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a washing label on an item of clothing


Laundry 101: A step-by-step guide

By ResLifeBath 17 Jul 2023

So you've worked out how to use the laundry machines, but what's the best way to wash your clothes?

There are a few things to think about when it comes to doing a load of laundry to avoid any damaged, shrunk, or stained clothing. If you're not sure where to start, we've got the complete guide you.

Make sense of the symbols

Before you start it’s smart to check your labels. This will help you choose the right wash for each garment so you avoid a laundry mishap. Most regular loads are easy to handle but it’s always useful for when you’re in doubt.

Here is an explanation of the symbols you might encounter and what they mean (click the image to download the file/zoom in):

Choose the right detergent

You will need washing tablets, instead of powder, for Circuit machines. Places like Aldi and Lidl have great alternatives for the more pricey, branded products.

Another thing to think about is whether you choose bio or non-bio tablets. Here’s the difference:

  • Bio
    Biological detergents have enzymes, which are very good at breaking down dirt into smaller bits. This means it’s easier to get rid of tough stains. However these enzymes can make your clothes irritate your skin.
  • Non bio
    Without biological enzymes, non-bio tabs are free from harsh chemicals meaning your delicate items are less likely to be ruined and they will cause less irritation to those with sensitive skin.

Looking for an eco-friendly option? Reusable products such as the ecoegg Laundry Egg are perfect for the more environmentally aware as it replaces laundry detergent and fabric conditioner with one, reusable container.

If it's not dirty, wash it at 30º

Generally, 30ºC is good for a normal wash. It’s also kinder to the environment to wash at a lower temperature as most of the energy use comes from warming the water. If you’re not in a hurry, an eco wash is even better because you’re using less water at a lower temperature than most settings but you’re getting the same level of cleaning with a longer wash time.

For dirtier clothes such as sports outfits, you’re better off picking a slightly higher temperature such as 40-60ºC to make sure you remove any tough stains. The same applies for bedding and towels, you might want to pick a 40ºC wash to give it a nice, thorough clean.

Avoid these common mistakes

  • Don't wash whites and darks together
    The old-school mistake. Unless you want to wear grey or faded-coloured t-shirts, divide your load into darks and whites.
  • Check your pockets!
    Easy to forget but always make sure to check and clear any pockets before adding them to the machine, tissues included! The last thing you want is a sneaky pen leaking all over your clean washing 🤦‍♀️
  • Double double check the temperature on the labels
    Want clothing fit for a hobbit? If you wash items on a hot wash, it can make your clothes shrink.
  • Keep new, bright clothes separate
    Any new item that hasn’t been washed a few times will likely bleed, especially if it’s a bright colour like red or blue. It's not always possible, but ideally wash them separately for a few washes first.

In conclusion, doing laundry doesn’t have to be a chore or a hassle. With these handy hints, you can enjoy fresh, clean and crisp laundry every time. Happy washing!