Every wondered how to do laundry correctly? Most of us have the unfortunate responsibility of keeping up with our dirty clothes pile every day.
It seems like a pretty simple task, but laundry is way too easy to mess up.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve accidentally bleached my favorite shirt or shrunk a brand new sweater after wearing it once. It’s the worst.
So, I decided to make a comprehensive guide all about how to do laundry the right way, or laundry 101.
Back to the basics! Sure, there’s cheats you can use to make it a little bit quicker, but I follow this method and rarely ruin a piece of clothing anymore.
In fact, my clothes usually smell pretty great, something I’m kind of proud of. I’m a stickler for getting rid of any bad smells in my house and laundry is right there at the top of my list.
I use the Gain flings!™ laundry pods which are exclusive to Dollar General, and they literally smell amazing (on top of being really affordable). I ended up finding this scent super randomly while I was browsing Dollar General and looking for some new hacks for my apartment, and now I’m obsessed. I’ve used Gain products before but really love the Fresh Water Sparkle™ scent because of how clean my clothes and towels always smell! The new flings and fireworks are also super easy to use. They’re also great for college kids (and anyone asking how do you do laundry regardless of their age). Here’s laundry 101: how to do laundry, at least in my book!
I’ve found that the more Fresh Water Sparkle™ products you combine, the better your clothes smell.
Step 1: Sort Your Laundry 101
If you don’t sort your laundry correctly then everything will be a mess. There’s a few different ways to do it, but I generally create 4 piles:
- Darks and Brights
- Towels and Sheets
This is a good sorting method if you want to be extra careful, but I’ll often combine darks and lights when I’m strapped for time. Sorting is really important so you don’t ruin any really nice pieces of clothing. If you’re in college and are just learning how to do laundry, you might actually get some mixed opinions on how to sort, but I use 4 piles just to be safe.
Step 2: Wash
Obviously you have to actually clean your laundry. I’m currently using the NEW Gain Flings! Laundry Detergent Pacs in the Fresh Water Sparkle™ scent and I literally love them. There’s also a detergent. Both are available at exclusively at Dollar General. When you use the Gain flings!™ laundry pods, you’ll one per load in the machine before you add any clothes; throwing a splash of Fresh Water Sparkle™ in every load will make your clothes (and closet!) smell amazing. You wash your clothes based on the piles that you’ve already sorted. Here’s how to do laundry at this stage:
- Darks: Cold is always safe; I do my darks on the coldest setting possible.
- Lights: I tend to also do my lights on a colder setting or at least cool, so the colors don’t run. If you have mostly light socks or something you want to sanitize you could use warm water.
- Whites: Doing your whites with hot water is usually good to kill any bacteria.
- Towels and sheets: This depends on the colors you have. I typically buy white towels and sheets and do them on hot, but other colors can be done on warm if you do them all together.
Because I like my clothes extra fresh-smelling, I use the Gain Fireworks In-Wash Scent Booster Beads in the Fresh Water Sparkle™ scent, which are basically amazing smelling beads that you can shake into the wash machine before you add your clothes as well. You can add as many as you want, but I find that when I use a lot my clothes smell extra great.
Step 3: Dry
I dry most of my clothes using the dryer. Once you get all of your clothes in, clean the dryer sheet (to get any lint out) and add one of the Gain Dryer Sheets before starting the dryer. Learning how to do laundry correctly at the drying stage is also important so you don’t shrink your clothes.
- Darks and lights: I usually dry on delicate or perm press if you don’t have a lot of time, just to make sure you don’t shrink anything
- Whites: If you have stuff you don’t want to shrink then use perm press, but otherwise you can use a hotter setting. Anything 100% cotton is likely to shrink
- Towels and Sheets: These can be dried on a hot air setting most of the time
Laundry 101 – Things you should air-dry:
- Some undergarmets
- Bathing suits
Step 4: Fold and Put Away Your Laundry
I find that it’s actually really helpful to bring your clothes to their respective spots in a basket, unfolded, and then fold them and put them away immediately. It makes for less ironing and also ensures that you’ll actually get them done, instead of just leaving the basket in the corner of the bedroom for a week. It’s also good to fold your clothes right away so they don’t have time to wrinkle.
Laundry 101 – Extra helpful tips:
- To keep your socks together,
- Wash your jeans in cold water to keep them nice and colorful
- Don’t overload the washing machine (3/4 of the way full is good)
- Wash bathing suits right when you take them off (chlorine and salt water can damage them) and always let them air-dry
- If you have a special piece that’s made of wool, consider dry-cleaning
- Don’t leave wet clothes in the dryer for too long without either hanging them out or switching the load to the dryer; they’ll end up smelling like mildew until you wash them again
- There’s a lot of reasons why I love the Gain Flings! Laundry Pods, but I especially love that they have 50% more scent than the detergent (if you couldn’t tell, I love good smelling clothes) and that you can use them with literally any laundry setup and with cold and hot water
- If your load is super large, you can use two of the Gains Flings! pods
Products I use:
All of the products I use are available exclusively at Dollar General; I’ve linked them below – give them a try and make your laundry smell amazing!
- Gain Flings! Laundry Detergent Pacs in Fresh Water Sparkle scent
- Gain Fireworks In-Wash Scent Booster Beads in Fresh Water Sparkle scent
- Gain Liquid Laundry Detergent, Fresh Water Sparkle
- Gain Dryer Sheets, Fresh Water Sparkle
Note: This post is sponsored by Gain Fresh Water Sparkle at Dollar General but all thoughts are my own and I’d never recommend something I don’t actually use day to day!
Do you have any unique family tips about how to do laundry? Let me know in the comments!