Laundry Troubleshooting

Working with laundry is an art. There are several factors to watch for in order to get truly clean laundry, naturally or conventionally. If you’re having problems with your clothing, or cloth diapers, one of the following factors is most often the cause. 


The most important part of the laundry process, carrying the detergent, and rinsing the laundry. It helps to break down the soiled items, and carry it away. Water contains minerals, and other contaminants, naturally, and they directly affect the washing process. Water quality is different from location to location, even in the same city.

Know your water!
The three main things to look for:
     Ph (alkalinity)   
     Mineral Content

How much time the laundry is washing makes a big difference. The chemical reactions of the detergents and the soils must be given enough time to occur, and the amount of time the laundry agitates is important as well.

Using a pre-rinse or second rinse after the wash cycle may be useful.

Be sure to:
    Allow for a full cycle of wash, and rinse
    Pre-rinse or use a 2nd rinse if necessary

Load Size

The quantity of laundry makes a big difference. Too much or too little laundry means the load cannot properly mix, and clothes cannot get clean.

Too much laundry, clothes can’t move and shake clean, not enough water to rinse, clothing discolors.

Not enough laundry, detergent gets diluted, and clothes don’t have enough agitation to shake clean.

Be sure to:
    Fill the load 2/3 full


The detergents used to remove the soil from the laundry. Many detergents contain fragrances, whiteners, softeners to alter the laundry, and each affects clothing differently.
Other additives like bleach have uses, but shorten the life of the fabrics and can cause health concerns if not properly used.

Be sure to:
    Understand what is in detergents
    Choose a detergent that meets your needs
    Make sure the detergent is fully washed out of
        the items before use


Hot, cold or warm water makes a difference. Hotter water can help to release soil by increasing the cleaning action and chemical reactions. Cold can help to reduce stains, depending on the soil.

To determine the temperatures needed, factor the following:
    Soil Type and Amount     
    Wash Time
    Fabric type (some cannot handle heat)
    Wash and rinse cycles

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