But if you're like me, you probably use a modern washing machine to do your dirty work, and even if you've never operated one before, you'll (hopefully) be an expert by the time you're done reading.
Step 1: Materials
Now, you'll need several things before you start doing your laundry:
- Dirty clothes (of course)
- Bleach (for doing whites)
- Fabric softener (optional)
As of right now, my options for the above are limited to simple detergent, being as I'm on vacation at the moment, and didn't bring bleach or fabric softener along.
Step 2: Getting Started With the Wash
In the center-agitated model that I have access to at the moment I begin by loading my laundry around the spindle evenly. Before loading, however, I find it beneficial to search through the pockets of the clothing to find anything that may interfere with the washing process eg. coins, tissues, wallets, etc.
If I were separating my whites, an option that you may prefer to choose, I would place an amount of bleach recommended by the manufacturer in the allocated slot in the machine before adding my detergent. A risk you take blending colors the way I am here is bleeding of darker or more heavily dyed clothing onto whites, making them discolored.
The amount of detergent you use depends on the size of the load of laundry you're washing. I followed the recommendations on the bottle that I used and poured it evenly over the clothing in the drum. If you're using powdered detergent, sprinkle it evenly over the clothing. It's worth noting that using too much detergent may cause a negative effect on your wash. Use the manufacturer's recommended amount depending on the amount of laundry being done.
Step 3: Enter Your Settings and Begin the Washing Process
I'm doing a mixed load, so I have some pretty standard settings going. However, check the tags of your clothes in order to find the ideal settings for washing and drying them. I direct you to textileaffairs.com to check out their helpful guide to care symbols. It's worth giving the link a look, being as certain settings can shrink clothing made of cotton or other shrinkable material.
After you enter your settings, it's time to start your washing machine. Most machines have a knob to choose your washing mode. I set mine to a high setting and pulled on the knob to initiate the washing sequence.
Now all you have to do is wait. The amount of time the load takes depends on your settings and how efficient your washer is.
Step 4: Time to Dry!
Similarly to the washer, the dryer also has settings that require attention before drying can be started. Just like the washing knob, you must select the drying program from the list around the knob. When you select which one you'd like, there's only one more knob to worry about before you can finish the job.
Most dryer models have some form of temperature knob. Simply select which one suits the type of clothing you're drying and press the start button. When drying fleeces or synthetic materials it is best to use a lower temperature setting, as you might melt or warp the material.
Once you've done that, your work is almost done!
Step 5: Finishing Touches
I hope that if you knew nothing about doing laundry that you've at least got a vague understanding of how to machine process works. Thanks for reading!
As a special note, I'd like to thank Catlinsdad for the helpful contributions he suggested.