How to do laundry
Although it can sometimes be frustrating, washing clothes doesn’t have to be difficult. In this article we’ll show you how to do it so that you get the best results and enjoy fresh garments, every time. Lenor’s comprehensive laundry guide will walk you through every single step of how to do laundry, from prepping your clothes for a wash to drying them afterwards.
How to wash clothes in a washing machine
A washing machine takes the hard work out of washing laundry. By following a few simple steps and by using the right products, you can ensure your clothes come out irresistibly clean and fresh every time. Learn how to wash your clothes by following the below step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Read the care labels
Knowing your laundry symbols (those little icons printed on your garments’ care labels) is the first step to perfecting your laundry technique. Since different types of fabrics react differently to specific heat and water settings, as well as to different cleaning solvents, it’s essential that you follow the care label instructions carefully. These little symbols can give you information like whether your piece of clothing can be washed in a machine or only by hand, whether it is bleachable or not, and on what temperature you should wash it on.
Step 2: Sort your laundry
Next off, you’ll want to sort your laundry into different groups based on the garments’ shared needs. Here are a few ways you could go about this:
Create piles of similar fabrics: First, separate your laundry into two piles: one made up of heavy fabrics (e.g. jackets, jeans, heavy cotton sweatshirts), and another composed of lightweight or thin fabrics (e.g. blouses, t-shirts). Now, create a separate pile for delicates (e.g. lingerie, silk items), and another pile for towels and bed linens. Sorting laundry into fabric types, such as a cotton wash, allows you to use different water temperatures and keeps drying cycles simple. To reduce lint, never wash lint producing fabrics and lint attracting fabrics together. In case you are not sure if you can wash a specific item, read Lenor’s guide on how to deal with delicate fabrics here.
Sort by colours: By separating your fabrics based on colours, you can prevent your dark colours from staining your whites or lighter colour fabrics. We recommend you create two piles:
Whites, pastels, light greys, and light background prints Deep coloured clothes: black, red, navy, brown, dark grey
Heavily soiled items should be washed separately.
When in doubt, use colder washes, especially for dark clothes to avoid shrinking, fading, and bleeding of dyes. Using cold water saves energy and resources, too. For heavily soiled whites or light colours, however, warm or hot water may be the best bet.
Step 3: Prep clothes
Get your clothes ready for the washer and dryer by closing all zippers, hooks, and snaps, and fastening any Velcro closures. Unbutton all buttons (buttonholes can tear in the washer). Empty pockets and turn them inside out. Make sure your socks aren’t bunched up and unroll cuffs on pants and shorts. Tie any sashes or bows to prevent tangling. Put delicate items, such as lingerie and fine knitwear, in a zipped mesh bag.
Step 4: Choose the perfect detergent
First, get started with a high-quality cleaning detergent. You may decide to use Ariel for tough action on stains, Bold if you love scented detergent, or Fairy Non-Bio if you have sensitive skin. Doing laundry has never been easier with All-in-1 PODs. No need to dose, you just need to pop a pod in the empty machine drum before adding your clothes to ensure it dissolves properly.
Step 5: Boost the freshness of your clothes
To ensure your clothes stay fresher for longer, you can use an in-wash scent booster. These beads infuse your clothes with a burst of irresistible fragrance, keeping them fresh throughout long workdays and even the toughest of workouts. They also work wonders on towels and dog bedding to keep them smelling fresh even after multiple uses! Using them is simple: pour around half a cap of beads directly into the drum, just before adding your clothes.
For more information, check out our guide on how to use in-wash scent booster.
Step 6: Add fabric conditioner
While the PODs clean your clothes, adding a liquid fabric conditioner like Lenor into your dispenser drawer will soften, freshen, and protect your garments. Fabric conditioners work in the rinse cycle as lubricants, preventing your clothes from fading, stretching, and bobbling, so they come out super soft! And, of course, you get that amazing long-lasting freshness. You can read more about how to use liquid fabric conditioners here.
Step 7: Load the washer
At last, the time has come to place your clothes inside the washing machine! The number one rule of loading the washer is making sure not to overfill the machine. Most machines have instructions on filling or a fill-line right on the machine that you are not to exceed when putting items inside. Be sure not to cram more laundry in the machine than is recommended for your model. Overfilling your machine can cause your laundry to not clean properly, and over time, it can cause your machine to break.
Step 8: Pick the water temperature and cycle
To determine what temperature to wash clothes, check the care label on the garment for the water temperature and laundry cycle recommended by their manufacturer. For heavily stained clothing, bed linens and towels, use the highest recommended temperature setting. In most other cases (especially if you’re dealing with shrinkable fabrics), washing clothes in cold water and drying on low heat will usually deliver great results.
Depending on soiling and fabric type, you can choose from several cycle settings. For most loads, washing clothes on the ‘normal’ cycle will be fine. For fabrics that are prone to shrinking, pick the ‘permanent press’ option, and for even finer garments, like lingerie, lace, and silk, you should opt for the ‘delicate’ cycle. Finally, in case of heavily soiled clothes and sturdy fabrics like jeans and towels, there’s the ‘heavy-duty’ cycle, offering a longer wash cycle, greater spin speed and increased agitation.
Step 9: Unload the washer
Once the wash cycle has run its course, remove your wet garments from the washing machine immediately to prevent the formation of wrinkles and foul-smelling mildew on your clothes. Either line-dry your items outside, lay them on a flat surface, or place them in the dryer.
How to handwash clothes
Washing clothes by hand is the most gentle approach, and usually reserved for very delicate items, washing when you’re travelling or if you only need to wash one or two pieces. Fill your sink or bowl with lukewarm water (check your garment’s care label for specific temperature guidance) and add some laundry detergent. You’ll then want to submerge your garment in the water and agitate it a bit to get the detergent working. Don’t over soak delicate items. Rinse thoroughly, gently squeeze out excess water and — if the item is delicate — leave it to dry flat.
Drying your laundry
Master the art of drying your laundry for creaseless clothes and a longer lifespan with the below handy tips from Lenor.
Drying clothes in a tumble dryer
Separate your items. If you forgot about separating your laundry loads by fabric type before adding them into your washing machine, rectify that mistake now before you go ahead and dry your laundry. When tumble drying your items, make sure to dry lighter fabrics and heavier clothing in two separate rounds and on the right temperature (as indicated on the fabric care label) to protect them from damages and keep them from shrinking.
Add a dryer sheet. Once your machine-dryable clothes have been added to the dryer, place a Lenor Dryer Sheet on top of them. Not only will using a Lenor Dryer Sheet help fight static cling, but it also will help preserve the just-washed freshness even in the heat of the dryer, adding extra softness.
Pick a setting. There’s only one thing left to do, and that is to choose the right setting for your clothes. Thicker, sturdier fabrics such as jeans, sweatshirts and towels should be dried on a regular setting. For items prone to shrinking or fading, use the delicate setting (which uses low heat and a slower spin to reduce the chance of damage), or, alternatively, tumble-dry or air-dry them. For the rest of your clothes and sheets, stick to the permanent-press option, which will dry your items without getting them wrinkled, thanks to the combined use of medium heat and a slower spin rate.
Remove dry clothes. After the dry cycle is finished, unload your garments from the machine right away and hang them on a clothes hanger — or fold them soon afterwards to avoid wrinkling.
How to dry clothes without a dryer
If you’re serious about expanding the lifespan of your clothes, we suggest you either line dry them outside (if the weather allows), or dry them on a clothes-drying rack inside. You will not only save a lot of money and energy this way, but your clothing will also incur less damage compared to what it would have to go through in a clothes dryer, ensuring greater longevity.
Whether drying outdoors or in, be sure to give each item a shake before hanging – this will help fluff up fibres and prevent static cling. Try to stretch each garment out fully to prevent creases. Delicate items such as shirts and camisoles will benefit from drying on hangers, but knitted, stretchy and heavy items should be dried flat to retain their shape. Always make sure items are thoroughly dried before putting them away.
Find out more about air drying your clothes
Drying Clothes In and Outside
How To Dry Clothes In Winter