Old City United

How to Wash Absolutely Everything

how to wash absolutely everything

Steps to wash a load of laundry?

 How to Wash absolutely everything is a skill you will need to learn. A basic understanding on how to wash a load of laundry doesn’t come naturally. 

Sorting your clothes according to fabric, rather than color can not only save you money, it can make laundering your clothes more efficient. If you have a lot of laundry, you also may want to divide your laundry based on type:

Denim in one load, Towels in another load, Sheets in another, etc.

Grouping laundry by color is also very important. Put whites together, reds/oranges/pinks together darks together, etc.. Once you’ve gathered your dirty laundry and are not sure you could check the tags. Reading every article of clothing could become time consuming but after awhile it will become second nature. 

Does your laundry require hand washing? Line drying? Hot water? Cold water? Tumble dry?

Chances are, a lot of your laundry will start to fall into the same categories. Separate your laundry into those categories.

Guide to washing different types of fabrics.

Here’s a guide to washing various fabric types. The five most common fabrics   

  1.  Cotton could shrink so most of the time use cold and warm water unless it is very dirty. Always wash cotton towels and sheets on hot. Tumble dry unless you are worried about shrinkage. If I want a favorite item to last a long time I wash it in cold water and hang to dry.
  2.   Linen could shrink  so wash in cool water. Air Dry. You will love my article How to Take Care of Linen And Do It Right?
  3. Polyester and spandex: Use cool or warm water. Heat could break down the fibers since it is synthetic. You do not have to worry about shrinkage so tumble dry on warm is fine. Synthetic fabrics cause a lot of static so use a dryer sheet or fabric softener.  
  4. Silk needs delicate care so hand washing with cool water is best. If I use a washing  machine I always try to put silk in a mesh bag on the most delicate cycle possible. It is best to hang  silk garments or lay them flat to dry. 
  5. Wool usually needs to be hand wash and air dry. There is a lot to know so I wrote a blog on this.  How to Care for Wool

Now you are learning how to wash absolutely everything.


How to wash absolutely everything is easy peazy once you do it a few times.

 Give your fabric longevity by washing in cold water which  is always more gentle on clothing. Always choose cold for anything that you don’t want to shrink. 

Save the hot water for really soiled loads: kids’ baseball uniforms, gardening clothes, dirty sheets. Wash all sheets, blankets, pillowcases and bed covers in hot water that is at least 130 F (54.4 C) to kill dust mites and remove allergens. Lastly, if bedding can‘t be washed hot, put the items in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at a temperature above 130 F (54.4 C) to kill the mites.

Furthermore, if a garment says wash in hot water, washing in cold won’t hurt it (washing a cold water garment in hot, however, can be damaging).

For the clothes I care about I use the dryer sparingly. It is a good idea to put the clothes in for 10 minutes and then hang them to dry.

Now you are on your way on how to wash absolutely everything.




What do the settings on your washing machine mean?

How to wash absolutely everything will seem easy once you understand the rules.

Choosing a cycle for your laundry may be confusing. My new washer has so many setting but I use only a few.

A cycle simply describes how quickly the laundry is agitated and how fast the machine spins the water out of the laundry.

To help your confusion, here are some of the basic cycles:

Regular: Use the regular setting (also may be Normal or Cotton) when you’re removing stains and dirt or washing durable fabrics like whites, sheets, towels, underwear, socks, and heavily soiled clothing. This is the longest washing setting.

Permanent Press: Using the permanent press setting should be used for clothing that wrinkle easily like dress shirts and slacks, or synthetic items.

Delicate:  The delicate cycle is best when you need to gently wash items like silk, lingerie – or anything that says delicate or hand wash on the tag.

At this point you should be an expert on how to wash absolutely everything.


Choosing the correct load size is important.

Knowing how to choose  the load size when adding your laundry is also important to ensure the correct amount of water. 

If the washing tub is one-quarter full, choose small, half full, choose medium more than half full, use large. Finally, if the washing machine is filled, use extra-large. Just a word of warning don’t cram your washing machine full of dirty laundry even if you have a lot. Gently toss it in, making sure nothing is wrapped around the agitator (if you have a top-loader).

A spill or stain doesn’t have to ruin a garment—see our “Stain Removal” section for directions on treating almost any kind of stain.  Check out this link for organic stain removal tips.


How to wash absolutely everything should be very clear to you now! Write me with any questions.

Don’t forget brushing your clothes to get the dust and debris off is the easiest way to save trips to the dry cleaner.

Ways to save money when doing laundry

You might not realize this but doing laundry is not cheap. 

  1. Try to wash full loads with cold water
  2. Extended spin will get more water out and save on drying. This works best with towels. It could but extra wear on good clothes.  A minute extra spin time could save 10 minutes in the dryer.

  3. Use lower heat settings to dry clothing. Regardless of drying time, you’ll still use less energy.
  4.  Dryer balls, usually wool or rubber, will help keep clothes separated for faster drying, and they can help reduce static, so you can eliminate dryer sheets.
  5. Clean the lint filter after each drying cycle.
  6. Compare energy use when buying a new washer and dryer. Many modern washers and dryers will use more than 50% less water and up to 75% less energy.
  7. Making your own laundry detergent. Look for recipes on pinterest. You can also use less laundry detergent than suggested on the bottle and your clothes will still be clean.
  8. Your clothes may dry faster if you throw in a dry towel.  The towel will help absorb moisture from the wet clothing.

Wondering how often you should wash jeans, pajamas, bras?

There’s no correct answer to how often you should wash your clothes. This is especially true for children’s clothing and items that see heavy use. Most likely with kids you’ll probably need to wash shirts and play clothes after each wear. 

Most clothes that you wear next to your body as a base layer should be washed frequently because sweat tend to get trapped in the fibers.

The source of the great debate—jeans! So, how often should you really wash your jeans? Well, jean manufacturers recommend washing every 3-10 wears.

Wash your bras every 3-6 times you wear it. If you must use the machine, put it in a lingerie bag and wash it on the delicate cycle. Your  sports bra will likely need to be washed after every workout.

Do you need to wash your pajamas after every wear? As long as they still smell fresh and clean, you can wear them 3 or 4 times before washing. You can wait a little longer if you shower at night right before putting on your pj’s. 

Jackets, sweatshirts, hoodies, and other layered gear don’t require a frequent washing schedule. Laundering these items every 5-20 wears.

If you layer your sweaters over another top, you may be able to get away with dry cleaning them once or twice a season

Your winter coat will last almost all season without requiring professional cleaning.

 How to wash absolutely everything should be easier to understand now that we covered the basics.