Blokes Guide To Doing The Laundry
Contrary to popular belief by many guys (or at least, that’s what seems to be popular belief if the guys in my family are anything to go by), laundry is not done by little fairies. The entity that has to make sure that your dirty clothes (and things like towels, sheets and tablecloths) are taken from the bedroom (and the bathroom floor, the back doorstep and out of your sports bag) to the laundry, into the machine, onto the line then back again is you. We won’t even go there when it comes to ironing.
The first thing to do is to round up the dirty little suckers and get them ready for the laundry. Ideally, you have a basket, bag or box for collecting dirty washing rather than the method practiced by most guys of my acquaintance: dropping it on the floor. But we’ll ignore that part of it. What you have to do now is sort things out. While it’s tempting to just throw everything into a normal wash all together, sorting will avoid disasters like your red rugby shirt turning your white work shirts pink or your flannelette sheets leaving fluff all over your black polar fleece.
Sort things into several piles. Really, really grubby stuff (rugby gear, work overalls, things covered in mud) can go in their own pile. They’ll need a heavy-duty wash and possibly a bit of soaking, too. Then you’ll need two piles of normal gear – light coloured stuff like white shirts, grey singlets and pale fawn trousers in one pile; dark stuff like blacks, navy blue, greens, reds and so forth. Lastly, you’ll need a pile of things needing TLC – this includes satin boxers, woollen jerseys and silk shirts. Each pile need to go into the washing machine as a separate load, but the good news is you can procrastinate and wait until you’ve got a full load of one type – it saves power and washing powder. You may also like to have a separate pile for polar fleece so they don’t pick up fluff from cotton things.
Before you bung the clothes in, check the pockets for things like loose change and tissues – and you might find that missing phone number while you’re at it. Load the things in the washing machine and put in the right amount of powder. Program the machine to wash according to the water level, the temperature and any special instructions, such as soaking or delicate wash (that’s the one you use for the satiny boxers – and remember to wash woollen things in cold on a wool cycle). Cold washes are cheaper to do and work OK, but you need the right sort of powder. Most powders are OK in cold these days, except for biological (enzyme) washing powder.
Once the machine has done its thing, hang the clothes out or dry them in the machine. If you leave them in the machine for more than a day (overnight is OK), they’ll start to smell of tofu or old cheese. Line drying on a rack or outside on a line makes less wrinkles, so you can get away without ironing things much. If you’re using pegs, try to put the pegs on a part of the clothes that won’t show the marks, and try not to let the bit you’re pegging get too folded over, as this will make the things hard to dry. Hang towels from the corner, but you can fold sheets over. It’s a good idea to hang socks up in pairs so you don’t mismatch them – and you can see if you’ve got odd socks straight away.
Try to get in the washing on the same day as you put it out, although it’s not the end of the world if things sit on a drying rack for a day or so – or even on an outdoor washing line. If it gets caught in the rain, don’t panic – just think of this as an extra rinse cycle. But if you want to wear them and don’t fancy hopping out to the line in the nick looking for a clean pair of underpants, get them in and put them away a.s.a.p.
About the Author
Nick Vassilev is the founder of Anyclean, a successful cleaning company based in London, UK. His extensive knowledge about the cleaning industry helps him provide excellent cleaning services London and increased value for money to his clients.