How to Teach Your Kids to Do Laundry

How to Teach Your Kids to Do Laundry

When your children start complaining about their black clothing fading to grey when you do the wash, it is time to teach them to do their own laundry. This is a simple task that most children can manage completely on their own once they are around ten years of age. However, even young children can work with you to do their laundry.

The first thing you need to teach your children is to prepare their laundry for washing before it hits the washer. Your children will need to look for stains on the clothing so that they can be pretreated. With the new stain sticks that are available, it is easy for children to pre-treat stains themselves. This is one task that even children as young as five can master. Give your children a stain stick and tell them to make sure they treat stains before they toss clothing into the hamper.

Next, remind your children to always double-check their pockets to make sure they are empty. Make sure they know what a tissue left in a piece of clothing can do to an entire load of wash.

Once the clothing is prepared for the washer, it is time to teach your children to sort their laundry. It is easiest to give children a sorting hamper that is divided into three sections, so that they can easily sort laundry into the light, dark, and delicate clothing. Also, show your children how to read the laundry tags in the clothing so that they know if the pieces have special care instructions. Although your children may be tempted to ignore your instructions and just wash all of their clothing in the same load, they won’t try it again if they end up with pink underwear.

After the laundry is sorted, show the children how to put their laundry in the washer. If you use special detergents for colored or black clothing, discuss which detergent they should use for each type of clothing. Demonstrate how to set the machine for different load sizes and for hot or cold water. You may also want to write these directions down and keep them by the machine until your child has done several loads of laundry.

Next, talk about which clothing you want your children to dry in the dryer and which pieces should be hung on the line. Show them which settings to use on the dryer. Demonstrate the proper way to empty the lint trap, since the lint buildup can actually cause a fire if the trap is never is emptied. Also, explain how they should use dryer sheets in the dryer. If you use a clothesline, show them how to hang clothing properly so that it can dry quickly.

Finally, remind your children that clothing left to sit in the washer after it is washed can actually mold if it is left there long enough. Also, let them know that the faster clothing is moved to the dryer and then folded or placed on hangers, the fewer wrinkles it will develop.

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