Get your yellowing cotton blouse back to white again

Yellowing happens when a white garment is exposed to direct sunlight for a long time (the UV from the sunlight degrades the brightener in the fabric).

To reverse this, try rewashing in detergent containing optical brighteners or brightening agents, such as Ariel, within a full load using the recommended dose and at the hottest temperature on the label.

f you hang your washing on the line, keep the whites away from direct sunlight and take inside as soon as they’re dry.

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Goo on your iron’s soleplate?

While it’s warm, rub with a nylon scourer and a little non-gel toothpaste. Wipe clean with a damp cloth. And next time you’re ironing a T-shirt with a motif that might stick, turn it inside out.

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What type of laundry detergent to use?

Non-bio is best for general laundry and items that need to be washed at a higher temperature such as sheets and towels.

Bio contains enzymes that digest food and fat stains, and works best at 40C (anything higher kills the enzyme). Great for kids’ clothes. Don’t use on silk or wool as it can weaken the fibres.

Some people reckon that bio detergents can irritate skin, but there is no hard evidence to suggest this is true – it’s thought that it’s more likely to be the perfume in the detergent. If someone in your household has eczema, try adding an extra rinse or two to the cycle.

Laundry balls In my experience, if your items are stained, the balls are pretty useless at removing them.

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A subscriber asks – The clothes are wet and full of mould

Hi Aggie, I hope you can help me. I found a bag of my summer clothes in my loft that were leaning against a stone wall. The clothes are wet and full of mould. Can you advise how I can remove the mould? Will it be killed by the washing machine? Many thanks in advance. Kathryn Douglas

Hi Kathryn
Sorry for the delay in replying. If you’ve not already done so, anything that can normally be put in the washing machine should go in there, and the mould spores will be removed.
However I’m pretty sure that the mould stains won’t come out.  The only thing that will remove those is a bleach-based product.  And you should only use bleach on whites as if used on coloureds they will remove the colour.
If I were you I\d probably chuck the whole bag out and look at getting the loft waterproofed.
Wish you well,
Aggie

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Washing line woes?

I love hanging washing but occasionally a passing bird will leave a deposit on my freshly laundered sheets.

As long as the items are white or colourfast (and not nylon), immerse in a solution of hydrogen peroxide, available from the chemist (one part 20-vol peroxide to six parts cold water) for up to 30 minutes, then wash in the machine as normal.

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How to use biological washing detergent

A 40-degree wash is perfect for sheets, pyjamas and towels (any higher and the enzyme in the detergent that does all the good work on the bacteria produced by the body becomes inactive).

Any lower and your items may not be cleaned properly, particularly if the bacteria load is heavy (such as on towels and underwear).

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White marks on just-washed trousers?

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xusenru (CC0), Pixabay

You could be overloading the machine.

The more you put in, the less room the clothes have; they stay in one position and dye gets drawn out of the creases.

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How to store your winter clothes

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StockSnap (CC0), Pixabay

Either pack away in a spare suitcase, lidded plastic boxes, zip-up plastic bags or those storage bags that hook up to the vacuum cleaner hose to extract air and create an airtight seal (they reduce the volume to about 50 percent, are available cheaply from Argos and can be reused). Fold or roll clothes and wrap in acid-free tissue paper to prevent creasing.

When your case, box or bag is full, sprinkle the top with rosemary, lavender, bay or pieces of cedar to deter moths and other unwelcome critters. Store either on top of the wardrobe, in a drawer under the bed, in a spare room or dry loft.

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Bothered by moths?

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Prawny (CC0), Pixabay

If you think have a moth problem, vacuum and wipe out the wardrobe and drawers with soapy water, getting right into the corners. Make sure you clean carpets and floors, especially under furniture and along skirting boards. And as soon as you have vacuumed, empty the bag or canister so they don’t breed in there.

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Get every last drop out of your laundry detergent bottle

girl, white, woman

nastya_gepp (CC0), Pixabay

stick the almost-empty container in the washing machine for one last wash.

Then remember to put the empty bottle into the recycling bin afterwards!

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