Pass these tips along to your college-bound teens. They’ll boost your child’s confidence and help him or her manage the care and upkeep of their clothes like a pro. And believe us: Independence never looked so good!
Sort your colors. Separate darks from lights and delicate fabrics from more durable garments. When in doubt use cold water, especially for dark clothes to avoid shrinking, fading, and bleeding of dyes. Using cold water saves energy and resources too. For heavily soiled whites or light colors, however, warm or hot water may be the best bet.
Pretreat stains. The sooner you address splotches and spills, the more successful you’ll be getting them out. Keep a stain remover with your laundry supplies to dab dirt, grease and other spills away before they set. Just make sure stains are gone (rewashing may be necessary) before putting clothing in the dryer, as the heat will set the stain and make it harder to remove.
Get ready to rumble. Close zippers, hooks and snaps, and fasten any Velcro closures. Unbutton all buttons (button holes can tear in the washer). Empty pockets and turn them inside out. Make sure socks aren’t bunched up, and unroll cuffs on pants and shorts. Tie any sashes or bows to prevent tangling. Put delicate items, such as lingerie and fine knitwear, in a zippered mesh bag.
Pop in a Pod. Premeasured, all-in-one detergents save time and are super easy to use (no spillage, no schlepping). All you have to do is toss one in with the load, and voilà! You can even buy one with liquid laundry detergent, stain remover, and brightener in one convenient package.
Establish a laundry routine. Washing clothes doesn’t have to be a monumental task. If you add laundry to your weekly to-do list, it’ll be much easier to keep the chore manageable. Try do your wash during off-peak hours (generally early in the morning and late at night) so you can get in and out quicker. Plus you might get some studying done while you wait—and then have more time to play later.