Happy New Year!
Finally forcing myself to sit down in the midst of a busy laundry schedule, a podcast to edit, and other opportunities that I am dipped in and write this blog post that has been on my mind for several months.
I get asked a lot about what my some of my biggest laundry issues are and I can tell you that stains are a major issue but the biggest issue is surprise stains; stains that appear on clothes after they have been pre-treated and washed.
The dry-cleaning process can conceal a multitude of stains that will show up once you add traditional soap and water. I don’t have a recommendation for that simply because some clothing items, such as suit jackets and coats or fancy dresses and anything with a silk lining (that tends to shrink in the regular washing/drying process) are just easier to maintain if you send it to the dry-cleaner’s. I will say that if it’s liner-free, even if dry-cleaning is recommended, you can get away with machine washing and drying, but you will want to iron it so that it has the appearance of being dry-cleaned.
But, I digress. I’m hear to rant about the other reason surprise stains show up on your clothes. In case the title didn’t give you a clue, the biggest culprit is pockets. And, I know you know what I’m talking about.
Chapstick, crayons, lipstick, tissues, pens, and markers. These are all things that I have been unfortunate enough to find in other people’s laundry. In my old life, I’ve also been unfortunate enough to be the one responsible for fixing that issue, even if the customer did it to their own clothes.
I could go on and on for days (and I plan to) about how to get certain stains out of your clothes and linens, but the number one thing that you can do to avoid stains in the first place (other than wearing a bib) is to empty your pockets.
That’s it. That’s the advice.
The close second is to sort your clothes before throwing them in the wash and for the same reason.
If you sort your clothes and someone has left something damaging in the laundry hamper, you are more likely to find it before it makes it into the washer or the dryer. As you are sorting your clothes into lights and darks or hot water and cold water wash, you should also be checking the pockets (yes, even the small ones) to ensure that you have found everything that may cause stains or other damage to your clothes.
It should also be noted that even if the pocketed items are not damaging to your clothes, per se, they may be damaging to your washer or dryer, such as toy cars, batteries, or hairpins and so on. These items will clog up your machines causing them to malfunction and costing you a lot of time and or money to repair.
So, take my advice. Save yourself time. Save your money. Save your clothes. In 2020 resolve to empty your pockets before doing your laundry.