Laundering clothes is not necessarily the most interesting topic, however, I feel it is one that must be covered.
Time and time again, I see people walking down the street in murky brown clothes: a vague resemblance of something that once sparkled crisp white.
I see stains embedded on fabric and perfectly good clothes, looking ever so shabby.
My absolute pet hate, is when I walk past a man who has the stale smell of body odour – oozing from the material of his shirt. We all know men like this: they appear clean, and freshly showered – yet their clothes have a stench that resembles something of a dead rat.
There is one reason and one reason only for these offensive odours, and that is, bad laundering.
I do not blame these men, their Mothers have obviously never taught them how to wash clothes properly. In fact, I can’t believe how many women don’t know either.
Let’s first cover some of the basics: never wash your clothes in cold water (unless the washing instructions on the tag say otherwise). A warm to hot temperature is imperative in removing strong body odours. You wouldn’t wash your dishes in cold water, as it doesn’t clean them properly – the same applies for your laundry!
Before washing, divide clothes into the following piles: white, dark/black, light colours and dark colours. Each coloured pile should be washed separately, I do however, put all underwear (except for dark/black ones) in my white pile; for reasons I’ll explain in a minute.
Now check your garments for stains, such as spilled food/drink, etc. Spray the stain with a spray-on stain remover. I prefer ‘Vanish Preen’; it works well, without discolouring the fabric.
If a stain persists, try soaking the garment overnight in a bucket of hot water and powdered stain remover (I use Napisan). The next day, wash it in the machine on a normal cycle. The other trick you can try for stubborn stains, is scrubbing it by hand with laundry soap (velvet laundry soap is my pick), before washing it in the machine.
I always add fabric softener to my loads of washing: it takes away the stiffness of the material when dry – you can alternatively use white vinegar if you wish.
White clothes, should always be crisp white, and if washed properly, is easily achieved. I am amazed at how many people throw their white garments out after only a couple of wears, due to ‘discolouration’.
All you need to do, is soak your whites for around two hours in hot water, with a scoop of powdered stain remover (Napisan). My machine has a soak cycle on it, but if yours doesn’t, soak it in a bucket. After it has soaked for a couple of hours, wash it through a normal cycle in the machine – I include underwear in this load: it removes stains, and keeps them looking brand new. It really is that simple. Your whites will come out sparkling – every time!
Some washing labels instruct you to wash certain garments by hand. I personally cannot be bothered with this, and instead, have found an easier way: simply put the garment in a washing bag (most supermarkets sell these), and wash it on a delicate cycle in the machine – much easier, and quicker!
In today’s world, clothes are expensive: why throw them out prematurely when you can keep them looking brand new, by simply laundering them properly in the first place.
Presentation is important – make sure you look your best in all areas, at all times.
‘Shabby clothes, leaves a shabby impression!’
Stacey Sellars is a regular contributor to The Successful Male Magazine.