Usually, people visit laundromats for their laundry needs. But lockdowns and the fear of infection can prevent you from keeping up with this old habit. Washing clothes at home can feel safer and accessible. Since many of these essential service facilities are not operating also, it can be another reason for you to resort to this. If you have been getting your laundry done outside, the chances are you will not have washing machines and dryers at home. It may not look feasible also to invest in the new appliance immediately. Regardless of the situation, you don’t have to lose your sleep over this task. Here are some suggestions to help you sail through this recently added chore to your list.
Apron-front kitchen sinks or others with larger depths and dimensions can prove quite useful in this area as you need adequate room to soak your clothes in water. And since kitchen sinks are the most preferred locations for this work, you may also choose the same place as others. But it doesn’t mean you cannot use other options, such as utility sink, bathroom sink, bathtub, etc. Whatever workstation you select, you need to clean it properly with an all-purpose cleaner. Once done, you can run your tap to fill hot water suitable for your garments. Make sure you have enough room for your hand movement inside the basin.
The Soapy Solution
Three adult-sized clothes form about one pound of weight on average. For such quantity, you have to mix one teaspoon of liquid or powder detergent in the water. It will be better to be careful with this part. If you add extra washing detergent, you will have to spend a longer time on the rinsing process. It is not only damaging to the environment for well-known reasons but also to your skin. Besides, experts suggest that all-purpose formulas that require less water and less rinsing can be the best solution.
Furthermore, if you use a detergent pack, you must be careful while opening it. The concentrated detergent in the bag can be risky for your eyes. So, don’t try to puncture the pack. Snip it with scissors from the top corner rather.
Swirling and Submerging
As soon as the mixture is ready, you can soak your clothes in it. After this, you can copy the movement of the washing machine with your hands to clean them. It can involve moving around and pumping your clothes in the detergent water to reach the deep ends of the fabrics. When you finish this cycle, you can leave your laundry for fifteen to sixty minutes in the detergent water if you feel they were too soiled.
The Draining and Rinsing Part
After you let your clothes soak in the detergent solution for some time, you can give them a light patting and swirl before emptying the sink of the suds. You have to wash the sink well to remove all the traces of the soapy water. Once cleaned, you can fill fresh cool or warm water in the sink to rinse your washed laundry. Pump and rub clothes with your hands a bit to help any residual matter to leave them. Drain the water and repeat this process until you have thoroughly rinsed the clothing.
If these were cotton or polyester materials, you could wash them under running water. But delicate garments, including scarves and hosiery, cannot stand up to this. So, it will be better to soak and agitate them in the sink filled with clean water.
The Final Ritual of Drying
When you are sure that the clothes are clean of soapy solution, you can wring and press down every piece as per the strength of the fabric to remove water. However, some people recommend against wringing because of the potential risk of damage to the fibers. So, it can be best to press them with hands in the sink and drain any water holding up there.
Do you have an extra dry towel? You can spread your wet clothes in it and roll the towel. Pressing and rolling clothes can push out a tremendous amount of moisture from the garments. Therefore, they will not be too wet but damp. Consequently, you can expect them to dry faster. You can allow the damp clothes to air dry by spreading them flat on a drying line or rack.
Things to Consider
If you plan to dry your garments in the outdoor space, you will have to track the weather. Choose a sunny day for washing to avoid any hassle. If you can dry them inside your home, it is not a problem. Since clothes are not dripping wet, they will dry faster in indoor air with less moisture. Another thing you can ensure is the amount of your laundry you do on a particular day. It will be ideal that you collect clothes for three to four days. Small batches can be easy to handle.
Items like bed sheets and towels tend to be difficult when it comes to washing and drying. The latter part becomes painful if you don’t have outdoor space for laying them flat on anything. As an alternative, you can only wash stains and steam them. It will make them fresh and sparkling clean. Also, you can launder pillowcases to avoid the need to wash bed linen frequently.
Any household chore involves diligent practice and process for a mess-free experience. Whether the old habit of dropping your clothes at a laundry returns or not, it doesn’t hurt to hand wash your garments at home. It is time-saving and cost-effective. Plus, it is safer also compared to giving outside, especially in situations like the pandemic. However, make sure you don’t use too much water or detergent in this activity as both these things can be harmful to the environment. Hence, you have to be careful about how you pursue this. Of course, you can access laundromats when things are normal, or handwashing feels like a heavy-duty task. Or, you can use handwashing and laundry services both to make things convenient.
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