How to do laundry: the best tips

Written by: Christina Pichler, 05.08.2021

You recently moved out, there is a huge pile of laundry in front of you and you cannot reach your parents for guidance on what to do with it. Many questions are on your mind right now: How do you wash your laundry correctly? How do you have to separate laundry? Which items can get washed together?

Washing clothes isn’t quite as complicated as it might seem, but there are a few things you should be aware of. We have put together the most important “washing tips” for you in this post so that you can wash your laundry the right way, get to know how to get white laundry to stay white and also keep your woolen sweaters in their original shape instead of shrinking them to children size!


1. Sorting the laundry correctly

Before you can start the actual washing process, you will need to do a little bit of preparation first! It is best to sort your laundry by color and material. Light, dark, colorful – with this simple classification you can pre-sort your laundry best. Washing the same or similar colors together is a great thing to do as they will not stain each other or get discolored. Be careful with new clothes, especially those with strong colors. Before putting new clothes into the washing machine for the first time, test it with a short hand wash in the sink to avoid it staining all of your other shirts.

Sorting by texture is especially important when washing fine fabrics: lace, silk or real wool, for example. These require low temperatures and a lower spin than “normal” shirts. For delicate underwear, it is also advisable to use washing bags in order to prevent the delicate material from getting caught in other parts.

2. Choosing the right washing program and temperature

Now that you have sorted your laundry, you can move on to choosing the right washing program. On almost all washing machines you will find the following options: Cotton/ Synthetics, easy care, delicates and wool / hand wash, in addition to that there is usually a spin program, an express program and a sport program.

Cotton/ Synthetics
With this wash cycle you can wash insensitive textiles made of cotton and linen, bed linen and towels. Washing at 60 degrees is advised for these wash cycles to hygienically clean your laundry.

This wash cycle is a real all-rounder! You can wash almost all of your clothes with it. Washing at 30 degrees is usually sufficient. Textiles made from mixed materials are particularly good at this washing program!

As the name suggests, the delicates program is recommended for delicate fabrics such as blouses, dresses, skirts, but you can also wash underwear and socks with this program too. Bras made of lace can also be put in, but it is best to use a laundry bag for this. Washing your delicates at 30 degrees will be the right choice.

Wool / Hand wash
This program is extremely gentle and well suited for very sensitive materials. It is a cold wash program (up to 30 degrees). In addition, your textiles are not spun here, which is particularly important with wool, as it will otherwise shrink. Caution: because of the missing spin your laundry is often very wet after this wash cycle and can drip when hanging up. However, wool sweaters should not be hung up to dry anyways, but laid out flat!

3. Choosing the right detergent

Whether you choose the scent of lavender or apple for your laundry detergent is entirely up to you and your preferences, but there are a few other things to consider when choosing a detergent. There is a separate detergent for almost every wash program. If you don’t have a lot of storage space or don’t have the budget for a complete laundry room equipment, we recommend that you keep two simple questions in mind when buying detergent: Do I have a lot of sensitive fabrics (silk, wool, etc.)? Which colors dominate my wardrobe?

Washing colored laundry is usually easier than washing white or dark colors. Universal, heavy-duty or colored detergents can be used for Cotton and Synthetics and for the easy-care program, wool and mild detergents should be used for more sensitive fabrics! Powder detergents are particularly suitable for white colors, as these often contain bleach and contribute to a long-lasting, fresh white color. Warning: the bleach in the detergent does not pose a health risk, but is still bad for the environment.

If your laundry is heavily soiled, it is advisable to treat stains by hand before putting them in the washing machine. The best way to treat grease stains is with a little grease-dissolving dish wash soap. Simply apply the product to the area that needs to be treated shortly before the wash cycle, let it sit for a few minutes and then, without rinsing, put it in the washing machine as normal.

Regarding the dosage of your detergent, it is best to read what is recommended directly on the detergent packaging or choose the amount of detergent based on the contamination of your laundry!

4. Drying the laundry properly

If possible: hands off the tumble dryer! A household that runs a dryer 200 times a year could save almost half a ton of CO₂ by switching to a clothes rack or clothesline, that’s quite a lot! You still don’t want to do without soft, fluffy laundry? Try to add a little (approx. 1 tablespoon) apple cider vinegar to each wash cycle – ideally in the fabric softener compartment! Incidentally, towels should never be put in the dryer or ironed, as otherwise they will lose their surface structure and quickly lose their softness as well!

5. Do’s and Don’ts


  • Separate colors
  • Empty all pockets
  • Wash new textiles separately (risk of discoloration)
  • Button up pillowcases
  • Pay attention to washing symbols  and care labels in your clothes


  • Fill the washing machine too full
  • Forget handkerchiefs in your trouser pockets
  • Wash too hot
  • Leave laundry in the washing machine for a long time (risk of smell)
  • Short programs (often use more electricity and energy than long ones)

6. Where can I do my laundry?

You just moved out of home and don’t have enough budget to buy a new washing machine? Your apartment is simply too small for a washing machine and dryer, or do you simply not come to wash in your shared apartment because your roommates keep using the machine? In these cases, it is worth going to the laundromat! In most bigger cities, there are great offers for washing clothes and often the detergent is even included in the wash cycle, so you don’t have to worry about that anymore!

If your first own home is in a dormitory, you’ve hit the jackpot! Most student homes, including STUWO, offer their residents their own laundromats. Here you don’t have to ask yourself: “When is the best time to do the laundry?” You can use the washing machine and dryer around the clock without disturbing anyone! The tumble dryer saves you time, but it consumes huge amounts of electricity and is therefore not particularly sustainable. We recommend that you hang up your laundry if you can. In summer, it is a good idea to do this outside in the garden, if possible. Otherwise you can use the laundry room in student dormitories or community buildings. Here you can dry your laundry without crowding your own four walls.

The laundromat is also great for making new friends! Perhaps you can give someone a good tip, lend your neighbor a bit of your laundry detergent or think together about what can and cannot be put in the 60 degree wash!

Now you should know how to properly sort and wash laundry and which detergent is the best choice for your textiles! We hope our tips on washing clothes could help you and your mountain of dirty laundry.

Good luck and have fun doing laundry!


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