Laundry tips for back to school washing at home

miele washing machine to illustrate laundry tips

It’s term time again, which means endless school uniforms and sports kit going in the washing basket. As a parent or guardian, it can feel as though putting through load after load into the washing machine is all you do. But luckily we’ve got some expert tips for you here.

Laundry tips are much needed at the start of term. Thankfully the experts at LG, Miele and Bosch are here to help you save time, money and effort with their handy advice, so here goes…

Tips from LG

David Palmer, Senior Product Specialist Home Appliances at LG Electronics, gave us lots of fantastic advice.

Think about your laundry strategy

What’s your approach to laundry? Do you plan to do a wash every day or just once a week? How often do you need to wash and are you washing correctly? Ask yourself these questions, and be aware of the following laundry tips:

  • Energy prices are at their lowest between 10pm and 5am. So, for the night owls and early risers, this is the best time to use your machines. 
  • According to Npower, it costs around 16p to run a washing machine, so if you can do one wash per week instead of each evening, you could save more than £24 over the 38-week school year. 
  • The state of your child’s school uniform will vary day-to-day depending on their activities. However, some items of clothing, such as underwear or socks, will need washing more frequently than others.

Therefore, depending on your load size, LG suggests the following laundry tips:

  • For smaller loads, Speed 14 is very useful. With a 2kg capacity, this will wash your clothes fast and with minimal water and energy cost. 
  • If washing for the week, a cycle like Easy Care is great for items which don’t require ironing. This cycle uses our AI DD technology to detect fabric load and adjust length. It also detects water and energy usage, and fabric softness to give better fabric care. 
  • If you have a WiFi-connected washer, there’s even a download cycle available specifically called School Uniforms via the LG ThinQ app.
  • Using Eco Cycles instead of fast washes will also save you money in the long run, for energy and water costs.
save water with this washing machine
For the above tips, LG recommends buying the LG FH4G1BCS2 washing machine.
 

More handy laundry tips

What school uniform includes and how to tackle the odds

How many shapes, colours and sizes are you dealing with? Is your school uniform delicate, can you wash it yourself, and can you wash everything in one go? While you ask yourself these questions, here are more laundry tips for you:

  • When it comes to cleaning the more difficult items, such as blazers, rugby caps and cricket jumpers, choosing a setting and what to combine in a load can be daunting. 
  • Research by Ariel revealed that 95 items of clothing will be ruined over the average adult lifetime.
  • It is more cost-effective to fill up your machine, but don’t be tempted to overfill your appliance as this can make them less effective at cleaning clothes properly. 
Test optimum capacity and approach the trickier items with care
  • Washing a full load is more economical than smaller loads, especially when using the Eco 40-60 program – as two half-load Eco Cycles can take up to 1.5 hours longer than one full load cycle. This is one of the most useful laundry tips.
  • The best way to fill a washing machine is item by item, so don’t just dump the washing basket right in. Putting each item in separately helps the wash performance. It also means there are no unwanted guests like pens or phones your children may have forgotten!
  • The simple test to check if you’re at optimum capacity is to place your hand on the top of the drum. If you can freely move your hand, you’re good to go! Different items can be mixed, but don’t wash delicate light fabrics with something with Velcro.
  • LG washing machines with AI DD can detect the fabric characteristics of the load and adjust wash motions to give the best possible wash on Cotton, Mixed and Easy Care cycles. 
  • The Duvet cycle is also a good option for bulky items, using a variety of motions to push the water through larger loads to maximize performance. LG’s Delicate or Hand/Wool cycles are perfect for special items as they use minimal drum movements and let clothes bathe in the water to avoid damage or matting. 
  • LG’s flexible ezDispense system allows you to choose whether you use the second tank for softener, additional normal detergent (to allow up to 35 loads), or a special detergent. So, if washing a lot of wool or sportswear, you could use the second tank for one of these specifically. 
an LG washing machine to illustrate laundry tips
For the above tips, LG recommend buying the LG F4V910WTSE Washing Machine. 
Cut costs while caring for your children’s clothes

How much do you spend a year on school uniform? Does looking after it save you from buying more each year? Also, how effective is your washing in getting rid of germs? Here are some more great laundry tips:

  • Back to school can be an expensive time, especially with the current cost-of-living crisis. So understandably, the prospect of splashing out on brand new school uniform is anxiety-inducing for many households. 
  • According to the Department for Education (DfE), the cost of school uniform is estimated to be over £230 for many. 
  • Getting the full value out of an item before your child outgrows it can delay further purchases and help with cash flow – particularly if your child has siblings for hand-me-downs. 
  • Energy Savings Trust say you could save around £28 a year from your energy bill, as on average switching from 40°C to 30°C saves 38% energy, and dropping to 20°C saves 62% (Which.com). 
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Help clothes stand the test of time and last the school year
  • Lower wash temperatures mean cycles take less time to complete and use considerably less energy. This helps to save on bills and increase your machine’s energy efficiency. 
  • LG’s unique AI DD system detects fabric softness and adjusts the motions for the specific load to improve fabric care by up to 18%. This works alongside the innovative beltless DirectDrive Motor which can replicate different washing styles to further look after your clothes. 
  • Auto-dosing is another great feature to help reduce time and effort and maximize wash performance while saving you money. It automatically releases the correct amount of detergent for the best results. Most people overdose which negatively affects wash quality and can reduce the lifespan of your appliance. 
  • Save your hot washes for the items that matter most, for example, bedding, towels and sportswear. These items are most likely to host a multitude of bacteria. 
  • Many LG washing machines have Steam technology. Allergy Care cycles use this and bathe your clothes in sanitising steam to reduce bacteria and allergens by up to 99.99%, as recognised by the British Allergy Foundation.

Advice from Miele

Tom Akers, Product Sales Manager at Miele GB, gives us his expert advice.

School uniform washing laundry tips

“For school uniforms, to ensure longevity we would recommend always following the individual care label. However, you can also do a few other things to prolong the life of the clothes:

– Wash knitwear (and school jumpers) inside out. This eliminates the possibility of pilling or bobbles forming on the garments and to keep them looking their best for longer.

– It is also important not to overload the machine as this can result in poor wash results and heavy creasing. On most washing machines, there will be a recommendation for the maximum capacity for each programme. Observe this for optimal results.

– 1kg equals around 4-8 dry school shirts (depending on size). Miele washing machines give a load capacity in the dry weight of laundry. However, some manufactures will instead give a wet clothing weight. This can make a big difference so it is important to check this to ensure you are not overloading the machine.

– Quick washes of 20 or 30 minutes may be tempting, but these are generally not suitable for a wash with normal soiling. Only use them to freshen up clean clothing. If using detergent capsules or powder, these will not fully dissolve within 30 minutes and can therefore result in poor wash results.

– For minimal ironing, using a programme such as the Miele “minimum iron” programme will ensure garments are as crease free as possible. If this or a similar programme is not available, then dropping down the spin speed to around 1000rpm will achieve a similar result. However, spinning clothes at a lower spin speed will mean they hold a little more water and take slightly longer to dry.

Sports kit washing tips

– For sportswear, avoid using fabric conditioner as it can block active “breathable” sportswear fabrics.

– Always follow the care label in the garment and observe the wash temperature and level of agitation as some technical fabrics can differ in their requirements.

– Ideally your clothes will need thorough washing as water alone will not fully break down the body fats and sweat, so some of the residue would remain in the fabrics. Bear in mind that if you wait too long to wash your items it will be more difficult to get rid of bad smells and dirt from the fabric.

– We do advise using specialist detergent if possible. Hero Miele detergents such as the Sportswear detergent are excellent at breaking down bad smells. They also help to prevent Lycra from snagging or causing electrostatic charging of fibres, helping your sportswear to last longer. Other clothes would not be harmed by being washed in this detergent. It is important to bear in mind however that synthetic clothing is more sensitive than cotton. So it is recommended to load the machine to only a half load with a maximum of 4kg.”

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Product recommendation

a Miele washing machine
Miele WER865 WPS Washing Machine (comes with ten-year warranty), £1999, Miele.

About this product

The top of the range WER865 WPS benefits from Miele’s sleek MTouch control panel allowing the user to choose programmes with a simple swipe or tap.  The touch control panel has been designed to be as intuitive and similar to use as a familiar smartphone device.  Compatible with the [email protected] app, this means the machine can be operated remotely from a smartphone or tablet or by voice control via Amazon Alexa to pause and start the machine’s cycle. Miele’s innovative WashAssistant is also on board to recommend the most suitable programme for each laundry load.  Whether coloured or whites, cotton or silk, heavily or lightly soiled, the user does not have to second guess which programme will deliver the perfect cleaning results for their laundry.

Miele’s AddLoad feature allows users to add in additional washing at any time during the wash programme. Miele’s intuitive two-phase dispensing detergent system, TwinDos, is also on board to deliver just the right amount of detergent.  The QuickPowerWash programme, will complete a wash cycle in just 49 minutes.  And for gentle cleaning of specialist clothing, this model features Miele’s exclusive CapDos system, allowing the use of Miele’s specialist detergent capsules for stubborn soiling.  What’s more, both Miele TwinDos and CapDos capsule packaging can be recycled to help reduce waste.  Designed to take on heavy loads of up to 9kg such as a double duvet, this machine also benefits from SingleWash, for small loads down to a single garment to be washed efficiently and economically. It offers an exceptional A+++ 40% energy rating.

Advice from Bosch

Here are some expert laundry tips from Lucy Bye, Group Marketing Manager at Bosch.

School uniforms can end up taking quite a lot of punishment, both in the classroom and the playground. Here are five top tips to help keep them looking smart and clean for longer.

Check the label. Most items of a school uniform are fine with the standard recommended wash for their type of material, but every so often things like blazers may need special care.

Also check for stains, which should be soaked as quickly as possible. For most stains and most materials, leaving the garment submerged in water for 15 minutes to 30 minutes is ideal.

The exception is mud. Let mud dry, then gently scrape off the worst and dab gently with water or a stain remover to get rid of the rest.

For more stubborn stains, use a stain remover, then make use of our special wash programmes such as AutoStain. This is designed to effectively deal with 16 of the most common stains.

Why you should wash at cooler temperatures

Washing at cooler temperatures [30°c*–40°c] is more colour kind and can help keep garments looking as vibrant as when you first wore them. 

The design of our VarioDrum also lends a helping hand in taking care of your clothes and still gets outstanding cleaning results. This helps keeps garments stay looking great for longer.

* If washing at 30 degrees, BSH recommends that you occasionally run an empty hot wash to clean out the pipes. This is because 30°c isn’t hot enough to stop detergent particles building up.

Take care with items that have patches or embroidery. Turning the garment inside out before washing can help protect them. Iron gently, avoiding the embroidered areas.

When it comes to drying school uniforms, always check the label. Some items of clothing need to be air dried to keep them in their best condition. If you are using a dryer, be sure to use Sensitive Drying System options.

Don’t overheat or dry too long as this can damage or shrink clothes. Bosch Moisture Sensor measures the moisture coming from your clothes and knows when they’re perfectly dry.

For kids’ sportswear to perform day after day, proper care must be taken, wash after wash.

Useful laundry tips and tricks for sportswear

Wash the sportswear immediately after use. Sweaty clothes kept in a gym bag are a breeding ground for germs and smells.

Use special liquid detergent to avoid colour fade and stretching. Look for one that doesn’t contain bleach or optical brighteners.

Avoid fabric softeners as they ‘clog’ the fine microfibres which damages the moisture wicking ability of sportswear.

Always read the labels, but generally low temperatures [30 to 40°c] are optimal for maximum protection.

Lengthen the life of sportswear by selecting a slow, gentle spin speed (max 800 rpm).

washing machine to illustrate laundry tips
WDU8H549GB Serie 8 freestanding washer dryer, £1309, Bosch.

So, did you enjoy this feature on laundry tips? Then check out this article on how to create a laundry room.

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