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March 22, 2010 | by  | in Opinion |
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How to wash woollens

Yo mama shoulda told you this

Easy! At all points during this you want to rub the clothes as little as possible, down to stirring the bucket as minimally as possible. The more abrasion and rubbing, the more felt-like and weakened your garments will become.

Chuck it all in a bucket, fill with hot tap water plus a squirt of dishwashing liquid. Stir gently and leave to stand for 2-to-24 hours. Drain, refill the bucket with hot tap water, stir a bit, leave to cool a bit, drain and give it a bit of a squeeze. Lay it out, don’t hang it up (two towels underneath it on a drying rack is tops, if you’re not too fussed peg it up lying horizontally with lots of pegs on the washing line).

Wash towels separately. Wash your towels at least once a week, unless you can totally dry them out between uses. You could stir the towels in boiling water first, to kill the bugs, but letting them dry in the sun does the same.

All of your other clothes need separation into two washes: whites and blues, and reds and blacks.

Unless the blues are on their first wash, put your whites with your blues, always. Blue dye will make your whites appear whiter. Crazy huh. Blue jeans in this wash! Turn your jeans inside out to stop them from fading too bad—if you have a bad stain scrub it a wee bit first but you’l be suprised how clean it’ll get inside out anyway.

Delicates or anything which stretches a lot—separate by colour as above but put it into a delicates bag, or a loosely knotted pillowcase. You can pick these up from the $2 shop but I’d recommend buying a good one. This stops your underwear from looking a whole lot mankier than its age.

Turn on your washing machine and put the amount of detergent into a bucket with warm/hot water and swill it around until the detergent is dissolved, then put it into the bottom of the machine and your clothes on top. Set the machine—cold water wash (makes them last longer, cuts down your bills, and is better for the environment), water level each time to match the amount in there, and type of wash—if unsure, it’ll have a ‘normal’ setting so use that.

When the wash is done, line dry in the sun whenever possible, even if just for a little while. The sun kills bugs, including dust mites and other nasties that survive the wash. If you must use a dryer, air out your clothes before putting them away. Towels should always be given a good fluff-up shake and careful dampness check before being put away.

Dry your shirts on a hanger, and once dry, take a nice hot shower with them hanging in the room. This will effectively iron your clothes—how awesome is that!

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