Frequently Asked Laundry Questions

Ideally No, you wouldn’t wash your jeans with your woollen jumpers:

Woollen garments shed fibers and require a very gentle, hand wash cycle, with minimum spinning and very little heat. You can wash woollens using Distinctive, but you would want to put half as much detergent in as you would for other fabric. The biggest cause of damage to wool is heat, either through water temperature or through drying. You should never wash wool hot or tumble dry, as it causes the fibers to shrink.

There is no way to reverse this change.

Acrylic blends are a man-made alternative to wool. They wash and wear really well. They can cope with normal washing at 40 degrees and higher spin speeds, so would wash fine with your jeans.

Pure cashmere and wool are best washed on their own to prevent fibers shedding and collecting on other garments.

Yes – anything that would carry a hand wash garment label should be treated as above. And, anything that says delicate or dry-clean only!

We would never recommend this. I personally ruined a very expensive silk dress years ago. Keep in mind, our formulas are used by specialist dry cleaners in their wet cleaning machines 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,g on a cold hand wash setting, or even left to soak in the sink.

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.

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, will also achieve the same result. In fact, left overnight you may find the garment is so clean you decide to skip the machine wash afterwards.

An optical brightener is a light reflector. These days they are used in a number of cosmetic and cleaning products. They are also 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 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. It will look as though it is covered in flecks of dandruff.

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.

You would not believe how often we hear this – it’s the biggest complaint about laundry in relation to High-Efficiency front load washing machines.

The first culprit is indeed mould!

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. Mould fixes itself to everything and spreads quickly. Even if you have only ever used powder, your machine will need some tender loving care, in order to function properly and be mould 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 the laundry.  Water flows through the draw compartment at every stage of the wash, to collect whatever product is there, before taking it down into the drum. (In case you have softener in there, it even does this at rinsing) So, if there is mould present, then no matter how good your detergent cleans your laundry, at that last rinsing stage you’ll be adding mould spores back onto your fabrics.

This means your washing will dry with just that faint odour to it – and spores will populate very fast if wet washing is left in the basket before drying.

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 advise you start off with powders, and no softener in order to keep it as clean and maintenance free as possible. You will be amazed at the difference.

 

The second is mud!

Muddy sports kit may need washing through twice. 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 – it’s super easy to do.

Softeners are added to the wash cycle at the last rinse, 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 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 wastewater 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.

Misconception – These days the enzymes used in laundry are very sophisticated, and whilst ensuring a superior wash to a non-bio, they also 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.

Manufactured enzymes (we aren’t providing a spit wash) are in fact grown in huge vats similar to the way wine is made.

Fragrance may cause an allergy – but so far, we haven’t come across anyone that has reacted to ours,  and it has been tested on people with severe eczema as an added fail-safe.

Our own experiences with allergies meant that we needed to find a formula and fragrances that were particularly suitable to sensitive skins, and I hope you’ll agree we’ve perfected our product when it comes to being allergy safe.

Okay, ironing really does take up a bit of time. We’d love to come up with a solution to prevent you needing to iron, but we all know non-iron shirts 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 badly presented. For all your washing, hang from wet and then iron, it’s 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, ironing is 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 around 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?

But if not please email info@distinctivewash.co.uk  or connect with Distinctivewash on any of the social channels.