An essential part of washing your clothes is to choose the right detergent for the type of fabrics being laundered, and for the wash cycle and temperature you are using. When washing at a lower temperature, you can use a biological laundry detergent, like Persil Small & Mighty Bio, as these contain enzymes, which are designed for effective cleaning, even at low temperatures. Just remember to follow the instructions on the detergent’s label.
Please follow the below key steps before washing your clothes!
• Make sure your machine is functioning properly – regularly cleaning your washing machine will help to keep it in top shape.
• Sort your laundry before loading your machine i.e separating coloured items of clothing from white items of clothing.
• Check the wash labels on your garments to make sure all clothing can be on the same wash cycle/temperature.
If you have just purchased your first washing machine you might still be worrying whether you’ve bought a good washing machine, how to use the different settings correctly, and what type of detergent you should buy. You might even need some pointers for how to use a washing machine for the first time. But it couldn’t be simpler, just follow our step-by-step guide for how to use washing machines, below.
Make Sure the Machine is Correctly Installed
Whether you’re doing this yourself, or the service has been provided as part of your purchase, you’ll want to know that your washing machine is set up the right way from the start. Consult the manufacturer’s instruction manual and check the water and electricity are connected properly, and the machine is placed on a level surface in a dry, safe location.
Sorting Your Clothes
Before you load your washing machine, be sure to check the care labels on your clothes and divide them into piles of garments of the same:
• colour (darks/colours/lights)
• fabric (e.g.: cotton, synthetics, wool, silk)
• maximum temperature (hand wash/30/40/60/90 degrees)
A guide to the symbols on care labels can usually be found in the manufacturer’s instruction manual for your machine.
How to Load a Washing Machine
The majority of washing machines in the UK are fully-automatic: they do everything for you – washing, rinsing, and spinning. But they are made in different shapes and sizes: some are top-loading; others are front loading, drum capacities range from 5kg to 10kg. It’s important that you learn how many clothes your machine can wash at one time, since an over-loaded machine can malfunction, or damage you fabrics. Most manufacturers’ instructions contain a guide.
Choose the Right Washing Machine Cycle
Modern washing machines use intelligent technology and sensors to adjust the cycle to the type of clothes you are washing. However, you should take care choosing the right temperature water, the correct amount of agitation, and how fast the drum should spin. All these elements will effect how well your clothes are washed. Many machines now have the following useful settings:
• Hand-wash/delicate/dry clean
• Shoes/Sports clothes
• Cold wash (30 degrees)
• Variable spin speeds
• Opt-in/out rinse cycles
Add an Appropriate Detergent & softner
Different brands of washing detergent & softner recommend different methods of adding it to the wash – some suggest you add detergent & softner directly to the drum, along with your clothes; others believe you should add it to the pull-out detergent tray in your machine. Whether you’re using liquid or powder detergent, always make sure it is suited to the fabric you are washing and follow the instructions on the packaging. Also check your machine’s instruction guide to find out what is recommended for your machine.
It’s not simply enough to know how to wash clothes in the washing machine, you should also read up on how to remove stains before you launder your clothes. A variety of stains are better treated directly or by soaking first. You can buy branded stain remover such as Vanish to help assist with stubborn stains
Tumble drying your clothes
When using a tumble dryer, it’s important to make sure that you follow the symbols on the label – some items do not respond well to tumble-drying! You can also freshen up clothes by drying them on a low heat for a few minutes.
Please follow the below key steps before drying your clothes!
• A square with a circle inside it means the item can be put in the tumble dryer.
• A large X through the square means the item cannot be tumble-dried.
• Two dots within the circle means you can tumble dry the item on a high heat.
What Does the Tumble Dry Symbol Mean?
We’ve all seen the diagrams on the labels of our clothes, but how often do you take the time to identify what they actually mean? Known as ‘Common Care Symbols’, it’s often easy to ignore these as common sense takes over – but the tumble dry symbol in particular is worth paying a little more attention to to avoid damaging clothes.
Why Tumble Dry?
Knowing when and how to use a tumble dryer will not only speed up your laundry process, but also prevent any shrinkages. A tumble dryer circulates your freshly washed clothes in hot dry air, in a larger drum than a washing machine, to dry your clothes more evenly and reduce creases. This means less ironing.
If the symbol has a large X through it, the item is unsuitable to tumble dry. The two dots contained within the circle symbolise tumble dry on a high heat, with a single dot symbolising tumble dry on a low heat.
Not all garments can withstand tumble-drying, so be sure to check labels for the tumble dry symbol first. Watch out for silk, knitwear, delicates, and dry-clean only items in particular, as these can be prone to shrinking and disfigurement.
When and How to Use a Tumble Dryer on a High Heat
For cotton and garments that take longer to dry (jeans, towels, sweatshirts etc.) use the tumble dryer on a high heat setting. This is also the best option for those occasions when time is not on your side, and you suddenly end up with a muddy sports kit that must be cleaned for that morning’s football match.
When And How to Use a Dryer on a Low Heat
Drying clothes on a low heat over a longer period of time will help remove creases and prevent fabrics from losing their stretch. Remember to look out for the single dot on the tumble dry symbol and, if in doubt, check the manufacturer’s instructions first.
How to Use a Tumble Dryer
Once you’ve taken your wet clothes out of the washing machine, leave to dry slightly before separating into high heat/low heat piles. Organising your washing in this way will not only save you time, but money too. The wetter your clothes, the more electricity required to dry them, so don’t be tempted to put a sodden towel in with a bunch of flimsy tops.
Your clothes will also dry quicker the less you pile into the dryer, so be careful not to overload it (about 5-6kg of dry laundry is the maximum recommended weight) and check any pockets first for loose coins or remnants from lunch – a stick of chewing gum or inky pen can lead to more than a little mess! Turn the dial to the correct setting and press ‘Start’. After the tumble dry has finished, remove clothes and fold or hang up whilst hot to reduce wrinkles and minimise ironing.