Kids' school uniforms can take a lot of wear and tear. We caught up with Hotpoint’s laundry expert, Stephen Hayes, who gave us his top tips keep uniforms pristine:
Give stains the boot
Grass and mud stains from the playground, along with marks from other classroom culprits, such as biro, felt-tip and paint, are commonplace in the weekly school wash. When tackling stains, choosing the right cycle can be just as important as the detergent you use. Hayes advises, “While pre-wash treatments help to start the process, choosing the right cycle will remove stains more effectively. Don’t be tempted to default to a ‘fast wash’; stubborn stains need a cycle that maintains water temperature and keeps drum agitation high to lift them from garments.
“Look out for dedicated Anti-Stain cycles - these have intelligent electronic water and temperature control technologies to ensure that even the toughest stains are kicked into touch in just one wash.”
Keep whites bright
White school shirts due to the high frequency of wear, are susceptible to greying or becoming dull in no time at all. Hayes suggests switching to a whites specific cycle in addition to using bleaching detergents to keep whites looking crisp: “As well as popping a scoop of whitening agent in with your usual detergent, make sure you set your machine to a whites cycle – this will ensure that the water temperatures and appropriate levels of agitation is maintained throughout the wash to give a brighter finish.”
Send bobbles to detention
Another uniform staple, the school sweatshirt, often falls victim to pilling, which can leave it looking worn. Frequently washed items are subject to more friction and, when fibres break, it results in a bobbly appearance developing on the fabric. To prevent pilling, simply turn garments inside out when washing to protect the fibres from breakage. For even more protection, look out for machines with wave–shaped paddles inside the machine, these massage clothes clean and glide over the drum, reducing bobble-causing friction.
Teach streaky washes a lesson
Avoid overloading the machine -while it might feel like you’re getting through the laundry quicker, overloading the machine could be a false commodity. If the drum’s overloaded, the water is less able to dissolve the detergent, resulting in streaky white residue being left on clothes, which may then have to be re-washed. Avoid overloading by leaving a gap the width of your hand between the top of the drum and the laundry inside. Look out for machines with higher wash-load capacities – average 9kg drums can hold up to 30 shirts in just one wash.
For those gym kit emergencies
“There’s bound to be a time during the term when that unwashed gym kit only arrives at the breakfast table on the day it is needed at school,” says Hayes. “Luckily, washer dryers now have super-fast cycles, such as the Aqualtis ‘Ready To Wear 45’ function, that can have clothes washed, dried and ready to wear, all in just 45 minutes.”
For more laundry tips please visit www.hotpoint.co.uk
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