Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Doing the Wash - Water Temperature and Stain Removal

Doing the Wash
Use a plant-based, fragrance-free laundry soap or detergent, or make your own with one of the recipes from the Recipes chapter. If you are using store-bought detergent, you probably don't need as much as the manufacturer recommends — try using one-third to one-half less, even with the ecofriendly brands.

Water Temperature

Choose water temperature based on the type of fabric and amount of soil in each load. Generally, hot water is only necessary for whites; everything else can be washed in warm or cold water. (More than 85 percent of the energy used by the average washer goes to heating water.) Use a cold rinse cycle for every load.
To save both water and energy, always choose the shortest cycle and wash time possible. Don't overload the washer, or clothes won't get clean. Some simple additives can improve your wash: a quarter cup of baking soda works as a fabric softener; to reduce static cling, add a quarter cup of distilled white vinegar. In either case, add during the wash cycle if you are using liquid laundry detergent, and during the rinse cycle if you are using a powder.

Treating Stains

Ideally, stains should be treated immediately, before clothing goes into the hamper or laundry basket. Time is of the essence; a fresh stain can be easy to treat, while one that has set overnight or longer maybe impossible to remove. It's impor­tant to identify stains properly in order to treat them — see the Stain Guide for more information and for specific stain-removal recipes.

Test fabrics for colorfastness before attempting any stain removal. To do this, snip a scrap of fabric from the inside of a seam and place it in a shallow bowl with a small amount of the stain remover for about ten minutes. Rinse, then compare the scrap with the untreated fabric.

These Tips was shared by Domestic Cleaning London


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