Easy solutions solve common laundry problems

July 28, 2015

Sometimes newly laundered clothes just don't turn out right. Here are some common problems and the most likely solutions to resolve these pesky issues.

Easy solutions solve common laundry problems

1. Your clothes come out grey or yellow

  • You may need to increase the amount of detergent in the next load, use a detergent booster or increase the temperature of the wash water.
  • However, the grey could be from dye that has bled from darks to lights, suggesting you need to sort better. Try blue added to the wash load — it sometimes corrects greying in white fabrics.

2. You notice detergent residue on clothes

  • Your powdered detergent isn't dissolving properly.
  • Make sure the loads aren't too full.
  • Use liquid detergent with cold-water cycles.
  • Try letting the washing machine fill with water, adding the detergent and then adding the clothes.
  • If the problem is caused by hard water, you may need to add a water-softening product in the next load.
  • To remove hard-water residue from clothes, soak them in a solution of 250 ml (1 cup) of white vinegar per 4 litres (4 quarts) of warm water.
  • Rinse and re-wash.

3. If there's a lot of lint on your clothes

  • You probably need to sort the washing better.
  • Separate the lint producers, such as fleecy tracksuits, chenille items, new towels and flannel pajamas, from lint attractors, such as corduroys, synthetic blends and dark fabric.
  • To remove the lint, use a lint roller or pat with the sticky side of masking or packing tape.
  • Check to make sure pockets are empty of tissues and other paper before you wash.
  • Make sure the washer and dryer lint filters are clean.

4. You have a problem with pilling

  • This is most common among synthetic fabrics. Try turning synthetic clothing inside out before washing. (Pilling is caused by abrasion of fibres, and by turning a garment inside out it cuts down on abrasion during the wash and dry cycles.)
  • You can also wash your synthetics all together in a gentler, shorter cycle.
  • Using a liquid detergent will help.
  • To remove pills, snip them off with a battery-powered pill remover (available from sewing shops and discount retailers), or pull the fabric tight over a curved surface and carefully shave the pills off with a safety razor.
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