collaborative post | Fresh-smelling laundry is more than just a mark of cleanliness; it’s a comforting feeling every time you wear your clothes, sheets, or towels. Ensuring that your laundry doesn’t just look clean, but also smells fresh and odour-free, takes a combination of good practices and savvy hacks. Here’s a step-by-step guide to achieving that delightful aroma in your laundry.
1. Pre-treatment is key
Before even beginning the washing process, identify any garments with stubborn odours or visible stains. Pre-treating these items with a mix of equal parts water and white vinegar can be very effective. Simply spray the solution onto the affected area, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wash as you normally would.
2. Choose the right detergent
The market is replete with a plethora of detergent options – from liquid to powder and everything in between. One innovative option is washing detergent sheets. These sheets are not only convenient but also minimise waste, ensuring you use just the right amount of detergent for each load. Furthermore, the composition of these sheets often includes elements designed specifically to tackle stubborn odours.
3. Don’t overload the washing machine
It’s tempting to shove everything into the machine to save on time and resources, but overloading can be counterproductive. Clothes need ample space to move around freely, allowing water and detergent to penetrate every fibre. Overstuffing can lead to clothes not being cleaned or rinsed properly, resulting in trapped odours.
4. Use the right water temperature
Hot water is generally more effective at eliminating bacteria and odours, especially from heavily soiled garments. However, not all fabrics and colours can handle hot temperatures. Check care labels and adjust the water temperature accordingly.
5. Incorporate natural odour eliminators
Baking soda and white vinegar are laundry champions. Adding a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle can help to break down oils, ensuring clothes come out smelling fresh. Similarly, half a cup of baking soda added to the wash cycle can neutralise and remove odours.
6. Regularly clean your washing machine
A dirty machine can be the primary culprit for foul-smelling laundry. Residue from detergents, fabric softeners, and grime can build up, providing a haven for mould and bacteria. Run a monthly maintenance wash: select a hot water cycle and add two cups of white vinegar to an empty drum. This will clean, disinfect, and deodorise the machine.
7. Make use of the sun
Sunlight is a natural disinfectant and odour remover. Whenever possible, dry your clothes outside in direct sunlight. UV rays can help kill bacteria and other microbes responsible for unwanted scents.
8. Ensure clothes are completely dry before storing
Storing damp clothes can lead to mould and mildew, producing a musty odour that’s challenging to get rid of. Whether you’re using a dryer or air-drying, ensure garments are 100% dry before folding and storing them away.
9. Use scent boosters or fabric softeners
For those who love a potent fresh scent on their laundry, scent boosters or fabric softeners can be added to the wash. However, use them judiciously as they can sometimes reduce the absorbency of towels and the wicking ability of sportswear.
10. Store laundry with care
Once you’ve achieved that fresh-smelling laundry, it’s essential to maintain the aroma. Use cedar blocks or sachets filled with dried lavender in your drawers and closets. These not only impart a pleasant scent but also deter pests.
11. Keep your laundry area ventilated
A well-ventilated laundry area ensures that dampness and odours don’t accumulate. After washing, leave the washing machine door open to allow it to air out. This prevents mildew and mould growth inside.
12. Rotate your clothes
It’s easy to wear the same few garments over and over. But giving clothes a rest allows fibres to return to their natural state, reducing the chances of them trapping and retaining odours. Plus, rotating ensures even wear and tear on all your clothes.
Maintaining an amazing, odour-free aroma in your laundry isn’t just about the washing phase. It’s a holistic process, starting from pre-treatment to how you store your garments post-wash.
By incorporating some or all of the tips mentioned above, you can ensure that each laundry day results in garments that don’t just look clean but smell divine too. The next time you pull a shirt out of your closet or drawer, it’ll be accompanied by a delightfully fresh scent that lifts your spirits.