From how to iron shirts like a pro to the ingenious trick to remove red wine stains: The laundry hacks everyone needs to know
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Laundry – it’s the bane of all our lives. Every weekend, when we should be relaxing, doing fun things, or spending time with friends and family, we’re forced instead to flit constantly between the washing machine and the ironing board, making sure all our clothes are clean and pressed ready for the next week.
But for those in the know, doing the laundry isn’t so tough because there are a host of tricks you can use to get everything looking like new again…
1. GOODBYE RED WINE STAIN
Don’t panic when this happens, instead get a damp cotton cloth and dab it on the stain to remove any excess. Then stretch the item taut over a bowl with the stain in the middle and secure with an elastic band. Pour salt over the offending area and leave for five minutes before carefully pouring boiling water on it from a height of about 20cm (this will flush it out). Then wash on as hot a cycle as the fabric can take and it’ll be gone.
Not the end of the world: Don’t panic when you get a red wine stain, but dab with a cotton cloth
2. UNSHRINK YOUR CLOTHES
Fix your shrinking disasters by adding the item to a bowl full of warm water containing a capful of baby shampoo or adult conditioner to relax the fibres. After about five minutes, take it out, roll it up in a towel and squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Lay on another dry towel and gently stretch back to the original shape. Leave to dry and it’ll be ready to wear again.
3. HOW TO IRON … WITHOUT AN IRON
Getting out the ironing board is a faff, especially for just one item. So switch on your hair straighteners and use them instead.
Pressing engagement: Getting out the ironing board is a faff, especially for just one thing
4. SAY HELLO TO SOFT TOWELS
After a few uses, towels often start feeling rough. It’s caused by a build-up of detergent, so cut down on the amount of washing powder you use and don’t add fabric softener. Instead, half a cup of white vinegar in the final rinse will strip away any detergent, leaving them beautifully soft. Fluff them up further by sticking a clean tennis ball in the tumble drier.
5. GET YOUR WHITES WHITE AGAIN
Get your whites back to their best by bringing a pan full of water containing sliced lemons to the boil, taking it off the heat then popping in the clothes you want brightened. Leave soaking for an hour while the citric acid in the fruit lightens the material then wash like normal for brilliant whites. Drying in direct sunlight will also help as it naturally bleaches fabric.
HOW TO CLEAN LIKE A PRO
Some things may seem simple to launder, but actually need a bit more TLC …
Best For Bras:
Handwash is best – pour specialist delicate fabric detergent into warm water and leave the bra to soak for an hour. Gently rub through then rinse and leave to air dry, placing the centre of the bra over the washing line (hanging by the strap can stretch it).
If you machine wash, place the bra in a mesh bag so its straps and hooks don’t catch on other garments. Use specialist detergent as with handwash, with the machine on a delicates programme, only adding similar items (heavy ones such as jeans and towels can damage underwire). Air dry as before.
Work Some Shirt Magic:
First check for stains, especially around the collar and armpits, and pre-treat by rubbing some detergent into the area or using a specialist stain remover. Wash on the delicates cycle then air dry on a hanger if you’ve time, or use a similar programme to tumble dry. Remove from the drier while still slightly damp to reduce wrinkles.
Clean dream: There’s a trick to ironing shirts perfectly (or you could use Laundrapp)
To iron, spray starch onto each area before you press for a great finish. First, iron the collar on both sides before continuing onto the yoke of the shirt (the top section of the back). Unbutton the cuffs, lay flat and iron on both sides, avoiding the button if there is one. Then lay the sleeves flat with the seam at the bottom and press – if you iron the top of the sleeve it gives you a professional-looking crease.
Next do the back, starting at the top and working down then turn over and do the same with the front – always ironing around the buttons. Finally run the iron over the inside of the buttonhole strip and you’re done.
For Brilliant Bedding:
Have the washing machine on the highest temperature the fabric can take to kill all the tiny dust mites that thrive in bedding. Afterwards, hang out the bedding to dry on a washing line – sunshine is a natural disinfectant and will also brighten any white sheets. Then iron – this will kill any remaining germs and mites.
SO, JUST WHAT DO ALL THOSE SYMBOLS MEAN?
Buy any garment and the washing instruction label sewn inside will contain a host of strange-looking symbols that are a complete mystery to most.
Here are all the ones you need to know:
NOT GOT TIME? TRY LAUNDRAPP…
Want to get your laundry done quickly and easily? Then try Laundrapp, a brilliant new door-to-door laundry and dry-cleaning service that does it all for you. Offering free collection and delivery of your laundry at a time and place that suits you, the award-winning app lets you follow your order through the handy real-time tracking map.
Simply download the app or go online to tell them the items you need cleaned. You can select to have your shirts washed, ironed and hung, or have all your laundry washed, tumble-dried and folded for you. You don’t even need to sort the clothes, just put them in the Laundrapp bag and let them do the work for you.
Laundrapp will collect and deliver your laundry free of charge wherever and whenever
Dry cleaning is also available, as are special packages including ‘The Nine To Five’ – a business suit and five shirts for £20 – and the ‘Dress 2 Impress’ – two dresses for £20.
Once you’ve done this, choose the time you want your laundry picked up and dropped off, then relax because Laundrapp will get to work giving every item a five-star clean with a quality guarantee.
The service is currently available in 100 British cities including London, Manchester and Edinburgh, and open from 7am to 11pm.
Go to laundrapp.com, Google Play or the App Store to get started and new customers can get 25% off using the code MAIL19 at checkout.
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