The new school year for 2014 is rapidly approaching, with kids and parents preparing this year’s school books, stationary and most importantly the school uniforms!
Once the school term starts and the school uniforms are worn, I find that the laundry hamper quickly becomes overwhelmed with a pile of school dresses, skirts, blouses, shorts, sports uniform polos, socks, togs, cardigans etc etc.
Most of the school uniforms I’ve washed have care instructions that state “hand wash, drip dry”. I tend to think that many parents are like myself and simply do not have enough time, nor enough spare uniforms, to hand wash and drip dry only.
So, how do you wash school uniforms to get the best results, using a washing machine?Here are some of my tips:
Wash separately. For best results, wash uniforms separately with similar colours and textiles. At Snap Laundromat, you can load multiple washers simultaneously so that you can get many loads of washing done in just 25 minutes. This is a luxury that you cannot do at home with a single domestic machine.
Use mild detergent. Remember that less detergent is actually more! Many Australians over-suds their washing, making clothes stiff, and cause a build up of mould and mildew. At Snap, we installed an automatic dosing system that injects high quality detergent into the machines with every wash, so there is no need to add detergent. You only need a small amount of good quality detergent to experience the perfect wash for school uniforms.
Try cold water (gentle) wash. With uniforms, use a cold water / gentle wash for best results. The washing machines at Snap allow you to select your preferred water temperature.
Avoid fabric softeners and bleach; use natural alternatives instead. Why expose your children to the chemicals in softeners when natural alternatives exist? Instead, you can add the following to the funnel at the top of the washing machines at Snap:
Add a quarter cup of baking soda to the wash cycle to cleanse and soften the uniforms, or
Add a quarter cup of white, distilled vinegar to the last rinse cycle to naturally soften the uniforms and eliminate cling, or
Check out your local health food store for a natural fabric softener that uses a natural base like soy instead of chemicals.
Line or Tumble dry. In dry weather, hang the uniforms on a hanger and then line dry in a shady spot. Using a hanger means they don’t wrinkle as much. Do not make the mistake of line hanging uniforms in direct sunlight, as UV will deteriorate them very quickly. You can tumble dry on a low setting, but it’s important to use a low temperature and not to over dry them in a dryer so that the uniforms last longer. The dryers at Snap Laundromat are just $1 for 8 minutes drying time, and are express dryers, so your uniforms are ready in a Snap!
School holidays provide an opportunity for parents and children to see and do lots of exciting things together. The necessities of everyday life and household chores still continue, including the inevitable laundry chores. Encouraging my children to assist me with these chores is a great way to interact with them and still enjoy the holidays, while also teaching them important life skills.
Here are 10 ways your children can help you with the laundry these holidays, with your supervision:
Carry the laundry bag or laundry basket. Even young children can help with carrying the basket or bag of clothes to be washed. My kids help me by carrying our laundry bag from home to the car, from the car into the Laundromat, from the washers to the dryers – and then back home! The empty laundry basket inevitably then gets turned into a ‘boat’ or similar during play time at the laundry.
Loading clothes into the washing machine. If your kids can access the door to the washing machine, then they will love placing clothes into the machine. I set challenges for my daughters at the laundromat where they need to load darks in one machine, whites in one, linen/towels in another. I also like to educate them about the different types of fabric, and what makes some clothing items ‘delicate’, so should be washed separately and gently.
Pressing the machine buttons. Children love to press buttons, and this seems to be my children’s favourite part of helping with the laundry. With your supervision, they can select the correct water temperature, cycle and the all important ‘Start’ button.
Remind you of the remaining washing time. If your washing machine displays the remaining time, your kids will love to attempt to read this and make regular announcements. It’s a fun way for them to learn more about numbers and the meaning of time.
Tell you when the washing is complete. Kids seem more in tune to the beeps and noises of a washing machine. My daughter loves to announce to me that the washing is finished!
Moving clothes to the dryers. When I use the dryer, I ask my kids to help me take the washed clothes from the washing machines over to the dryers. We talk about the most efficient way to dry, based on what we have washed.
Hanging clothes on the air dryer. As long as they can reach, even young kids will enjoy hanging wet clothes to dry on an air dryer, especially their own clothes.
Sorting the dried clothes. If your kids enjoy puzzles, then they will enjoy sorting the clean clothes into the relevant piles for each family member. You’ll find this results in the inevitable comments and jokes about daddy’s undies or mummy’s bras.
Fun Folding. Folding the clothes is a great way to spend time and chat with your kids. I love the random conversations that we have while folding the clothes. It’s also an opportunity to teach them about how to fold their clothes neatly and how to look after them.
Putting their clothes away. My kids are responsible for putting their own clothes away in their wardrobes. I let then choose what goes where in their wardrobes. It’s a surprisingly easy way to ensure they keep their wardrobe neat and tidy, as they feel responsible for that part of their room.