Is There a Proper Way to Launder Your Clothes?

This week, when my 13-year-old daughter asked, “Dad? Will you do a load of laundry for me?”  I said to her, “do you want me to show you how to do laundry?”

She said, “sure,” and so I showed her.

My method is handed down from my Mom. At least I think it is. But where did she learn her method? Home Ec’ class? Her mother? Which got me wondering? How do most people wash clothes in the washing machine?

Here’s my method…

  1. Turn all clothes right-side-out and gently lay them, balanced, and as wrinkle free as possible, into the wash bin.
  2. Clothes should only fill about 3/4ths of the wash bin (if you have more, you’ll need to do a second load). It’s important not to overcrowd the clothing so the items can really move around in the soapy water.
  3. Mostly, I mix darks, lights, and all fabric types because mostly I wash everything with cold water. I know, I know, I should set aside the whites, at least, and do those on HOT …but I don’t. I think, when it’s all said and done, regardless of setting, washing clothes, any type or color, is just clothing in soapy water.
  4. Next, turn on the water and watch the wash bin fill.
  5. Only when the water is full and the wash cycle begins, add the soap to the water so the agitation of the machine will mix it around. I do this so the soap doesn’t all go on a single piece of clothing and, hence, never evenly distributes to all the clothing.

I have always had a washing machine with a center agitator. I have never had a machine with a soap dish where you fill it separately and then the machine, I assume, slowly trickles the laundry detergent into the water so to, as is my goal, not get all the detergent on some clothes and none on other clothes.

But what if I had no agitator? What if I had a front-loader? What if there’s a better way?

This week, we’re replacing my 30-year-old Whirlpool washing machine because this beast, that came with my house 20 years ago and looked ancient, then, finally spring a leak. Water comes out the bottom during the wash and rinse cycle. Not a ton of water, but enough that we’ve had to create a system of dams, dikes, and barricades to keep the water flowing from the washing machine to the floor drain and not hit the wall or flow away from the drain. This old machine has the most basic settings. Our new machine, and LG WT7300CW, has a digital readout and many, many cool settings, and has 5.0 cubic feet of capacity compared to my current machine that might have 3.1 cubic feet, or less.

I’m going to have to learn a whole new system and come up with new laundry theories.

Change is hard.

But I look forward to the challenge of finding the right way to wash clothes in my new machine.

 

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