No more scratchy towels or whites going grey! The eight laundry problems we hate most… and how to solve them.
- Good Housekeeping Institute compiled list based on letters and emails asking the magazine for advice
- The GHI’s eight-woman testing team spent a fortnight carrying out research in a test kitchen
- Recommend preventing whites going grey by using more detergent and soaking in bleach solution
- Despite 92 years of research the institute still have not resolved how to reverse the shrinking of jumpers
They are widespread washday woes which can leave you in a filthy mood.
But the days of towels ending up harsh, whites going grey and cottons coming out all bobbly could soon disappear down the drain with these laundry problems solutions.
They have been identified among the eight most common washing problems by Britain’s leading housekeeping experts, who have issued guidance on how to cure them.
The Good Housekeeping Institute (GHI), a department of Good Housekeeping magazine, drew up the list based on the hundreds of emails and letters which the magazine receives every year from readers asking for washing advice.
The GHI’s eight-woman testing team then spent a fortnight carrying out research in the institute’s test kitchen at their headquarters in Soho, central London, to find the best fixes for the problems.
Yesterday Trisha Schofield, 58, a GHI director and member of the testing department for 28 years, said: ‘The thing the most people write in about is why their towels don’t come out soft.
‘People often dry them over radiators – and over dry them – which really makes them hard and brittle. The best way to dry them is in a tumble dryer, if you have one.
‘It’s also important not to use fabric conditioner every time you wash towels. It may make them come out fluffy, but it reduces their ability to absorb water. We’d advise only putting fabric conditioner one in every five washes of towels.’
If your whites are going grey, it is probably because dirt removed during washing has been re-deposited on the clothing as a very thin, uniform layer, the GHI say.
To cure that, they advise using more detergent, the maximum dose allowed, and washing again at the highest temperature, soaking in a bleach solution and then rinsing thoroughly. To stop it happening in the first place, they suggest: ‘Always follow the recommended dosage instructions and wash whites separately.’
Bobbling on cotton and synthetic blends, usually caused by the abrasion of fibres through normal wear and tear, is best cured by picking off by hand or with sticky tape, the GHI say. To prevent these laundry problems from happening again, they suggest washing garments inside out on a delicate wash cycle, using fabric conditioner and not overfilling the machine.
The GHI was set up in 1924 at a time when fewer women were going into domestic service following the First World War and household appliances were beginning to become more prevalent, meaning more women were looking for advice.
But even after 92 years’ experience of domestic troubleshooting, there is one problem even they still cannot reverse – that of shrinking jumpers.
Mrs Schofield said: ‘Everyone has done it at some time, but you just can’t reverse it if it’s really badly shrunk.
‘If you machine wash wool at too high a temperature or spin speed, it causes the fibres to felt and go matted, which is irreversible. In less severe cases, re-wetting the item and gently stretching it can work and get it back to the size it should be.’
Credit: Daily Mail