5 Questions You’ve Always Wanted to Ask About Your Laundry (But Were Too Afraid to Ask!)
30 August 2016
We know you’ve often wondered: “what’s the best temperature is to wash my clothes at?” Maybe you've whiled away the hours wondering what the difference between bio and non-bio detergent is. That’s why we’ve gone to the trouble of answering these questions –and more- for you.
Read on for everything you’ve ever wanted to know about your laundry, including some B&M Top Tips!
What’s the difference between bio and non-bio detergent?
It’s actually really simple.
Bio contains enzymes, proteins which act as ‘booster technology’. Enzymes help break down different kinds of molecules in various stains. They work much better at lower temperatures and in quick wash cycles.
Non-bio doesn’t contain enzymes, and is much more suited to higher temperatures. Some experts say that non-bio is kinder to skin, so if you have sensitive skin non-bio may be the safer choice.
Why can’t I just use soap to clean my clothes – won’t it be cheaper?
It may be cheaper, but nowhere near effective enough for the rigours of a weekly family wash. Soaps and detergents effectively do the same job: they clean. But detergents like Persil have extra ingredients added to them.
So while soap will clean, detergents also include enzymes, bleaches, brighteners and other additives, making sure whites stay white and bright clothes keep their colour.
What’s in detergent that gets my clothes clean?
The one word answer is: surfactants. It gets its name from the combination of words ‘surface-active agents’, so called because of their unique chemical structure.
The tail of a surfactant molecule is hydrophobic, and is not attracted to water. This end is attracted to grease and dirt. The head of the surfactant molecule, on the other hand, is hydrophilic – it is attracted to water.
This combination helps to draw out the dirt in your clothes during a wash, leaving you with nice, clean laundry.
How can I boost my detergent's power on the cheap?
Detergent is vital in your regular laundry routine, but you don’t have to leave it to work on its own. You can boost the power of your detergent with some basic ingredients.
And the best thing is you’ll probably already have these boosters in your kitchen cupboards. Vinegar, baking soda and lemons are primed and ready for action. Just a cup of white vinegar, ½ a cup of baking soda and a cup full of lemon juice will be enough to help bleach, soften and brighten your clothes.
Get more great laundry boosting tips here!
What’s the best temperature to wash at?
Keep it cool or wash on warm? The easiest answer is to refer to your clothes labels, but this can be a thankless task for a whole load of washing.
- Cold (20-30°): use for fabrics that might shrink in warm water, like cotton, wool and linen. Also bear in mind that cooler temperatures are better for bright and dark colours. This goes for jeans too.
- Hot (40°+): save the highest temperatures for your most soiled clothes like nappies, baby clothes and sports kit. You can also put a hot wash on for whites, sheets and towels
B&M Top Tip: while hotter temperatures tend to get the best cleaning results, bear in mind you’ll use more energy the hotter you wash. Sometimes the difference in cleaning results is minimal compared to a cooler wash, so save the heat for heavily soiled garments.