Doing housework like a pro is arguably one of the hallmarks of the 21st Century Man. If you’re a guy who does his fair share of work around the house, there may be some chores that get under your skin. If the laundry is a particular bug-bear for you, these tips will help you not only survive a laundry bomb, but master it like an art.
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You’ll be relieved to know that not even the most OCD laundry expert suggests that every piece of clothing should be laundered after one wear. Your day-to-day jeans can probably go a few weeks between washes if you don’t sweat much. A little common sense is all that’s needed with hard-wearing items like jeans and tracksuit tops. Just give it a look over and have a sniff. When in doubt, chuck it in the wash basket.
Some items must be washed every time. For example, t-shirts, underwear, and socks must all be washed after even a brief wear. You can get between 1 and 3 wears out of items like button-down shirts and wool knits, depending on how sweaty and humid the day was, the fabric the item is made of, and how tightly it fits. Linen clothes can often go a little longer without a wash because the fabric is breathable. Sometimes you can get away with a simple airing, hanging your item near an open window for a few hours.
Read. The. Label
Yes, that sounds crazy. Why would any sane and competent man read instructions? But even so, laundry is one situation when reading the label actually helps. From drying instructions to detergent type and water temp, taking a moment to scan that label on your wool sweater could save you money and hassle. Labels are simple—in fact, even a child could probably work out what one should and shouldn’t do, based on the accompanying pictures!—and once you’ve read them once, you’ll probably get the hang of it and stop needing it.
If you’ve cut the label out, or the item doesn’t have a label, check the website of the store you bought the item from before throwing your expensive clothing in the wash. For example, according to ties.co.uk, tweed ties are dry clean only, so you wouldn’t want to throw those bad boys in with your socks!
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Don’t Overload Your Washing Machine
If once and a while, your home seems to have been the site of an exploding laundry-bomb, try to keep calm and take pity on your washing machine. Do not overload it. Rather, do several loads in a row. You will get far superior results If you leave enough room in the washing machine for the clothing to move freely inside. No need to get too hung up on load size—just eye-ball it, or check the recommended load size on your washing machine instructions (usually under the lid) or manufacturer website.
Whether you have five kids or are a single dad, doing the laundry is a great way to show that you care. These tips will help you keep the laundry monster at bay!