Doing Your Laundry

If feels great being independent and on your own. But with independence comes more responsibility and that means doing your own laundry. For some of you who had your parents wash your clothes, this might be the very first time you will ever even touch a washing machine. Do not fear, however, for the process is pretty simple. Here are some tips on how to do laundry.

The first thing you need to do is place all you clothes in a portable laundry basket. If you do not have one, you can place them in a trash bag temporarily, but it will make transporting clothes a lot easier if you have a laundry basket. The next thing you need to do is separate all the colored clothes from the whites. You don’t want to risk turning your white socks pink because a red shirt accidently slipped into the wash. It’s also important to check the labels of your clothes. Some might be too delicate for machine washing and require dry cleaning or hand washing. Do not put clothes that say "dry clean" or "hand wash only" into the washer. Doing so will cause your clothes to alter their shapes, or shrink unevenly. Also, check the clothing labels for what water temperature is best to wash those articles in. While most whites do best in warm water and dark colors in cold to prevent fading, some pieces of clothing having specific washing instructions.

Now open the washer and insert either the whites or colored clothes. Can’t tell which one is the washer and which one is the dryer? Usually the washing machine has the lid on the top and the dryer has a lid on the side. The dial will also say "wash" or "dry" on it.

Depending on how large your load is, fill the laundry cup or cap with the necessary amount of laundry soap. Heavy loads will generally be filled to the top or the third line, while lighter loads should be around the middle or second line. Don’t put too much soap in the washer, though, because you could possibly overflow it with bubbles. In addition, it’s important to know that washing machines vary. Some have specific spots where you place the laundry detergent whereas others don’t and you simply pour the soap directly on top of your clothes. Either way is fine. Close the washer lid once the soap and clothing are inside it.

Turn the washing dial to meet your preferences. Do your clothes require hot, warm or cold water? Are they heavily soiled, meaning you played flag football and they’re really dirty? If this is the case, you might want to turn the dial to the "heavy wash" setting. When the load is done, move the wet clothes into an open dryer. Make sure the lint is removed from the lint trap so that your clothes will dry faster. Insert a dryer sheet if you want your clothes to be a little bit softer. Turn the dryer on. Again, preferences vary, but if you’re not washing delicates, the "more dry" option is usually your best choice. When you hear the buzzer or when the dryer stops, check to make sure all of your clothes are fully dry. If not, dry them for a little longer. Once your clothes are done, immediately fold them or hang them to prevent wrinkles. Congratulations, your laundry is done.

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