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Summer Laundry Guide

June 14, 2024 3 min read

Summer Laundry Guide

The next few months will be a whirlwind of activity, with lots of sand, wet clothes and a few grass stains signaling a long-awaited vacation. All remind us that it’s time to take a pause and enjoy longer days and living outdoors in the warm sun.

 

That doesn’t mean we can abandon our laundry chores; we just need to slightly adjust the way we launder to keep our homes, clothing and towels clean and dry.

 

Check out our tips for doing laundry successfully during the summer months.

 

Drying Right

While we keep us busy with fun activities, don’t forget to finish your laundry cycle. Once a load is washed, laundry experts suggest drying within eight to 12 hours though a safe bet is drying immediately after the cycle.

 

Fabrics that are sensitive to moisture such as cotton, wool and synthetic blends provide nutrients for mold spores to thrive. Wet clothing and bedding are also subject to mold and musty smells. Hot, humid and moist climates are often a breeding ground for mildew and mold where fabrics are challenged with drying on their own. Cool, dry air areas allow top layers to dry out but not always thoroughly.

 

Thick, heavier fabrics like blankets, towels and sweatshirts are more absorbent and therefore trap moisture that can lead to mildew issues. Let your nose be the judge; if your laundry smells moldy, it’s time for a rewash. Luckily you can skip the detergent and run through a second cycle (hot water for whites; warm or cool for colors) with one cup of white vinegar or ½ to one cup of baking soda. No need to worry about any residual smells clinging to your laundry; the water dilutes it.

 

Avoid leaving wet items in a closed, damp and dark washer overnight, and consider letting nature do the air drying outdoors. Afterwards, tumble sheets and clothing in the dryer with a few LooHoos to sort out any wrinkles or soften fabrics.

 

If you’re plagued with forgetfulness, consider setting a timer and avoid washing later in the evening. Also, be sure to keep the machine lid open between cycles to prevent mold and mildew from growing in your appliance.

 

Treating Stains

From ketchup and barbecue sauce to sunscreen and ice cream, and everything in between, stains are an unavoidable part of summertime. While most stains cannot be treated the same, all need our immediate attention. The longer the stain remains, the more difficult it is to remove. And in some cases, once it’s set in, the stain is there to stay.

 

Surface stains can be treated with simple wiping or cleaning, whereas deeper stains require a light scrub with detergent or SoulShine Soap Company’s all-natural stain stick and soaking. Oil and grease stains can be treated with talcum powder or salt and a gentle brushing. Grass can be treated with a warm water, lemon and baking soda mixture that’s the consistency of a paste. Simply cover the stain with the paste, let soak about 15 minutes, then scrub with an old toothbrush and water.

 

When it comes to bug spray and sunscreen, of which both can discolor fabric, treat the stain with a pre-wash stain remover, a stain stick or detergent and wash on the hottest, safest water temperature. If the stain remains, repeat the process. Remember, a hot dryer typically sets a stain.

 

Caring for Swimwear

To keep sand out of your machine, hand wash bathing suits first. To machine wash after, set on the gentle or delicates cycle, select the cold setting and wash with mild detergent.

 

Air drying is safer but if using a dryer, select the air fluff cycle to protect the elasticity, prevent fading and ensure the suit looks good throughout the season.

 

Keeping Car Clean

Mold and mildew can grow in other places besides the washing machine, namely, your car. With all of the wet bathing suits and towels you’ll be transporting, it’s especially important to stay on top of where you put your laundry and when you clean it.

 

The mildew, yeast and bacteria can spread to your car’s upholstery. If you can’t fully dry wet clothes before packing them up, set them out to dry when you get home or clean right away. Laundry experts say mold can begin to grow within 24 hours. Wet clothes—including sweaty gym items—can get smelly in a car, which is exasperated when the weather is hotter. The smell is bacteria and the heat makes it grow faster.

 

Mesh bags like LooHoo’s reusable wash bags are great for airing out damp items until you’re ready to do a load…and get back to fun in the sun.