Tag Archives: laundry

Pros and Cons of liquid and powder laundry detergents

laundry detergents

The average family of four in UK does an average of 250 cycles per year, giving washing machines a ‘life expectancy’ of about only 4 years. Choosing the right laundry detergent will help you increase your washing machine’s life considerably. But, which one is the best?

Currently, the two main types of laundry detergent are powders and liquids. Both share the same active ingredients, but what are the pros and cons of using one or the other?

Here are some of the pros and cons of using liquid soaps for your laundry:

  • Pro: The detergent is already dissolved (so no soap scum inside your washing machine).
  • Pro: It can be used to clean some stains before loading the washing machine.
  • Pro: It dissolves easily in cold water, saving on energy.
  • Con: They usually come on plastic packaging, not very eco-friendly…
  • Con: They are more expensive.

Here are some of the pros and cons of using powdered soaps for your laundry:

  • Pro: They are cheaper than liquid detergents.
  • Pro: They are usually packed in eco-friendly cardboard boxes.
  • Pro: Surfactants (the bit that actually cleans your clothes) are more stable in powders, so these detergents have a longer shelf life (they are more effective than liquid detergents for longer).
  • Con: If you use too much you can find soap residues on your clothes, meaning you will need to have another cycle to wash them off.
  • Con: In some cases they dissolve better in warm water, so no possibility of using a cold cycle, thus higher electricity bills.
  • Con: Sodium sulphate, used as a filler in powder detergents, can destroy septic systems.

Can you think of any more pros or cons? Your choice of detergent will depend on the way you use your washing machine. Keep checking our blog for clever ideas on how to use your laundry detergents!


Preventing window condensation

It looks like the freezing temperatures have come to stay for some time. And with cold
weather comes one of the major problems we experienced in our homes during winter: window condensation. Let’s be honest, it is a problem that we will not be able to get rid of, but we can always put some ideas in practice to try and prevent it as much as possible.

Here are some tips that you can follow:

Ventilation. We need to ventilate our homes at least once a day as well as open windows after having a shower/bath or while cooking, as bathroom and kitchen are the “moisture winners” of all the rooms in the house.

Laundry. Try to hang your clothes to dry outside; if this is not possible then open a window while the clothes are drying.

Extractor fan. You can put a fan in the kitchen and bathroom to create more ventilation.

Dehumidifier. This will take excessive moisture from the air (though some people consider it to be quite noisy).

Heating. Put the heating on on this winter season. The hotter the air inside the house, the more moisture it can absorb and the less condensation you will have on your windows.

Do you have any other tip to prevent condensation? Let us know!

How to get your laundry smelling fresh

I love the smell of launderettes! Every time I pass by one my body shivers with envy; how can I get my clothes to smell like that when I do the laundry? I don’t have a tumble dryer and I suppose that makes it more difficult, specially in winter, when you hang the clothes to dry for days and days with no positive results. So I tried and I tried until I found a really good solution…

Would you like your clothes to smell nice and fresh as if they have been taken out of a launderette?

Put less detergent on your wash and add about half a cup of baking soda. What baking soda does is eliminate detergent residues and re-fresh the clothes, leaving them cleaner and smelling like new!

Do you have any other tips? Let us know!

How to clean your washing machine

washing_machineCleaning your washing machine is as important as doing the weekly laundry and it should become a regular task in every household.

The inside of the washing machine goes through a lot of dirty water, detergent deposits and limescale; every time you wash your clothes there is a build up of residues on the washing machine making it work harder and reducing its ability to perform adequately.

The best option to leave your washing machine ready for hundreds of more washes is to run an empty cycle on hot water along with two cups of white vinegar (to remove lime scale).

You will also need to remove the detergent dispenser and soak it on hot soapy water. for those hard to reach corners on the dispenser, where mould easily builds up, the best thing to use is a small brush (like one of your old tooth brushes).

As a way of preventing any leakage, check the water hoses regularly for any sign of wear.

Also, do not forget to clean the door and outside of the washing machine with a soft cloth and a little bit of vinegar with water to leave it sparkling!

The secrets of laundry

laundry1Last Saturday I left my husband to do the laundry while I was filing some documents. After half an hour of not hearing the typical noise of the washing machine I got scared and went to the kitchen. And there I found my husband looking at the the washing machine as if trying to decipher a hieroglyphic out of an ancient monument!

I suppose it is always easy to do the laundry when you do it on a regular basis. It is also true that washing machines have too many bottoms to push before a cycle can start! At http://www.amycleaning.co.uk we have had similar situations with domestic cleaners who didn’t really understand how to turn the washing machine on. Do not fear! doing the laundry is easier than it looks like… if you follow these simple tips.

1. Preparing the load.

We know that we need to separate dark colours from light/white colours. But it is not only that; separate also delicate fabrics from heavier ones and read all the labels as you may missed some clothes that are only hand washable; also, remember to empty pockets and close all zips on trousers and jackets.

2. The loading of the washing machine.

We are going to be late to that picnic with friends and decide to load a 7kg washing machine with 10kg; wrong! Over-loading will not allowed the clothes to tumble properly so they will not come out clean. At the same time the washing powder will have no space to dissolve, leading to the same consequence.

4. How to graduate the temperature.

You have bought the new 15C detergent to save energy. Well I am afraid to say that not all clothes can be washed at the same temperature. Cold water will minimize creasing and may help you clean stains such as blood. If you need to wash very dirty clothes, however, hot water will do a much better job.

5. Drying.

As soon as the cycle is finished you need to take all the clothes to dry; if you leave them on the washing machine for too long clothes will become smelly. Always leave the door open to allow the washing machine to dry.