I’ve been doing a bit of tweaking to my laundry routine this spring; trying to get it as simple as can be with the best possible results. I now wash everything in cold water. I had been hesitant to do this totally, especially with whites, towels, and sheets. But after experimenting using hot, warm, and cold washes, I really find absolutely no difference in how clean they get. In fact (I know this seems weird) the whites seem to be whiter when I wash them in cold! 90% of your washing machine energy goes to heating the water, so it makes good sense to get it to close to 0% using cold.
Another thing is using less detergent. WAY less! The one thing that drives me crazy is the measuring caps on liquid detergent. I can never see the marks, and they never seem to explain it on the label. So once I figured out where the obscure measuring marks were, I started using half that amount. Sometimes I just use the merest dollop when I’m washing sweaters. Too much detergent use is really bad for your clothes and your washing machine, as it can cause residue. Too much soap scum lets bacteria breed. And if you are using fabric softener (sheets or liquid), that also adds to the residue buildup on your laundry and washing machine. I personally do not use any type of fabric softener, much preferring the natural stiffness of line-dried laundry.
Once in awhile I add 1/2 cup white vinegar to the rinse water of whites or towels. This seems to cut through any excess detergent residue, and also adds a bit of softening. And no, the vinegar smell doesn’t last! It will evaporate upon drying.
Since I only use my washing machine (my dryer is now retired) I’ve become more focused on it. One thing I do after every wash is clean the lint filter. Yes, your washing machine has a lint filter. It’s amazing how much stuff gets caught in it, so it’s good to keep it clean.
I always used to keep the lid of my washer closed. Then I started noticing a funny smell coming from it. After doing some research I found that it was all the moisture being trapped in there that caused it. Now I keep the lid open all the time when not in use; it needs to be aired out so all the excess moisture can dissipate. The odor problem is now solved.
By keeping it simple, using the barest essentials to clean your laundry, and air-drying 😉 you’ll see a big difference in how clean your laundry is!