Scientist offers top laundry tips – including freezing clothes to help lift stains

Freezing a stained item of clothing before washing it can make it easier to get the stain off, a laundry expert has revealed.

Scientist Martin TerBekke has shared his top tips for making clothes look good as new – including turning them inside-out before washing, to help preserve the fabrics.

His other tips include buttoning up blouses to prevent them from becoming misshapen, and zipping up all zippers before they go in the washing machine, so they don’t catch on other garments.

And with the cost-of-living crisis on everyone’s minds, Martin also advises opting for a cold wash – to help save up to 60% on energy bills.

Martin, a scientist at laundry and fabric care giant Ariel, said: “It may seem strange, but next time you get your favourite lippy on your jumper, whack it in sub-zero temperatures in your freezer.

“It clumps the lipstick together, meaning you’ll easily be able to scrape it off once it’s hardened.

“And when it comes to those stubborn stains, don’t be afraid to put your clothes through a cold wash.

“Washing at cooler temperatures can save you up to 60% on your washing machine energy bills, and can be better for clothes – even washing at 40 degrees can put up to double the amount of stress on fabrics.

“Protecting the quality of clothes helps keep them out of landfills, and stop us needing to buy more.”

It comes after research, commissioned by Ariel, of 2,000 adults who do laundry, found 35% of people wear their jeans five times before putting them in the wash.

And 43% even admit to re-wearing underwear, because they’re holding out from using the washing machine.

Bedsheets are only changed monthly by 14% of adults, while 32% do their washing on a Saturday.

But almost two-thirds (62%) are cutting back on the amount of washing they do, to combat the cost-of-living crisis.

And 57% are more inclined to put their laundry on a cold cycle to try and save money and energy, according to the OnePoll figures.

These respondents believe the main benefits of lowering the temperature for a wash include saving energy (52%), money (46%), and the environment (41%).

Martin added: “Putting your clothes through a cold wash is a great way to help protect the fabrics from being discoloured.

“When it comes to those stubborn stains, don’t automatically think you need to revert to a hotter wash.

“Other tricks to keep your clothes looking their best includes turning them inside out during the wash.”

MARTIN TERBEKKE’S TOP LAUNDRY TIPS…

  • Turning your clothes inside out will help protect them during the wash, as it stops them rubbing against each other, helping preserve fabrics.
  • Zip up all zippers before you put garments in the wash, so they don’t catch on your other clothes and damage the fibres.
  • Button blouses to prevent stretching and misshapen/mismatched sides.
  • For stains like lipstick, first gently scrape off any excess. For particularly waxy makeup stains, place the garment in the freezer for 20 minutes, then gently scrape off any excess frozen stain.
  • Tackle gluey mess by brushing off any dried glue residue or dabbing the spot with clear tape to remove leftover pieces. Rinse fabric with cold water to dilute any remaining glue.
  • Fill up the machine, but leave a fist-sized gap at the top so water can evenly distribute and clean clothes properly.
  • Wash on cold to save you up to 60% on your washing machine energy bills.