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.
When did you last wash your pillows? You can be sure that a fair proportion of a pillow’s weight is made up of skin scales, dandruff, sweat, saliva and goodness knows what else!
While the sun’s shining, get those pillows (two at a time) in the washing machine (check the care label first) and out on the line.
Feather-filled pillows need to dry quickly, otherwise if they hang about damp for a few days the feathers will develop mould and your good work will be undone. If the rain’s back on, stick in the tumble dryer with a few white tennis balls to stop the filling clumping.
And always better to cover them with pillow protectors to protect from soiling. You’ll sleep a lot sounder now…
The reason is because we’re all washing too often at low temperatures or always using the quick cycle.
Bacteria, which produce gases that give off a bad smell, will survive a 30 degree wash, so when the water drains away, the bacteria are left behind to build up and grow in number inside the machine, hence the nasty niffs (and eventually black mould on the seal).
Do a ‘maintenance wash’: throw a cup of clear vinegar into the empty drum and run the machine on the hottest wash.
Thereafter, make sure you do a 60 degree wash once a week, particularly for towels and cotton sheets. Sweet smells guaranteed from now on.