How to do your laundry properly @ 14th Laundry

Laundry is one of those certainties in life – like “death and taxes”. It is a skill that a surprising amount of people are lacking. This article will be your guide to washing your clothes properly. It will hopefully also give you a deeper understanding of WHY things are done a certain way.  Let us show you how to do your laundry properly.

So, what is the correct way to do laundry?

Woman surrounded by laundry
Total Time Needed: 30 minutes
Estimated Cost: 6 USD


-Your Clothes
-Laundry Detergent
-Fabric Softener (optional)

Steps to wash your laundry like a pro

Step 1 : Sorting, Do you have to? Let us show you how to separate laundry.
Sorting clothes matters the most if they are new. When clothing is manufactured, there are often residual dyes left in the fabric. These dyes can leak out during the washing cycle. This is especially true for dark denim and brightly colored “fast fashion” clothing. Because you can’t always tell what items will release color, it is best practice to always sort your clothes into like piles.
Often, you will not be washing enough clothing to justify separating everything so meticulously. The most important thing to separate is whites. This is especially important if you intend to use a chlorine bleach – More on that later.
Pile of light colored laundry
Step 2 : Check your care labels
The next steps is to make sure you are washing your clothes to the manufacturers specification. Each piece should have a care label. The care label will state how best to wash that particular garment. If it needs to be dry cleaned make sure to note that and send to the dry cleaners. Make sure to choose the appropriate setting on the washing machine. If you have any questions feel free to ask our trained attendants. See below for a chart of care icons and their meaning.
How to do your laundry properly
Step 3 : Load the Washer
Now its time to load the washing machine with the various piles that we made. Make sure to not overload the washing machine. The clothes need room to freely move around and tumble. The machines are programmed to use the perfect amount of water assuming that the machines are loaded to at most 80% capacity. Notice in the image how the comforter has room to tumble in the drum. This will ensure that the items come out as clean as possible.
Spinning laundry in a washing machine
Step 4 : Add the RIGHT amount of detergent/softener
Now it is time to add your detergent, softener, and bleach. For our small machines that hold 20 pounds of dry items the right amount of detergent is 3 ounces of our house detergent. If you purchase our commercial detergent you actually get 4 ounces of detergent. You can save some of that detergent for later. As for fabric softener you should add 3 ounces of softener in the tray, if using our fabric softener. Bleach should be added when the machine displays the "Add Bleach" message. Applying bleach to dry white clothing might make the clothing turn yellow. The message appears when the drum has filled with water the first time. This should minimize the chance of your whites turning yellow. This only applies for chlorine bleach. Non chlorine bleach, like Clorox 2, should be added in the drum while loading your items.

If you are using a Tide Pod now is the time to add it into the drum and not in the soap dispenser. Same if you are using the scent beads. Those also go into the drum. If you add too much detergent the suds will come out of the front door and bottom of the machine. Adding a little fabric softener to the drum will remove the excess suds. More suds does not mean more clean. Excess soap can damage the fabric of your items. You will notice this after you dry the items. They will feel stiff and smell soapy.

At that point I would recommend another cycle in the washer with nothing added. That will rinse off the excess. You can ask our attendants to assist you.
14th Laundry selection of detergent and softener
Step 5 : Time to start the washing machine
Now its time to close the door and start the washing machine. First start by closing the door by pushing on it till it closes and lowering the door handle until it locks. Make sure nothing is stuck in between the door and the machine. If there is open the door and rearrange your items. If you start the machine with an item stuck in the door the water will leak out of the machine from this point. Next add your payment either via quarters, utilizing our PayRange app or paying the attendant in cash to start the machine. Once it says to hit start make sure to hit the button with the appropriate water temperature and hit the start button. That's it. In about 25 minutes your laundry should be washed.

If you have any questions our attendants are trained to be able to help you. Feel free to ask them for assistance.
Picture of washing machine controls

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Before After

Care Label Infographic

Wash Instructions