Did you know that a good laundry trick is to throw two USED TENNIS BALLS into your washing-machine drum?
This will help to fluff up your laundry and allow you to say goodbye to the pet's hair on your clothes. Also, the tennis balls bouncing around in the drum knock out any debris and also help the cleaning process. A win-win situation!
Did you know that the sun is a "natural sanitiser" that disinfects your clothes and putting them outside to dry will make them smell cleaner and fresher?
You just need a clean spot outside in your garden in the sun on a windy, warm day. Sunlight can also bleach clothes and makes white fabrics whiter: some stains (like tomato sauce or poo!) are photo-labile and degrade in the presence of UV light. So...stains that sometimes remain after washing will disappear completely!
THE SOONER, THE BETTER: why it is important to pre-treat your laundry.
If you want to have the best chance at eradicating a nasty stain and use less energy while you are washing your laundry (you can swap from 60 to 40°C for example) pre-treating the fabric is vital.
Also, always remember that "the sooner, the better": a quick action is essential in order to remove stains from clothes, because the longer a stain sits, the more likely it is to stick.
How to pre-treat your laundry
- The old-fashioned, but always effective, way involves a bar of laundry soap. Wet the bar with some water and rub it directly on your tough stains a few minutes before washing.
- Another way is to soak the stains in warm water without allowing them to set. If the laundry is white cotton, you can use sodium percarbonate (more info HERE), also called friendly bleach.
To pre-soak dissolve the powder in warm water ( about 2-3 tablespoons of powder in 5 litres of water or 10g x 1kg of laundry) before submerging clothing and leave overnight. Remember not to apply the powder directly onto fabrics.
Do not use on blood stains and fabrics like linen, wool and silk.
- For super-tough stains, you may want to add a pre-treater.
Pre-treater spray should typically be applied no more than a few minutes before your washing cycle and rubbed gently into the stain. Don’t scrub hard because it could damage your fabric. Also, don’t leave the pre-treater for too long and remember to test it first on a small spot of fabric to make sure it' s not going to ruin your clothes.
You can find the recipe of an easy DIY pre-treater - with just 3 ingredients - here.
Our washing-machine does a lot of hard work in our home.
So, in order to keep it operating well and our clothes looking and smelling great, it is essential to give it a little regular "beauty treatment".
- The first step is to clean the rubber seal to get rid of the mould and detergent residue. To do this, I usually use my peroxide spray (recipe HERE), and it works just perfectly! I sprayed the peroxide onto the rubber seal, then scrub it away using an old, but clean toothbrush to target stubborn stains. Rinse the rubber with water and dry it thoroughly.
Always remember to wear your rubber gloves!
- The second step is to remove the detergent drawer, soak it in hot water and remove any residue or mould with the old toothbrush. Rinse the drawer thoroughly before putting it back. If you prefer, you can clean the detergent drawer by placing it in the top basket of your dishwasher.
- The third step is to clean out the filter. Clogged filters are often the cause of problems in front-loading machines.
- The fourth step is to add 50g of sodium percarbonate (more info HERE) to the drum - which must be completely empty - and set your machine to a hot or sanitising cycle. The sodium percarbonate will help to sanitise the machine and get rid of any offensive odours. When the job is done, you can sanitise your old toothbrush soaking it in a solution of hot water and one teaspoon of sodium percarbonate.
- To prevent mould build-up on the seals of the machine, keep the door slightly ajar in between uses. With these methods, you will definitely avoid a smelly washing-machine, and smelly clothes too.
When you are using your precious washing-machine be careful never to overload it.
It is not good for the environment to run a machine half empty, but there is always a balance to be struck. Overloading the washing-machine leaves no space for the detergent to dissolve properly and also impedes the mechanical action that ensures fabrics are cleaned evenly by moving them around and rubbing them together.
I hope you will find these laundry tips useful, and if you have any more suggestions, please let me know in the comments below!