Before washing a new piece of clothing, always read the manufacturers label to know the type of care your clothes need; if it should be washed by hand or if it can be washed in the washer and also how the water temperature should be. In general, it is better to classify clothes by color or according to the care they need, therefore you should make a selection for white clothes, one for colored clothes and another one for your delicate items, since each piece needs a different water temperature and different treatment as well.
How you dry your clothes is more important than it seems. If you take the appropriate precautions when using the dryer or laying out your clothes to dry, they will last longer. Besides, if your clothes have been washed properly, they will need less ironing, thus receive less heat and fewer aggressions. When laying your clothes out to dry you should be careful to lay them by their seams and to pay attention to the fold on your pants. If you aren’t careful, they will get creases in the wrong places and they will be more difficult to remove later on. If you have a dryer, it is advisable not to fill it up completely so clothes can dry faster and get fewer wrinkles.
How to wash dark clothes
When washing dark clothes, add a little vinegar to the water in your washer to stop your dark clothes from fading. Use only cold water in the washing and rinsing cycles.
How to wash dark silk clothes
For washing black or dark silk clothes, you must use strong cold tea instead of clear water. Add a few drops of ammonia to the water.
How to wash silk clothes
Use only cold water in all cycles. Do not ring, just squeeze in your hands. Add sugar and a few lemon drops to the last cycle. Never dry in the sun. Iron on the wrong side.
Add a little bit of vinegar to the water in the last wash cycle, when you wash white silk clothes.
Silk scarves are better washed with soft soap like hand soap. Roll them in a towel. When they are dry keep them rolled so they do not get creasing marks.
How to wash delicate clothes
If you don’t have a mesh bag for your delicate clothes, you can use a pillow case. Put your clothes in and close the ends with safety pins. Use the delicate cycle of your washer
Washing wool, cashmere or angora
If you want your cashmere or angora sweaters look new for a long time, leave them in a tub with water and add a few drops of ammonia. After that you don’t need to use soap or detergent and do not need to scrub either. Rinse with cold water and place them on a clean towel or drying rack. Remove wrinkles and give them the desired shape. When they are dry, they will be ready to wear.
Another way to preserve angora or cashmere clothes from losing their hair is to put them in an air tight zippered plastic bag and place them in the freezer for three or four days.
How to wash wool sweaters
Pure wool sweaters require a little more attention so this is what you should do: Mix the following ingredients and put them in a bottle. Use this instead of detergent.
If you want your sweaters to be soft and you don’t have any fabric softener, add a tablespoon of hair rinse to the water.
How to wash cuffs and collars
Make a soft paste using soap and baking soda. Use a soft brush and gently brush it the dirtiest areas. Wash normally afterwards.
You can also put a little bit of shampoo and leave for a couple of hours. Then rinse.
How to wash white dirty socks
White clothes, especially children’s clothes, get very dirty. To remove stubborn dirt from white socks, put them in a pot with water, heat, and add a slice of lemon. They will recover their whiteness.
How to remove sweat smell from clothes
To remove the smell of sweat from clothes, prepare a solution of 2 part of ammonia and 8 parts of water and apply on the most affected areas.
Add ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle in your wash.
Another way is to prepare a mixture of warm water and vinegar and apply it directly over the most affected area.
How to wash tarnished clothes
Wash with warm water, detergent and vinegar.
Boil potato skins, and use that water to wash tarnished clothes. They will look good again.
Boil clothes in water with white vinegar and milk.
How to wash towels
Sometimes towels keep a funny smell even if they are clean. To prevent this add a ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle in you washer. Adding vinegar will also make them feel softer.
Towels must dry well and fast. If they take a long time to dry they will smell. Always place towels in an area with high ventilation.
If towels are highly tarnished and smelly, soak them overnight in water and salt. Wash them normally.
How to keep your clothes looking new
Don't wear them. Just kidding! Always add white vinegar to the last cycle in your laundry.
Control suds in your washer
We shouldn’t use too much detergent in our washing so we don’t have too many suds. But just in case you accidentally overdo it, eliminate excess suds with a sprinkle of salt.
Dry clothes in the winter
Use salt in the final laundry rinse to prevent clothes from freezing if you use an outdoor clothes line in the winter.
Wash colored curtains or washable fiber rugs in a saltwater solution to brighten the colors. Brighten faded rugs and carpets by rubbing them briskly with a cloth that has been dipped in a strong saltwater solution.
Remove perspiration stains
Add four tablespoons of salt to one quart of hot water and sponge the fabric with the solution until stains fade.
Remove blood stains
Soak the stained cloth in cold saltwater, then launder in warm, soapy water and boil after the wash. Use only on cotton, linen or other natural fibers that can take high heat.
Tackle mildew or rust stains
Moisten stained spots with a mixture of lemon juice and salt, then spread the item in the sun for bleaching. Then rinse and dry.
Clean a dirty iron bottom
Sprinkle a little salt on a piece of paper and run the hot iron over it to remove rough, sticky spots.
Tackle wine spills
If you spill wine on the cotton or linen tablecloth, dry up as much as possible with paper towels or a rag and immediately cover the wine with salt. This will help you remove the remaining wine from the fabric. After that, soak the tablecloth in cold water for twenty minutes before laundering.
Salt is commonly used in the textile industry for setting colors. It can do the same for you at home. If a pigment isn’t colorfast, soak the garment for an hour in 1/2 gallon of water to which you’ve added 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup salt, then rinse. If rinse water has any color in it, repeat the process. Do not attempt this on printed fabrics. If the item is multicolored, dry-clean it to avoid ruining it.
A dash of salt in laundry starch keeps the iron from sticking when you iron your clothes and gives linen and fine cottons a glossy, like-new finish.
Information obtained from the Salt Institute and Refisal
Mix equal parts water, household ammonia and dishwashing (not dishwasher) liquid. Make sure the dishwashing liquid does not contain bleach. Read the label.
Mix the three ingredients in a clean spray bottle. Be sure to label the bottle. Caution note: it is important to write a caution note that it should not be used with household bleach or any products containing bleach.
Once you apply this prewash to a stain, you must wash the garment immediately. Ammonia and bleach do not mix! Mixing them will produce a harmful and very toxic gas!