How to Choose A Washing Machine and Detergent

How to choose a washing and detergent, when buying your new bedding it is important to make sure that you can look after it.

Wash care labels can sometimes be confusing to understand but they are there to protect the fabric and ensure that they last a long time giving value for money. It may be common sense advice but you would be surprised at how often this simple mistake is made, especially as some modern washing machines seem to think that they can choose the correct setting for themselves.

An important but often overlooked factor is the washing machine itself, new machines offer a wide variety of programmes. Many do an excellent job, more often than not users just select a standard programme and expect the same results from different fabrics. Load size, drum speed and heat cycles, are just three important factors can give superb results with cotton and polycotton fabrics, yet on the other hand could ruin delicates such as silk and heavy embroidered duvet covers.

Some of the most common examples include: (please note you should always check your clothes care labels before washing and drying).

  • Quick wash - Designed to quickly clean smaller loads of washing.
  • Pre – wash function - A pre-rinse designed for extremely dirty clothes.
  • Woollens hand - wash -Has an exceptionally gentle soft wash action and special spin phase that ensures all your clothes keep their shape.
  • Reduced ironing function - Prevents your clothes from getting tangled and creased, making ironing easier.
  • Sports wash cycle - Is equipped to get your sportswear fresh, clean and ready for your next workout whatever sport you play.
  • Delicates programme - Is exceptionally caring on underwear, silk items or nightwear as it uses a gentle wash action.
  • Sensitive programme - Helps to reduce the exposure to allergens that irritate sensitive skin.
  • Dark wash - Is designed specifically for dark clothes and is available across a range of temperatures.
  • Power wash 60 - A powerful wash in sixty minutes.
  • Jeans cycle - Which helps to maintain the colour, structure and fit of denim based garments.
  • Baby cycle - Which assists in the care of your little one’s clothes by strategically tackling the toughest stains, including baby food, mud and grease, giving visibly better results when compared to using a standard 40ºC cotton wash cycle.
  • The Refresh cycle - Is a short programme that uses only steam (no detergent or fabric softener required) to help remove odours such as smoke or food smells or to freshen up garments that have only been worn for a few hours.

Most new fabrics are treated with special treatments so they can be washed on quicker and less intensive cycles, they help the environment and help keep down expensive electric bills which I am sure you will agree is very good on both counts. Be careful though as these treatments like easy care can be very easily washed away if the cycle is too long or too high in temperature. Most manufacturers try to make a bedding fabric that can be washed at 30/40 degrees in a quick time of less that 40 minutes, if the fabric is not too soiled, this is easily achievable.

Any longer than this can remove the treatment applied to the fabric and could leave the bed linen open to pilling leaving a course and rough feeling, not what you would expect at all. Avoid strong fabric conditioners as they will help remove the protective treatments just as quick as hot water and using a too fast or high speed drying cycle.

The old saying you get what you pay for, is still so true today. Buy the best machine you can afford but also bear in mind that most new machines are very hard to understand as new technology can be confusing.