Dominic Francis, laundry manager at Vivanta By Taj - Surya, gives Pankaja Srinivasan some tips that will have her clothes sparkling, smelling nice and squeaky clean.

Do you stuff your washing into the machine and then lean on the door to shut it? If you do then you are in good company as almost every one does that. But before you rub your hands in glee, here’s the thing. The clothes that will come out of your machine after the wash cycle will be less than clean. That is a wrong way of going about your wash, admonishes Dominic Francis and gives a lesson on doing laundry.

Things to have at hand

Eco Friendly detergent with anti-bacterial properties

Bleach

Fabric Softener

Brush

Segregate!

No matter how tired you are, segregate your clothes. Not just into colours and whites. Separate according to textures and sizes too. For example, do not wash your curtain along with a kurta pyjama. Or your delicates with your jeans. The kurta pyjama needs a lighter wash, while the curtain has gathered days and weeks of grime and dust in it, and needs more heavy duty treatment. The dirt from the heavier fabrics can adhere to the more delicate ones if you wash them together.

Note: It is always advisable to dry clean your silks and woollens.

Washing Machines

Do not overload the washing machine. It equally important not to under load it. While too many clothes in the same wash will hamper their thorough cleaning, having too few clothes will have the same effect. Besides, running a machine through a whole cycle with just a handful of clothes is a waste of energy, water and electricity.

If you have just a handful of clothes, keep them aside till you collect some more. Or if you need them urgently, hand wash them.

Stubborn stains

Spot clean stains immediately. If you leave them too long they are difficult to get rid of. Always hand scrub cuffs and collars of shirts before putting them into the machine. It is advisable to soak heavily stained fabric overnight in soap water.

Useful to remember

It is always good to air silk saris and blouses for a few hours after they have been worn, before they are folded and put away.

Otherwise the damp of the sweat may lead to fungus and bacteria and permanent stains.

Whites

It always makes sense to wash the whites separately. In order to get that bright white look, add a good quality bleach with the detergent. But ensure you rinse the clothes three or four times to wash out any traces of bleach that remain. Do NOT use bleach for coloured clothes.