Are you doing your laundry all wrong?
You know how to use a washing machine and tumble dryer - but that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement! Check out these top tips and make laundry day a whole lot easier...
See also: How to remove grass stains from your clothes
See also: Five best washing machines on the market
1. Get it sorted
Clothes will need dividing into piles according to the temperature they need washing, their care requirements and colour.
2. Don't skimp on detergent
Not putting enough powder or liquid in with your washing will mean that dirt won't get washed out of the clothes, but will recirculate with the load. You also need to make sure you have the right detergent for your machine – and follow the recommended amount on the packaging.
3. Don't get stuck on cold
Yes cold water is less likely to shrink your clothes or cause colours to run, but it's not always the best choice. Check the care label and wash at the warmest temperature allowed for each garment.
4. Be careful with bleach
Don't use it on socks or underwear because it can damage elastic. Instead pick up a detergent with a whitener, or a separate laundry additive, for washing your greyed-out scanties.
5. Treat stains as emergencies
Carry a stain pen with you and when disaster strikes, set to work with a paper towel placed under the stain. When you're at home, apply stain-removal spray as quickly as possible and wash at the highest temperature the garment will tolerate.
6. Sort your drying too
Drying times will differ between thicker items like jeans and things like fine undergarments, which need much less time. Drying heavy garments together - like towels and sheets - rather than mixing heavy with light items, will help to save money. Make sure to dry coloured cotton garments at a lower temperature to avoid shrinking or colour fade.
7. Keep a clean screen
Clean the fine screen in your tumble dryer of lint after every load, and give it a bit more love from time to time by brushing it more thoroughly. If you use dryer sheets, they can cause a chemical residue build-up on the screen – so it'll need a wash every now and then. Do this under the tap and let it air dry afterwards.