Frequently Asked Laundry Questions
OKAY SO I’VE SORTED MY LAUNDRY INTO LIGHTS AND DARKS.
BUT, ARE JEANS OKAY WASHED WITH MY WOOLLY JUMPERS?
Two answers to this:
Our wash is best at 30/40 degrees so woolens are fine for the temperature. The biggest cause of damage to wool is heat either through water temperature or through drying. You should never ever wash wool hot or tumble dry as it causes the bonds to contract and the fibers to shrink.
There is no way to reverse this change.
The amino acid bonds present in wool will be affected if they are soaked in enzymes for long periods. However, normal woolen wash cycles with a normal dose of detergent isn’t going to cause any harm and the outcome is a beautiful clean jumper rather than smelling like a sheep.
Far worse damage is caused by heat and agitation from the washing machine drum.
Viscose/Polyamide blends can cope with a reasonable spin speed (as a rule these tend to be cheaper to purchase – man made alternative to wool but wash and wear really well.)
A cashmere or 100% wool jumper won’t survive a fast spin. If you’ve paid good money for a jumper that is at risk of damage, it will say hand wash only on the label. Hand wash cycle in the machine should be fine but please don’t ever risk a fast spin.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD’NT WASH AT HIGH SPIN SPEED?
Yes – anything that would carry a hand wash garment label should be treated as above. And, anything that says delicate or dry-clean only!
IF YOU CAN MACHINE WASH HAND WASH ITEMS, CAN YOU MACHINE-WASH DRY CLEAN ONLY?
We would never recommend this. I personally ruined a very expensive silk dress years ago – but bare in mind our formulas are used by specialist dry cleaners in their wet cleaning machines anyway for a majority of soft furnishing laundering. By soft furnishings, we mean curtains and cushion covers blankets and bedspreads. A tie, or blouse that says dry clean, for example would be fine washed using our formula on a cold hand wash setting, or even left to soak in the sink. I would always wash curtains and cushion covers that are predominantly heavy cotton mix at home, on a 30 degreee wash – but we have a very large capacity machine.
But, please do not tackle dry clean only garments at home as a rule of thumb! A specialist cleaner knows how long a fabric should be in contact with water and detergent and bigger capacity machines make all the difference to whether fabric will have creasing issues.
WHAT’S A PRE-WASH?
Pre-wash is the compartment to the far right of the draw.
You may put extra powder in here if your washing is dirty. Particularly helpful for removing mud or spaghetti Bolognese stains.
Pre-soaking something badly stained overnight in a bowl with a small amount of our formula and lukewarm water before machine-washing as normal will also achieve the same result. In fact left overnight you may find the garment is so perfectly clean you decide to skip the machine wash afterwards.
WHAT IS AN OPTICAL BRIGHTENER
An optical brightener is a light reflector. These days they are used in a number of cosmetic and cleaning products. Used by laundry companies in detergent formulas to help make whites appear brighter and whiter than they really are however the uv dyes which typically have a blue tinge to them are also sadly responsible for causing a build up on fabric and leaving worn and faded patches to coloured clothing.
Under strobe lighting you’ll know if someone has washed a dark t shirt wrongly as it will look as though it is covered in flecks of dandruff.
WHAT ABOUT WHITE SHIRTS?
If you want a whiter than white look to shirts, t-shirts or white sports kits for example then we would recommend adding a scoop of something like Vanish or Glo white to your wash and doing a white only load.
With old tired whites, only a whitening agent or bleaching product will work to make the fabric appear whiter.
However, by adding a whitener or bleach to an all white load you’ll be making sure those designer jeans aren’t at risk of fade patches.
MY WASHING SMELLS MOULDY NO MATTER WHAT POWDER I USE.
You would not believe how often we hear this – it’s the biggest complaint of laundry in relation to HE front load washing machines.
The first culprit is indeed mold!
If you have previously used liquids or fabric softeners in the washing machine drawer, you may notice that residues of these products go black over time. Mold fixes itself to everything and spreads quickly. Even if you have only ever used powder your machine will need some tlc in order to remain functioning properly and mold free.
Take out your washing machine draw (every couple of months) and look inside – even the roof of the compartment. Is it black and horrid? If it is you need to give it all a good clean before doing laundry as the water flowing through the draw compartment does so at every stage of the wash. (In case you have softener in there it even does this at rinsing) So, if there is mold, no matter how clean your laundry, at that last rinsing stage you’ll be adding mold spores back onto your fabrics. Meaning your washing will dry with just that faint odor to it – not nice. And if you are using Distinctive we want you to get the full benefit of our fragrance without the taint of old fusty gunk that you’ve left in a machine that needs a good clean.
If you buy a new machine, we’d really advise you start off with powders and no softener in order to keep it as clean and maintenance free as possible.
The second is mud!
If you wash muddy sports kit, you may need to wash it through twice. At least follow the muddy kit wash with another hot wash. The slightest bit of mud has a bad effect on washing and tends to hold in stale smells. I’ll get a scientist to explain the tech behind this in a blog at some point. Read our blog about regular maintenance for your washing machine – its super easy to do.
SO WHY DOESN’T DISTINCTIVE HAVE A SOFTENER AS WELL AS A LAUNDRY POWDER?
Softeners are added to the wash cycle at the last rinse and so they really do help add even more fragrance to the wash.
However, softeners are essentially bulking agents so they add other stuff to your clothing fibers too, which washing and chemical experts don’t necessarily agree should be there. Plus, rather more alarmingly the ingredients contained in all softeners are simply not good for the environment or for sensitive skin. A combination of lipids (fats) preservatives and synthetic fragrances are just not doing the wastewater that goes out through the drains to the reservoirs any good.
Have you ever seen how quickly mould takes hold of your waste water pipes when a lot of hair and conditioner is stuck in the plughole? Well that’s a similar effect to the mouldy residues left from fabric softeners in your washing machine too.
I HAVE SENSITIVE SKIN – I THOUGHT A BIOLOGICAL WASHING FORMULA WAS SUPPOSED TO BE WORSE?
Misconception – These days the enzymes used in laundry are very sophisticated and whilst ensuring a superior wash to a non-bio they have superior rinsing qualities meaning there will be less of the residues left in the fabric. The protease enzyme is actually the one we produce ourselves in saliva. Moreover, it’s as gentle as saliva in the way the dirt is digested from clothing.
Obviously manufactured though – we aren’t providing a spit wash – enzymes are in fact grown in huge vats similar to the way wine is made.
IS THE HIGHER CONCENTRATION OF FRAGRANCE GOING TO CAUSE ALLERGY?
Fragrance may cause an allergy – but so far, we haven’t come across anyone that has reacted to it and it has been tested on people with severe eczema as an added fail-safe.
Our own experiences with allergy meant that we needed to find a formula and fragrances that were particularly suitable to sensitive skins and I hope you’ll we’ve perfected our product to a t when it comes to being allergy safe.
ON YOUR PACK, IT SAYS TO HANG STRAIGHT FROM WET TO REDUCE IRONING.
Okay, ironing really does take up a bit of time. We’d love to come up with a solution that really did work to prevent you needing to iron but we all know non iron shirt packs do tend to need a quick once over to look their best. Plus, there’s not much point in smelling lovely with Distinctive to then look crumply and badly presented. For all your washing, hang from wet and then iron, its’ really the best routine to get into. If you use the drier the same applies – give it a quick once over with the iron as soon as the drier finishes.
With the majority of bedding requiring low temperature washing these days, it’s also a great way of making sure that the bed sheets are sterile too. Hot ironing making sure to get right up to the seams will eliminate any bed bugs or dust mites.
Most of our trial panel said they preferred to dry the laundry round the house as it helped make the house smell nice too.
We hope we’ve answered the most common laundry questions you might ask us?
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