How to do laundry for dummies

I’m not exaggerating when I say that doing laundry properly is an art. There are different ways to do it, but in the end, experts usually agree on the foundation of best practices. I’ve mastered those best practices. Throughout my 21 long years I’ve perfected the laundry formula and I’m prepared to share it with you for the betterment of us all: 

Step 1: Separate your clothes. 

I almost always do more than one load of laundry at once so I start out by sorting my clothes into piles: one of smaller, lighter items; another of jeans, hoodies and sweatpants. Color doesn’t matter because I always wash in cold water so the colors never bleed. 

Pro tip: Wash similar items together if you have multiple loads to do, it makes it easier to fold later. 

Step 2: *Pour* in detergent. 

Detergent makes or breaks the whole process. Liquid laundry detergent is best because you can control how much you use depending on the amount of clothes or the dirt level. In my unbiased opinion, Gain Original liquid detergent is the best on the market because it smells like miracles, but that’s just me. 

Measure a generous amount and pour in evenly around the bottom of the washer bin. If you don’t use enough detergent, your clothes will be clean but might not have the fresh laundry smell that makes it all worth it. 

Pro tip: Do not use laundry pods. They are not always guaranteed to dissolve properly and may damage or stain your clothes. Scent boosters are optional and often wonderful but they too run the risk of not fully dissolving.

Step 3: Toss in those clothes. 

Toss in your clothes, either item by item or a few at a time, starting with the lighter stuff in your basket. Don’t cram the clothes in, just toss them in until it fills almost completely up. 

If that didn’t fit all your clothes, repeat the process in another machine or after you transfer this load over to a dryer. 

Pro tip: Newer machines often have eco-friendly options to lessen your laundry’s carbon footprint. 

Step 4: Start the washer. 

Wash in cold water, it’s better for your clothes and the environment. 

Pro tip: Warm water doesn’t wash your clothes any differently, it just makes your colors fade faster. 

Step 5: Transfer to dryer.

About 30 minutes later, you should come back and toss your clean clothes into the dryer. Put one dryer sheet in before your clothes and one after. Make sure the lint trap is clean so the lint from your clothes have somewhere to go and a fire doesn’t start.

Pro tip: Do not leave your clothes in too long, they could come out smelling burnt and the whole process would prove pointless. 

Step 6: Fold clothes immediately.

No one likes wrinkly clothes so it’s important to fold or hang everything you can as soon as possible. I, like most 21-year-olds, cannot iron or do not have the means to, so this step is crucial in preventing wrinkles when you have no means to remove them later on.