Is there anything more infuriating than taking your ride-or-die black skinny jeans out of the washing machine right before you need to head out and discovering they look like a tissue threw up on them? Or crying over the tattered remains of your favourite blouse that tragically lost its life after your brutal washing machine tore it to shreds?
Just one thing comes to mind. The horror-inducing sight of an overflowing laundry basket when you avoid washing your favourite clothes and they loiter in the precariously wobbling tower of washing that dates back to 2014.
There’s probably a delicate silk dress in there you’re too scared to wash. A cluster of hand wash-only knitwear begging for your attention. And a whole lot of odd socks that will never reunite with their other halves.
Washing-basket-case is an affliction that can turn even the most organised person into a frazzled, introverted mess. Because to tackle that pile will consume your entire weekend and steal a part of your soul. The anxiety seizes you as you spot a sleeve creeping out and threatening to take over your entire home.
And don’t even get me started on your floordrobe.
Instead of just relegating everything to ‘the chair’, here are some tips to stay in control of your laundry basket, save time and rescue your favourite clothes from ruin.
Separate your whites and colours
Duh. If you're not already doing this, what's wrong with you? It only takes one white tee turning a grotty pink colour to learn this lesson.
Monitor your water usage
As tempting as it is to put your favourite lacy bra in its very own cycle, you should probably spare a thought for the environment. And besides, who has time to wash every delicate item separately? Most machines have low, medium and high water levels so make sure you select the right one for your load.
Lingerie bags aren't just for lingerie
Speaking of lingerie, you know those bags you get when you buy a new bra? They're not just for your unmentionables, they're about to become your new laundry hero.
Anything delicate will get extra protection in a bag, so you can throw it in alongside you everyday washing. A gentle cycle and a wash-bag make a much quicker alternative to hand-washing. And if you have an item with a zip, clasp or hardware it's a good idea to pop it in a bag too so it doesn't catch on your other clothes.
Pick the right washing machine
Would you really trust a wobbly old machine you found on Gumtree with your luxe velvet skirt? Your wardrobe favourites need a little extra love in the laundry, so look for technology that will extend their wear. Front loading versus top loading will depend on personal preference, but the Electrolux UltraMix washing machine will always keep your fashion fresh, thanks to its separate detergent chamber.
The UltraMix technology is designed to prolong the softness, shape and colour of your clothes. And when it comes to the most delicate items, the innovative Vapour Refresh program is a quick cycle that refreshes your clothing without using detergent. Saving money while protecting your favourites? Score! There's also a Woolmark-certified wool cycle to keep that Merino sweater as cosy as possible.
If you've got any sense, you'll read before you buy. The care instructions on clothes will tell you if that cashmere jumper is really going to work in your wardrobe, or if you're better off opting for a fuzzy and low-maintenance wool blend. I know it's to die for and you'll wear it every day (how's that for cost per wear!) but can you really handle dry cleaning it after every wear?
And after a while you'll start to learn that those cheap and cheerful polyester dresses are gorgeous, but they WILL SHRINK IN THE DRYER. I experienced this tragedy the first time I tried to do my own laundry. Whoops.
Save dry cleaning for the truly exceptional cases
Unless the words 'dry cleaning' are followed by 'only' you can probably get by without it. Who has time to run to the shops every time you spill coffee on your blazer? Your winter coat, on the other hand, goes straight to the dry cleaners at the end of the season. No excuses.
Ironing is for suckers
If you do everything right, you shouldn't have to ever touch an iron again. I'll make an exception for that linen jumpsuit and your partner's work shirt, but with the rest of your gear, you can save time by ditching the ironing board. If you give everything a shake after it comes out of the washing machine and carefully hang it straight up to dry (pegs go under the arm, people) any wrinkles should drop right out.
If all else fails, go shopping
Try to ignore the explosion of dirty clothes spilling out of your laundry. If you're at the end of the week and can't fathom the thought of foraging for a clean pair of knickers, you do what you've gotta do. Go shopping for an entire new wardrobe. But you didn't hear that from me!
What's your fail-safe move when it comes to keeping the washing under control? Tell us below!
This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Electrolux.
Enjoy a gentle clean with the Electrolux UltraMix™ Washing Machine (RRP $1,599.00). With UltraMix™ Technology, the detergent is premixed in a separate chamber to maximise cleaning power at a lower temperature, ensuring clothes stay newer and vibrant for longer.