All important tips to make your laundry day and experience more convenient, easier, and quicker have been mentioned.
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