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How To Do Laundry

The proper way to do laundry is an art form that some people missed out on learning. This guide covers the basics of how to do laundry.

Laundry in Washing Machine
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January 3, 2010 Flag
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How can I make my clothes smell like detergent? Can someone help me out. After I'm done washing my clothes I can smell the detergent. When I am done drying them I don't smell anything. I use concentrated detergent. I also use dryer sheets. Can someone help me. I want my laundry to keep the smell of my detergent.

By headache from Miami, FL

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April 17, 20110 found this helpful

Please People!

The best laundry smell is fresh air.

These waxy long lasting fragrance carriers are ruining your clothes, and the fragrances are sickening. They contain toxic untested chemicals.

Many people are highly sensitive to these fragrances and carriers. Please stay downwind and well away from me when you choose to smell like a laundrymat.

Thank you.

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July 3, 20110 found this helpful

Wonderful feedback. I read this post because i also thoroughly enjoy the smell of freshly-laundered clothes and linen and want it to last! I will follow up on the suggestions to use liquid softener, and detergent of the same brand. I'm curious. Would anyone happen to know of natural products which would leave a pleasant, lingering scent on clothing? Realistically, a lot of people live in apartment buildings and cannot dry their clothes on a clothesline.

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November 2, 20130 found this helpful

All of these were great suggestions I can not wait to try these!!! As for everyone lecturing about chemicals; it is each persons own choice how they live their life. You really shouldn't tell people what to do, people can make their own decisions. I think fabric softener is a very, very small issue we have to deal with in this day and age!

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November 3, 20130 found this helpful

I can't wait to try this! I have tried what I feel like is everything to get the scent to last! As for those lecturing about chemicals and so on, no one asked about the health hazards it's not polite to tell others how to live their lives. Everything in this world has negative effects and if you live your life being so worried about everything you'll never enjoy life! So I would suggests keeping lectures to yourself unless asked for.

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September 22, 2008 Flag
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We have 6 people living in our house. This makes it hard to keep everything clean and our laundry done. I have asked each person to do their own laundry on a specific day. We are never waiting for someone to get done and are not stressed about it.

By Shirley from Henderson, NV


January 27, 2006 Flag
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I just did a load of laundry without soap. How could I? But this got me to wondering if anyone out there knows what our ancestors did or used to wash before those convenient (detergent) brands became available.

Thank you,
Soapless in USA

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January 29, 20060 found this helpful

Before my second son was born, and I had to do laundry at the laundry mat, I made my own mixing 1:1 Borax and grated bar soap (one-two tablespoons goes a long way!) I always use warm or hot water to wash, so everything dissolved, but whites were a little dingy from soap, so I found a cheap detergent and stayed with borax. Now I use 1/2 the recommended detergent and 1/2 cup borax. Makes it last longer and my whites look fine!

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January 29, 20060 found this helpful

Everyone - Thank you for sharing your tips. Your information is fantastic. :-) Soapless no More

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December 4, 20060 found this helpful

I am so doomed. I need somebody to post how the people in England in the Victorian era washed linens and i need to know within the next 2 minutes! I hope this site is really busy. I know that they did NOT have a way to wash all their laundry, different things had different ways to be washed, so that's what's making this so hard! i gotta go give up now and do the rest of my homework and get a zero cuz i dont know how they washed linens.

Editor's Note: Here are a couple of links:

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Anonymous Flag
March 31, 20160 found this helpful


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August 24, 2006 Flag
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While parents are preparing to send their children off to college, they try to think of all the material items to take with them to supply their dorm rooms. One thing that some parents don't think of, is showing your child how to do his/her own laundry.

Last year, my nephew in college was approached by a fellow student, who complimented him on his every day appearance and wanted to know the secret of how to make your clothes look neat. My nephew explained "how to." The fellow student wanted a more 'hands on' approach. He asked if my nephew could accompany him on his next wash day to see what he was doing wrong with his laundry. My nephew agreed. My nephew, with his own clothing, showed the fellow student how to sort clothing, which products to use and why, how to dry on certain temps and why, how to fold or hang, etc. The fellow student was in awe, as he'd never been shown all the procedures. His mom had always done the wash, as most do. He'd never took the time to learn the techniques or the art of proper laundry.

As when my nephew asked how the fellow student had been doing his laundry, the young man lifted up his collapsible laundry bag filled with dirty laundry and stuffed it in the washer and turned on. Added the detergent!! LOL, as funny as this is, my nephew said the young man would have continued to put the laundry bag filled with clothes, in the dryer, too. That's one Mom who won't be having to wash a mountain of dirty clothes that come home from college, and can spend precious time with her college son.

By Terri from NV

May 11, 2006 Flag
0 found this helpful

Hopefully you have found yourself at a school that offers free laundry facilities. If so, do laundry all the time and be proud that you are saving hundreds of dollars annually in washing and drying costs. If you live off campus, bus the laundry in and do it for free.

January 3, 2010 Flag
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My clothes don't keep the fragrance of my laundry detergent or fabric softener after they have been dried. They smell great after I wash them, but when I put them in the dryer they lose the scent. How can I keep the fresh scent of my fabric softener in my clothes? I use Gain detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets.



Tips for Good Smelling Clothing

Maybe when you put your clothes in your drawers or closet, place one of your fabric softener sheets in with the clothes. (02/05/2007)

By Persnickety Paula

Tips for Good Smelling Clothing

Due to each individual schedule you may not have the time to nor the facilities to do so, but I hang my clothes outside every day, weather permitting. I use either Tide or Wisk. I never use dryer sheets as I don't feel that they are necessary. My sheets smell especially nice and so awesome after blowing around in the breeze and being kissed by the sun. (02/06/2007)

By kidena

Tips for Good Smelling Clothing

I use a half of a Bounce fabric softener sheet per load in my dryer and everyone always says how fresh my clothes smell. One lady told my husband she could tell he was married just by how fresh his clothes smelled. (02/06/2007)

By kimmcg

Tips for Good Smelling Clothing

Since I've been using Era laundry detergent and Suavitel liquid fabric softener, I'm very happy with the wash. The smell stays with the clothes long after the first wear. Since I don't have access to the outside, my sheets and clothes all smell wonderful. This is a great combination for me. (02/06/2007)

By Lady Claire

Tips for Good Smelling Clothing

You know, it's funny how I can read all these feedbacks and partly agree with some and completely disagree with others. Yet we all came out with the same results.

I've been on a mission for about ten years to have that wonderful clean smelling laundry that everyone in the room can smell. It's not that hard really, but you have to start right by getting the things you need and going back to what you were taught in the beginning about laundry. After you read this, immediately go to the store and buy any detergent, any liquid softener, and any fabric sheets that you personally like the smell of. While on that aisle, buy a product called 20 Mule Team Borax. It's in a green and yellow box with red letters I believe. It's only a couple of dollars. Get a Downy ball if you don't already have one unless you have a softener dispenser in your washer. Most importantly, pick up a small laundry basket.

Now, when you have all that at home, then comes what nobody wants to hear. Separation. Make sure to separate your clothes into proper categories. I have categories labeled: soft clothes, denims, heavily soiled (husband's work clothes and/or very messy children's clothes), special care (sweaters and other dedicates), good towels and rags, and last is cleaning towels and rags which I also wash with throw/door/bathroom rugs. I personally love the smell of bleached whites, but this ages your clothes really quickly by breaking down the fibers, so I choose not to use it.

Now, once your clothes are separated into the categories that suit you, pick the most urgently needed and fill up that small laundry basket you picked up from the store. Don't cram the clothes in it and don't pile it way above the rim.

Directions for top loader washer:

Turn on your washer to large-largest load, and add a cap full of the detergent to running water. Fill softener dispenser or Downy ball with a cap full and drop it in. Add one cup of your borax to the water then start throwing in your clothes.

Directions for front loader washer:

Put your load of clothes into the washer and clothes the door tightly. Add a cap full of detergent to the designated dispenser, a cap full of softener to the designated dispenser, and a cup of the borax to the pre-wash dispenser.

Once wash cycle is completed, pull clothes and throw into dryer or hang up. Don't tarry. Time is smelly when it comes to your laundry and don't forget your softener sheet. I agree with cutting them in half only because there's no difference in performance, so you're saving money by getting double what you paid for.

I know this will give you the smell of great laundry that we all love and appreciate.

Let me know how it turns out. (05/07/2007)

By Shelly

Tips for Good Smelling Clothing

Use Borax in the wash. You can mix it 50/50 with baking soda if you have hard water. Additionally, you can add essential oils to the mix. Make it up in advance. Two cups of borax, two of baking soda, and ten drops of lavender, or eight lavender plus four peppermint, or eight lavender and four lemon. All will add freshness to clothing, and can be used to deodorize other items as well.

Then line dry, or if you cannot, invest in a lavender dryer sachet, especially lovely for bed linens. (06/02/2007)

By Heather

Tips for Good Smelling Clothing

Put a gel air freshener (the type you put in a bathroom) in a closet/cupboard and the smell will end up sticking to the clothes. This works pretty good. (06/25/2008)

By Trev

Tips for Good Smelling Clothing

I have found the ultimate formula for fresh, sweet smelling, long lasting scented laundry. I'm a huge laundry scent "snob" who has tried every brand and combination on the market and this is my all time favorite.

I use 3/4 cap full (a bit more than recommended) of the 2X concentrated Gain Cotton Fresh liquid detergent per load and Downy April Fresh scent liquid softener. I use the Downy ball for dispensing and I use a little bit over the maximum fill line. I finish up with a Downy April Fresh scent dryer sheet in the dryer. I have put clothing away for a whole season and when I pull them out months later, they still smell fresh. (10/01/2008)

By Angela

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February 4, 2007 Flag
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