Before washing, all stains should be treated. Glance over your garments, inside and out, before sorting and add to a separate pile for treatment. For specific stain information, take a look at our A-Z Stain Guide. But first, always:
- Cover your bench or workspace in thick, old towels to keep fresh stains under control.
- Before treating stains, always test treatments such as bleach or vinegar on an inconspicuous spot such as the inside of the bottom hem for colour safeness and fabric wear. If the fabric’s colour and weave is unchanged by the treatment, is is usually safe to proceed.
- Wear rubber gloves when using abrasive chemical agents to protect the delicate skin on your hands. Wear old clothes and do not touch your face until your hands have been washed thoroughly post-treatment.
- Dab at stains – do not rub – and use lifting motions to remove stain residue from fabric fibres. Take care and stop before you wear a hole.
Sorting your clothes by similar fabrics and colours is one of the most important steps in correct laundry practice. Separate loads by whites, bright colours and dark colours, then even further by fabric similarities – delicates or man-made fibres, cottons or natural fibres and terry robes, wool and towels. Always separate lint producing fabrics such as towelling from lint attracting fabrics such as velvet and corduroy.
As you sort, close zippers, turn garments inside out and check pockets for tissues or paper.
Delicates: Lingerie and swimwear should always be hand washed in the sink with laundry soap designed for delicates. Remember that silk, wool, linen and rayon should typically be dry cleaned. Always leave to the professionals if in doubt.