Dirty Laundry

Dirty Laundry


If you don’t want all of your underwear to turn pink or your favorite trousers to end up like hot pants, then you’ll need to sort out your washing. The easiest thing to do is to put all of your laundry in the centre of the floor and fling them into separate piles: whites & lights, delicates, and dark colours.

Before washing

Make sure to check all of the pockets for stray tissues, receipts, cash or the hot blonde’s number on the Supermacs napkin. If you don’t, you’ll be left with lovely little white bits all over your clothes and you could end up damaging the machine.
If you are unsure of what type of wash the clothes should be in, check for the following on
the labels:

The number in the wash tub shows the most effective wash temperature in degrees Celsius

Do not wash

Do not machine wash. Hand wash only

Top tip

Turn jeans/cords/jumpers and textured fabric inside out – this reduces bobbles and fading.


If you notice a stain, you should wash it as soon as possible with cold water. Hot water seals stains. If the stain is very bad, then you’re probably better off leaving it to soak overnight. Also, if your clothes are really bad, e.g. training gear, then you should probably wash this
separately. If there are several sporty people in the house, do one wash for all the gear. It saves water, powder and electricity.

How much powder?

If you check the back of the box, there’s normally a recommended dosage. If you use tablets, it’s generally two tablets for a full wash and one for a half wash. To save electricity, you should check with housemates if they have anything they’d like washed. However, be warned that you could get into trouble if something goes wrong. Don’t be stingy with the powder: if you are, your clothes won’t be cleaned properly; if you use too much. the powder may not rinse out completely and this may irritate your skin or leave white marks on the clothes.

Temperatures and loads

The easiest way to choose which cycle you should use is to read all of them carefully and always opt for the lowest temperature on the labels. As a general guide:

  • The non-coloured fast cycle (40 degrees) is normally the best cycle for dark and vibrant colours, as well as washable woollens. It’s probably the most used cycle as it tends to be the safest.
  • Whites and delicates are normally mentioned in another of the cycles which tends to be a high temperature.
  • If you have a heavy duty stain, then you’re better off using one of the cold cycles. You should check with the list of cycles on your washing machine.
  • Don’t overload the washing machine; it will not clean your clothes fully and there’s a higher risk of colours running.

Post wash

Put clothes into the dryer or hang them up immediately because if they are left too long they’ll start to smell, get covered in mildew, end up very creased and you’ll have to wash them all over again.


Always check the heat on the labels when using tumble dryers. Like washing, you should keep colours and whites separate as the dyes may still run. Delicates may be damaged at high heats and some items may shrink. Don’t overload the dryer or the clothes will not dry! The symbols below indicate whether or not an item can be tumble dried, and also indicate the heat setting.

Tumble dry on normal setting Do not tumble dry


The number of dots in the ironing symbol indicates the correct temperature setting – the fewer the dots the cooler the setting. Your iron will usually have matching symbols.

Hot Do not iron
Warm Do not use steam
Artice by
Chris Newell