Almost everybody does laundry. Some people that can afford it prefer to take their dirty clothes to professional cleaners where they pay to have them cleaned. Other people do their own laundry using washers and dryers or their own hands. If you are doing your own laundry, there are certain laundry supplies you will need to successfully accomplish that task.
Laundry is best done in bulk. This means that it is more efficient to accumulate a certain amount dirty laundry then do it when you have too many or too few dirty clothes. Some people do theirs once a week, other people, especially those with children, do theirs more frequently. The best way to avoid having a pile of dirty clothes on the floor is to use a clothes hamper.
A hamper is a container that holds dirty clothes while they are waiting to be washed or dried. Clothes hampers are available in many sizes and styles. For those with a lot of laundry, there are 3 section laundry hampers that allow for sorting and storing laundry into whites, darks and colors.
The basic laundry supplies needed to do laundry are water and detergent. Bleach, stain removers and fabric softeners are other laundry supplies widely used. Water can be used at different temperatures and if used inappropriately may affect your clothes. Hot water can make your delicate clothes shrink and fade but is best for washing whites, linens and towels. Delicate and dark colored clothes are best washed in cold water. Always look at the tags in clothes to know what temperature of water to use.
Laundry detergent mixes with water and removes dirt and stains from your clothes. Laundry detergents are available in liquid or powder form. When using powder detergent, add it to the water before adding clothes to allow it to dissolve first. Detergents are also available for different fabrics such as detergents with color-safe bleach for colors and detergents with mild formulas and no dyes for delicates. Detergents may also have fabric softeners and refreshers. Detergents with no dyes, fragrances and that are made of mild formulas are popular among people that have sensitive skin and people washing clothes for babies.
Bleach is a chemical that mixes with detergent and water to remove soil and stains from clothes. Bleaches also disinfect and whiten fabrics. Bleaches are either oxygen- or chlorine-based. Chlorine bleach is used for whites and as a disinfectant. Oxygen bleach is used on all types of fabrics. To avoid damaging clothes, always add bleach to laundry water and never pour directly on clothes.
Many stain removers are available for different types of stains and fabrics. Always read the tags in clothes and the instructions on a stain remover before using one. Some stain removers are applied directly to the stain while others are added to the wash water.
Fabric softeners are available as liquids that are added to the laundry water or sheets that are added to the clothes dyer. They are used to prevent or reduce static cling from clothes and also to soften them. Some people also use fabric softeners simply for the smell it adds to the fabrics especially on items like bed sheets and bath towels. Fabric softeners are available in many different types and scents. There are even fragrance free hypoallergenic softeners for people with allergies. If a fabric softener cannot be used, vinegar can be used as a substitute.
If washing clothes by hand, some additional laundry supplies are a basin or a laundry sink. Other laundry supplies are pre-soaks, color brighteners, whiteners and water softeners. Some laundry items require special drying care or, in the absence of a clothes dryer, then a drying rack or a clothesline could be used to dry clothes.