Do you have a child preparing to leave the nest? If they don’t know how to properly do laundry yet, now is a good time to teach them. Doing laundry is a simple task, so don’t let your son or daughter leave home without learning this essential life skill. The last thing you want is a desperate phone call about a washing machine overflowing with soap suds! Here are a few tips you can pass on:

  1. Buy quality detergent. Generic detergent brands will do the job, but they often leave behind an itchy film of soap residue on your clothes. Your kids have probably learned to love the brand that you use, so give them some tips on what to buy.

  2. Sort. Take the time to sort your lights, brights and darks. Sorting properly will save them the misery of permanently staining white clothes with a poorly placed red shirt or a pair of blue jeans.

  3. Soak stains. A great tip is to soak stains in cold water as soon as possible! Purchase a spray-on stain remover to apply before washing. When you’re on the go, you can carry stain remover pens in your purse or backpack. Also, never dry or iron clothes until you have removed the stain, or it will set and become permanent.

  4. Efficiency. As tempting as it can be, let your kids know not to over-stuff the machines. We understand the urge to conserve energy, water and time, but you’re better off doing it right the first time around. If you shove too much laundry into the machines, your clothes will wash poorly and take longer to dry.

  5. Safety. Temperatures inside your electrical dryer can reach over 700℉. If you allow flammable lint to pile up, these high temperatures create a serious fire hazard. Be sure to clean the lint filter after each use!

  6. Portion control. Don’t go overboard on the detergent. The “fill” line is labeled for a reason. Using too much detergent is wasteful and can cause staining. On the other hand, if you’re overly conservative with detergent your clothes won’t get completely clean. Mini Maid suggests mixing the amount of detergent recommended on the label with water before tossing your clothes in the washer; this allows the soap to spread evenly over a full load.

  7. Read labels. Children who are inexperienced with doing laundry may not be aware that not all fabrics are machine washable. Furthermore, not everything that can be washed in a machine can go in the dryer. Let your kids know about air-drying, especially for delicates that can easily melt or shrink. If they don’t want to hang their delicate pieces outside, they can place them in the dryer on a lower setting and remove them before the end of the cycle.

Photo: Shutterstock

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