• Always follow the manufacturer’s guide to washing the garment and manufacturer’s guide for your washing machine.
  • Sort your washing: always wash colours and whites separately. Even small amounts of coloured clothes can eventually make your whites dingy and grey.
  • For heavily soiled garments pre-soak to gain optimum results.
  • Always treat a stain straightaway; look through the wash load for any marks or stains that may need extra attention before putting into the washing machine.
  • Check your pockets and remove anything not to be washed e.g. tissues, coins.
  • Look after your clothes, undo buttons, close zips, tie apron strings and pyjama cords into a bow.
  • Test your garment for colour-fastness: take a white damp cloth and place on garment in an inconspicuous place. If the colour comes off on to the cloth, then the garment colour will run. Take care when attacking stains and wash separately.
  • Take your washing out of the machine and hang out to dry as soon as the cycle has finished.
  • The sun and air are the best way to dry clothes: the air will deodorise and the sun will help whiten. Tumble dryers, whilst aid absorbency for towels and nappies, consume resources and will bake a stain into the clothes making it difficult to remove later.
  • Leave the washing machine door open to prevent musky smells developing, but check the drum is empty before putting on a new cycle.
  • Ironing: if you find a stain whilst ironing (and still want to wear the item) then iron as close as possible to the stain, but not over it as the heat of the iron will set the stain making it difficult to remove later.


  • For more soiled clothes pre-soak
  • Attend to stains before washing
  • Check manufacturer’s washing instructions
  • Treat the stain as soon as possible; remember fresh stains will not have time to set
  • Stains can be stubborn; reapply treatment if it does not work the first time
  • Do not bake the stain in by ironing or putting into the tumble dryer
  • Blot - don’t rub! Rubbing can damage the fabric and spread the stain. Work from the outside of the stain inwards
Lint prevention

One cup of white vinegar in the final rinse will help prevent the lint from forming.

Odour removal - smoke smells

Add half a cup of bicarbonate of soda to the rinse cycle.

Gym and swimming gear

Soak items in 100g of bicarbonate of soda and warm water for a couple of hours,even overnight. Launder as normal; this pre soak will aid the removal of the bleach smell and/or acrid smell of perspiration.


This collection of old and tried recipes are the wisdom from an age when cleaning products were kinder and less complicated. You may wish to try them for yourself

Please note it is best to test stain removal techniques on an inconspicuous part of the garment first.

All purpose laundry stain remover

50g borax · 500ml of cold water
Mix together wearing rubber gloves

Blood Stains

Bicarbonate of soda

Dampen stain with cold water (hot will set the stain). Rub bicarbonate of soda into the stain with an old tooth brush, leave to soak, repeat if necessary, launder as normal. For large areas mix 200g bicarbonate of soda with 250ml white vinegar in a bucket of cold water, soak garment overnight before laundering as normal.

Grass Stains

White vinegar

Soak garment in a 50/50 solution of cold water and white vinegar overnight, launder as normal.

Grease Stains

Salt and bicarbonate of soda

Mix a dry powder of equal quantities 50/50 salt and bicarbonate of soda, leave for one hour then launder as normal.

Grimy collars and cuffs

Bicarbonate of soda

Make a paste and scrub using a nailbrush or old tooth brush, leave for half an hour then wash as normal.

Ketchup, barbecue sauce and tomato based stains

White vinegar

Soak garment in 50/50 solution of cold water and white vinegar for an hour; launder as normal adding 250g of borax to the washing machine.


Use a cold 30 degree wash when possible, look for eco settings on your machine.

Wait until you have a full load, thus saving on electricity, water and detergent.


Check the filters – the filter is designed to trap all the things that should not go down the drain. If the filter becomes blocked or even partly blocked the machine cannot drain and take the dirty water away from your clothes. Check and clean the filter once a week.

Pipes – make sure there are no kinks or bends in the pipes where water can stagnate. Allow the pipe-work has the room it needs for the water to flow through.

Cleaning your machine: Pour 250ml white vinegar into the soap dispenser and run the machine on the hottest cycle. This method will cut through soap scum and lime scale in the pipes. One could add towels, white bedding or even nappies to the cycle and get two for one - clean pipes and a clean washing load!

Leave the washing machine door open to prevent musky smells developing, but check the drum is empty before putting on a new cycle.