Let Washlava take the guess work out of laundry day. Here’s a crash course in all the prep you need to be ready to tackle your day. After you’re studied up, use your Washlava app to reserve, pay, and check the status of your machines for a hassle-free laundry day.


This is an excerpt from a post originally shared on Who What Wear. For the full article on “The Official Do’s and Don’ts of Washing Your Clothes” by the fabulous Jessica Baker – click here.

Prep: Check Labels

Decoding the symbols on clothing labels can feel a lot like taking a test—one that you definitely don’t want to fail. Here’s what you need to know to pass with flying colors:

1. The machine wash symbol refers to the temperature that should be used to wash the item. If the symbol contains one dot, you wash in cold, two dots, you wash in warm, and three dots, you wash in hot. If there is an X over the symbol, head to your nearest dry cleaners.

2. The bleach symbol refers to whether or not you should use chlorine bleach. If it’s a plain white triangle, proceed with caution, if there is an X over it, then steer clear!

3. The tumble dry symbol refers to drying methods. A white circle indicates you can use any heat, one dot means use a low temperature, two dots, normal temperature, and three dots means high temperature.

4. The dry clean symbol indicates just that: whether or not you need to dry clean the piece. If you see a big X, that’s your cue to use the washing machine.


Prep: Separate and Treat
Separate your laundry into four piles: whites, lights, darks, and delicates. (Note: if you want to reduce the amount of loads, you can combine whites and lights.)


Prep: Last-Minute Check
Make sure to empty out all pockets, close zippers to prevent snagging, turn denim and embellished pieces inside out, pre-treat any stains, and put your delicates (underpinnings, lingerie, tights, and anything with lace) in mesh bags.


Washing: Cold Water
Cold water is good for fine fabrics and delicates, sweaters, denim, and clothes that may shrink. It also protects new items with dark and bright colors from running.


Washing: Warm Water
Warm water works best with whites and lights. Combined with detergent, the water temperature helps lift soil and stains while removing bacteria.


Washing: Hot Water
Hot water is the best choice for heavily stained items and disinfecting dish and bath towels and washcloths.


Washing: Detergents
1. Color-safe bleach works on all colors and helps removes stains. (Note: this does not disinfect your clothing like chlorine bleach.)

2. Chlorine bleach helps brighten whites. You should never use on color fabrics! If your machine does not have a bleach dispenser, make sure to dilute the bleach with water first before putting it on your clothes.

3. Fabric softener is a conditioner that keeps towels soft and fluffy and prevents static cling.
Washing: Cycle
1. Regular or “normal” combines fast agitation with a fast spin cycle and is good for heavily-stained items, cottons, linen, denim, towels, and bedding.

2. Permanent Press combines fast agitation with a slow spin and is good for synthetic fibers (knits and polyesters) and prevents wrinkling.

3. Delicate cycle combines slow agitation with a slow spin and is good for washable silks and wools, garments with embellishments, lingerie, and sheer fabrics.


Drying: Cycles
1. Regular (High Heat) setting is good for whites, jeans, towels, sheets, linens, and items that are pre-shrunk. Do not use this setting with clothing washed in hot water.

2. Permanent Press (Medium Heat) setting prevents colored garments from fading and ensures your clothes do not wrinkle or lose their shape. Do not use this setting for delicates because they will lose their shape.

3. Delicate (Low Heat) setting uses a slower speed to gently dry fragile clothing and is good for knits and frail fabrics.