The truth is that it's not that complicated, but there are some things you should know. I've been a college student for 5 years, which means I have done many laundries in boring laundromats; and, of course, many damaged shirts, sweaters and jeans... Nevertheless, yesterday I read an article from Unigo that talks about it. I thought it can be very useful for many students, like myself, that struggle week after week with the unknown characteristics of the washing machines.
The article talks about three different aspects: separating the clothes, choosing the right type of detergent and avoiding shrinkage. Let's see if I can sum it up:
- Separating the clothes: I thought it was only about whites and colors (including black as a color), well it's not. You want to separate the following items and set them to the proper temperature:
- Whites, pastels, beige, light grays and nice underwear to be set cold.
- Darks, reds and jeans to be set cold.
- Socks, underwear and gym stuff to be set hot.
- If it says "dry clean only" on any item, don't put that in the washer!
- Choosing the right type of detergent: they recommend using liquid rather than powder and to put that in the machine before loading it. Generally the quantity varies according to the quantity of clothes. Each detergent should have a measure cup at the top, follow instructions.
- Avoiding shrinkage: some tips on that are to add a sheet of fabric softener and getting two dryers, one for the light-weight and delicate stuff and one for the heavy items like jeans. They also recommend leaving the clothes a little wet rather than over-dry. Finally, fold them right away!