Making A House A Home

 

 

 

 

LAUNDRY BASICS--JUNE’S HINTS FOR THE EVERYDAY HOMEMAKER

Laundry is like our bills, always needing attention!  It seems like a pretty mundane task with little or no spiritual ramifications on the surface.  However, a closer look reminds us that believers are to be faithful with all of their possessions (1 Corinthians 4:2).The wise woman of Proverbs 31:27 cares for the needs of her household.  One of the primary needs of a household is clothing and its maintenance.

Laundry Logic

Having some generic information about laundry can make the process pleasant, save you time, and extend the life of your garments.

  • Read care labels attached to the garments.  They off the optimal laundering conditions.
  • Make the instruction manuals for your appliances your friends.  They provide information that will prolong the life of your appliances and provide maximum efficiency.
  • Sort clothes before laundering.  Divide into color groups—whites, colors, darks.  Colors fade and become dull when they are not properly sorted before cleaning. 
  • Keep loads of laundry moderate in size.  Overloading the machine will prevent the detergent solution from penetrating the fiber of the items being laundered.
  • Select the appropriate wash cycle and water temperature. 
  • Treat spots, stains, and very dirty areas.  A stain removal guide is provided for you in this post.
  • Presoak by adding the proper amount of laundry detergent to water of the appropriate temperature once it is drawn into the washer tub.  Make sure that the detergent is thoroughly blended throughout the water. Allow the tub of laundry to soak between twenty to thirty minutes before beginning the laundry cycle.
  • If machine washing, use the recommended amount of detergent, bleach type (chlorine and non-chlorine), if necessary, and fabric softener.
  • Avoid excess wrinkles by promptly removing from the tub when the cycle is completed.  Shake each item thoroughly before placing in the dryer.  If air drying place on a rack or lie flat depending on the label instructions.
  • Hand laundry is a way to protect delicate items and extend their life. 
    • Pretreat any stains.
    • Place detergent in sink or dish pan. 
    • Draw an adequate amount of the correct temperature water in the sink or dishpan. 
    • Add bleach type (chlorine and non-chlorine), if necessary. 
    • Thoroughly dissolve detergent. 
    • Add clothing and allow to soak 10-15 minutes. 
    • Gently massage any heavily soiled areas, working from the wrong side of the fabric to push the soil back through the way it entered the fibers. 
    • Remove from soapy water and fill sink or pan with the proper temperature rinse water. 
    • Add fabric softener, if desired, and swish until it is in solution. 
    • Rinse items one at a time. 
    • Push water out by gently wringing. 
    • Allow to drain. 
    • Place on a clean towel, block to retain original shape and roll. 
    • Allow to rest for 20-30 minutes. 
    • Shake well to dislodge wrinkles.
    • Hang on a quality hanger (no wire) or lay flat.
  • Dry clothes according to the label instructions.  High temperatures tend to increase wrinkling and can shrink the garment. As with the washing machine be attentive to when the cycle is completed.  Remove the items and hang garments on a quality hanger promptly.
  • Press or iron if necessary.  Use the proper heat setting for the type of fabric.  An iron that is too hot can ruin fabrics in an instant.  Confirm that the iron surface is clean before using

Stain Removal Basics

Thoroughly checking garments for stains before placing in the washer or laundering by hand ensures that the stained clothing comes as clean as possible.  Some basic guidelines include:

  • Treat the stain as soon as possible, even if it is impossible to complete the entire laundry process.
  • Always work from the wrong side of the stain.  This sends the stain out the way it entered the fabric rather than forcing it through all of the fibers.
  • Whenever a stain is treated and then laundered, confirm that it is completely removed before putting the item in the dryer.
  • If necessary, air-dry the item if you cannot tell whether or not the stain is completely removed. You may need to re-treat or even treat and re-wash the clothing before the stain is still visible.  Once the item is dried in the dryer the stain will be set.

Common Stain Treatments

BLOOD

  • Soak the fabric in cold water as soon as possible.
  • Make a paste from detergent.
  • Place detergent paste on the wrong side of the fabric.
  • Rub gently until the stain is removed.
  • Rinse with cold water.
  • If necessary launder according to garment directions.
  • Remember that hot water will make the stain permanent.

GUM

  • Harden the gum by rubbing it with ice.
  • Scrape off as much as possible with a dull knife.
  • Make a paste from detergent.
  • Place detergent paste on the wrong side of the fabric.
  • Rub gently until the stain is removed.
  • Rinse with cold water.

 

CHOCOLATE AND COCOA

  • Soak in cold water.
  • Make a paste from detergent.
  • Place detergent paste on the wrong side of the fabric.
  • Rub gently until the stain is removed.
  • Rinse with cold water.

COFFEE OR TEA

  •  Spray the wrong side of the stain with pre-soak product or diluted non-chlorine bleach.
  • Use the hottest water that is safe for the fabric.
  • Rinse with cold water.

COSMETICS (MAKE-UP)

  •  Make a paste from detergent or use undiluted liquid detergent.
  • Place liquid or detergent paste on the wrong side of the fabric.
  • Rub gently until the stain is removed.
  • Rinse with cold water.
  • A second application may be needed.

GRASS AND FOLIAGE

  •  Make a paste from detergent.
  • Place detergent paste on the wrong side of the fabric.
  • Rub gently until the stain is removed.
  • Use a mild non-chlorine or chlorine bleach if stain is not removed with the detergent paste.
  • Rinse with cold water.

GREASE AND OIL

  •  Scrape off as much grease as possible with a dull knife.
  • Make a paste from detergent using warm water.
  • Place detergent paste on the wrong side of the fabric.
  • Rub gently until the stain is removed.
  • Rinse with cold water.

INK (BALL POINT)

  •  Rub white petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on the wrong side of the fabric.
  • Make a paste from detergent.
  • Place detergent paste on the wrong side of the fabric.
  • Use a mild non-chlorine or chlorine bleach if stain is not removed with the detergent paste.
  • Rub gently until the stain is removed.
  • Rinse with cold water.

SODA (SOFT DRINKS)

  •  Gently rub the spot from the wrong side of the fabric immediately.
  • Rinse with cold water.

Moving the mundane task to a meaningful

As I draw this post to a close I am reminded of how much sin is like the stains it discussed.  Stains can permanently damage a garment if not treated immediately.  Likewise, unconfessed sin can seriously affect my spiritual life.  Just as it is important to work from the wrong side of the stain to completely remove it, so I am to have my heart cleansed rather than just trying to change my outward behavior (Psalm 51). I am thankful that 1 John 1:9 (“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”) provides the stain removal instructions for sin.  As you perform this mundane task consider meditating on the alignment of the basic laundering procedures with the process for cleansing your spiritual life. 

  • As I routinely read care labels, spiritually I will consistently study God’s Word (Psalm 119:11)
  • As I sort clothes before laundering, spiritually I will be willing to separate myself from sinful habits (2 Corinthians 6:17)
  • As I treat spots, stains, and very dirty areas, spiritually I will be quick to confess sin and turn away from the behavior (1 John 1:9)
  • As I  machine wash, I will use the recommended amount of detergent and bleach, if necessary, spiritually I will ask my heavenly Father to use whatever is necessary to cleanse me from sin (Psalm 51:7)
  • As I use the appropriate water temperature, spiritually I will seek to be filled with spiritual zeal, not lukewarm as were the members of the church of Laodicea (Revelation 3:15)
  • As I purpose to not overload the washer, spiritually I will be careful to not overload my schedule so that I do not have time to spend with my heavenly Father (Luke 10:38-42)
  • As I dry clothes according to the label instructions, spiritually I will graciously accept the refining process my heavenly Father uses in my life (Malachi 3:2-3)
  • As I press or iron if necessary, spiritually I will recognize that the heat of trials strengthens my character (James 1:2-4)

Additional laundry tips can be found at www.tide.com, www.cleaninginstitute.org, and www.cleaning101.com

THE EVERYDAY HOMEMAKER’S MONTHLY MEDITATION THOUGHT

 God has said, “Be strong and of good courage: do not be afraid, nor be dismayed.  For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

Therefore I may boldly say, “Though I am crazy busy I can rest in the understanding that God will give me what I need.”

The February post provides the introductory description of the monthly homemaking hints if you wish to place this post in context.

Visit The Everyday Homemaker next week as we focus of the ABCs of a Peaceful Home.  

If you would like a sample chapter of The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook simply click on “Contact Pat” and request your copy.

Blessings on your week as you focus on making your house a home!