Introduction: How to Wash Clothes

This is a ten step guide on how to do laundry!


Washing Machine


Laundry Soap or Detergent

Fabric Softener

Dirty Clothes


Laundry Basket (optional)

Step 1: Gather Dirty Clothes

This step is probably the easiest step for washing your clothes. First we need to gather all the dirty clothes that you are planning on washing for the day. It is better to have enough clothes to wash, rather than washing small loads every day. It helps to put the dirty clothes in a laundry basket or laundry bin to make carrying all the clothes easier. Put all the gathered clothes in close proximity to the washer and dryer.

Step 2: Sorting Clothes

This step is important for insuring that your clothes do not go through a color change while being washed and dried. Clothing that can be sorted together include: blacks and reds, whites, lighter colors, towels, sheets and bedding, jeans and dark blues. Set aside each pile to be washed separately.

Step 3: Load Machine

Start by picking one of the piles of sorted clothing to wash first. Put those clothes into the washing machine. Determine if your pile is a small, medium, or large load. A small load would consist filling the washing machine less than half full. A medium load would be considered half full. A large load is between one half and three fourths full. Never fill your washing machine fuller than three fourths as it could overload the machine and ruin it.

Step 4: Detergent

Depending on which size of load that you put inside the washing machine, follow the instructions on how much detergent should be added to the load. Scoop up the required amount or if you are using tide pods use as many as directed. Depending on your washing machine, either add the detergent where the detergent tray is or put it directly into the middle of the machine with the clothes. If you would like to add fabric softener, it is done in the same way.

Step 5: Machine Settings

The machine settings vary depending on which pile of clothes are in the washing machine and your type of washing machine.

For blacks and reds: cold water setting, use cotton or normal cycle

Whites: hot water setting, use bright white cycle or whitest white cycle

Light colors: warm water setting, cotton or normal cycle

Jeans and dark blues: cold or semi-cold water setting, cotton or normal cycle

Towels: hot water setting, bulky or bedding cycle

Bedding and sheets: hot water setting, bulky or bedding cycle

Delicate cycling is for clothes that need to be hand washed or wool clothing.

Step 6: Unload

When the washing machine has finished its cycle, pull out the clothes. If you do not want, or are worried about your clothes shrinking, then hang dry them instead of putting them in the dryer. Clothes with high cotton or wool have a higher chance to shrink in the dryer. If the clothing says do not dry, then hang dry them, do not put them into the dryer.

Step 7: Hang or Dry

After you have determined which clothing are being hung and dried, put all the clothing to be dried into the dryer. Those that are going to be hung, put each clothing individually on a hanger and hang them in a well ventilated area, or outdoors.

Step 8: Dryer Settings

If you use timed dry, the longer time put only affects the amount of time that it is in the dryer. Generally, the longer the clothes are in the dryer, the more dry they will become. You can also use the other settings, more dry or less dry, which will automatically set the amount of time that the clothes will be in the dryer. Fluff air is used for clothes that should not be dryer with hot air, as in clothes that can easily shrink.

Step 9: Unload and Fold

Take your dry clothing out of the dryer. Fold each piece of clothing nicely following these steps:

For Shirts (if not being hung on a hanger)

  1. Fold both sleeves.

  2. Make a long rectangle.

  3. Fold it in half lengthwise.

  4. Then fold it into a third lengthwise.

For Pants (if not being hung on a hanger)

  1. Fold the jeans in half.

  2. Fold them in half again.

  3. Then fold them into thirds.

Step 10: Putting Clothes Away

Take the clothing you have folded and hung up, make sure the clothing that was hung dried is completely dry first. Put the hung up clothing into a closet and all of the folded clothing into drawers or dressers set apart for clothing. Then repeat each step to wash all the needed clothing that you have. Then feel good having cleaned all of your dirty clothes and not having to do laundry again for some time.