Laundry is a chore that must be done. Unfortunately, there are not many people who truly enjoy doing laundry. To make the process less arduous, there are tools available to help improve the efficiency of the chore. At the minimum, keep two hampers around to hold dirty clothes, one for whites and one for colors. Make sure clothes are washed as soon as the basket is full in order to avoid waiting too long and spending the entire day washing your clothes.
Types of Washing Machines
There are two main types of washing machines: top-loaders and front-loaders. With top-loaders, people do not need to bend over to load clothes, more clothes can be added in the middle of the cycle, shorter cycle times are offered, and regular laundry detergent is used. Front-loaders are more efficient because the tub is not only half filled with water, but it also spins at higher speeds so that clothes are drier before going into the dryer. Overall, less water and energy are used in front-loaders. Some factors to consider when buying a washing machine include the following:
- Water conservation
- Noise level
- Spin speed
- Gentleness on clothes.
Shopping for a Dryer
When deciding which dryer to purchase, determine between gas and electricity, as well as noise level. Models that use gas are a little more expensive than electric models, but in the long run, gas models will be more economical. Dryers with sensors to detect moisture will automatically turn off when the laundry is dry, and can be a good money-saving option. To conserve space, washers and dryers can be stacked on top of each other. Many appliance stores have special deals and will install washers and dryers for free with purchase.
Dryers vs. Air Drying
While convenient, drying clothes in the dryer actually shortens the lifespan of clothes. For example, the heat destroys the elastic in underwear and socks. Little balls of fabric may form, as the fibers of the material are rubbed together and become thin in the dryer. Also, while in the dryer, clothes shrink and stains are set. One should consider air drying clothes on laundry racks, an energy conscious and economical alternative. Think about how much money would be saved on utilities if clothes are hung until about 90% dry, and tossed into the dryer with a dryer sheet for a few minutes, just enough to make them soft!
Adding an Ironing Cupboard
For cramped living quarters, an ironing cupboard contains a long piece of wood or metal used for ironing clothes. Simply open the closet door, open up the board when needed, fold it back up and close the door when done. Found in nooks and crannies, it is simple, useful, and a good space saver.