I always start my cycle on hot water, add the soap, make sure it suds, then choose my temperature.
Hot – only for whites
Warm – lights and towels
Cold – for darks and reds. Also for anything with urine or vomit or blood. Isn’t it amazing that the ickiest things in life are cleaned up with the cheapest, most available substance – cold water?
For several years, didn’t have warm water attached to washer and ya’ know what? My laundry still always got clean using only cold water. Life is more about making your circumstances work, rather than longing for different circumstances.
The crucial point here is to get the stains out or nearly out before you throw them in the washer to ensure you get the stains out.
Like my mother before me, I am a huge Spray ‘n Wash fan.
Like my mother before me, there were years I couldn’t afford this luxury. Yet, it is a luxury to some SILK~ Single Income Lotsa Kids~Family. Yea, I made that up. SILK sounds better than DINK~Duel Income No Kids~ doncha’ think?
So, that’s when I started keeping a toothbrush in my laundry room. Sometimes, I just used a bar of soap for pre-treating. I’d get the bristles wet, run it over the soap, and brush my stain away. Obviously, you have to be careful about the kind of fabrics you’re running your bristles over.
I also would just dip the toothbrush into the detergent lid to get a little soap.
For ring-around-the-collar, a white collar wife’s worst enemy, I sometimes used shampoo. I read once if it works on the grease in the hair, it should work on the grease on the collar. So, that last little bit in the bottom of the bottle would be diluted with water, squirted on the spot.
I’m a slow learner, but I recently added hydrogen peroxide to my pre-treating routine. Just watch it bubble away blood. It’s amazing!
I’ve always used the cheapest of the cheapest soap, and used half the amount they recommend. Secretly, I think it’s a conspiracy. They tell you to use more than you need, so you buy twice as much.
About six months ago, my daughters began making laundry soap for me. But, that’s another blog.
We have sensitive skin, and soaps with a lot of color and/or perfumes bother us. We LOVE the smell of them, but it’s not worth itching all the time and breaking out in little bumps.
A dirty machine means dirty laundry. Dirty and grime can build up along the inside of the lid, along the edge and even along the top of the drum. About once a week, when I’m washing a load of towels, I take a washcloth and wash down the machine in these areas, then toss the washcloth in the load.