5 laundry must-knows to avoid unclean and tangled laundry

Overstuffing your washing machine can result in multiple problems; you can damage your machine in the process, have your laundry left unclean, tangled and ruined, and in fixing your mistakes, take up even more time and money! Here are five must-knows about laundry, so you can avoid these problems:

Sort According To Colours
Avoid: Rainbow-spotted messes

You want to wash your dress shirts separately to prevent any colour or grime from tainting them. Poor sorting can turn your beautiful white silk shirt into a tie-dyed nightmare, says Wai Wai San, Product Manager, Home Appliances, Samsung Asia. Her suggestion? "Sort your clothing in three parts -- coloured, dark and white to prevent light-coloured clothing from being stained by colours that run."

For white dress shirts, you can keep them pristine clean without sending them to the cleaners (savings for you). Rub a stain remover or detergent around the inside of the collar and edges of the cuffs. Let it sit for a minute or two. Turn on the washing machine to cold or lukewarm and once it fills with water, add the detergent with or without bleach. Avoid more than two capfuls of bleach -- too much can yellow your shirts. Then, close the lid and let the water and detergent mix for a minute to ensure the shirts are cleaned evenly and protects them from bleach stains. Now you toss the shirts in. When they're done, hang them up to dry. Throwing them in the dryer can shrink the cotton. Press them before you hang them in your closet.

Empty Your Pockets
Avoid: Shredded tissue on everything

Make sure you clear your pockets for rogue dollar notes, coins or receipts before dumping your dirty clothes in the machine. "Forgetting to empty your pockets before putting your clothing in can ruin your entire laundry load with shredded tissue bits or ink stains," warns Wai San. Obviously, the last thing you want after taking your clothes out of the washer is to have to manually rinse them and repeat the whole process again because of those annoying white specks everywhere.

Set The Right Temperature
Avoid: Shrinking your favourite pants

The danger of setting the temperature of your washer too high is that it can ruin delicate clothing and shrink cotton fabric, according to Wai San. She advises, "Read the care labels on your clothing to find out the right temperature to use, but as a general guide, use hot water for only white cottons and warm or cold water for coloured fabrics." 

Separate Your Dirty Laundry
Avoid: Tangled t-shirts

It's tempting to just chuck all your clothes together in the wash but if you don't separate them, it may result in a tangled clump. You can also prevent such a situation by placing fastening all buttons on the garment and pulling up all zippers to prevent snagging on other garments in the laundry load, says Wai Sun. She also suggests that you turn any items with protruding decorative items inside out and to place all delicate items, such as garments with non-removable strings, in lingerie bags so they don't end up tangled around parts of the machine. And, load your washer one at a time, Wai Sun adds.

Some washing machines can even take the headache off your hands. Regular washing machines only generate simple rotation currents which cause clothes to gather at the centre and tangle but Samsung, for instance, offers Wobble technology that generates multi-directional waveflow that prevents tangling and helps to thoroughly cleanses clothes.

Wash In Multiple Loads
Avoid: Unclean laundry and a damaged machine

Resist the temptation of clearing your entire week's load of dirty clothes in one sitting. An overstuffed washing machine can result in unclean, wrinkled laundry and also increase its risk of damage, according to Wai Sun. She suggests a guideline on purchasing a washer that is the right size for your needs - it'll save you time and minimise your water and electricity bills.

No. of People in the Household Suitable Load Capacity (in kg)
Single 6 - 6.9
Couple with no children 6 - 6.9
Family with 2 children 7 - 7.9
Family with 3 or more children 8 or more

This article was first published on Men's Health.