Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Household Arts/Laundering

Household Arts
General Conference
Skill Level 1
Year of Introduction: 1928

1. Why is it important to read the labels in garments before laundering them?


The labels often include the manufacturer's recommended washing instructions as well as the types of material the garment is made from. Instructions often include:

  • Wash temperature
  • Rinse temperature
  • Ironing temperature, and sometimes ironing method.
  • If the article is only suited for dry cleaning
  • Drying method
  • Folding method
  • Hanging method

2. What is the proper way to prepare clothes for washing?


Remove all items from all pockets, zip-up any zippers, fasten snaps, and cover Velcro. Also, tie any strings back so they won't get tangled in the agitator or with other garments. Remove any pins, your name tag, and the "scribe" or "captain" tag from your Pathfinder uniform before washing it. Brush off any caked-on dirt. Turn permanent press and garments with silk-screened patterns inside-out.

Place small items and hosiery in a mesh bag before putting them in the washing machine. This will prevent small items from being flushed out with the rinse water, and it will help prevent runs in hosiery.

Separate your laundry into like items:

  • Whites from colors
  • Color-fast from colors that may run
  • Durables from delicates
  • Very dirty from lightly soiled
  • Lint givers (towels, sheets, flannels) from lint takers (corduroy, permanent press)

Wash these types separately, because each of the types of loads listed above needs different settings on the washing machine. Finally, pretreat any stains with a stain remover.

3. What types of clothes should be washed in hot, warm, and cold?

Permanent Press Permanent Press Bright Colors
Whites Whites Dark Colors
Very dirty clothing Delicates Delicates/Knits

4. What precaution should be used when using chlorine bleach? What are the advantages of powdered oxygen bleach? Why should chlorine bleach and ammonia never be mixed?


Precautions: Bleach is a powerful chemical. It can burn your skin, and it can dissolve cloth. Do not get it on your skin; if you get it on your skin, wash it off right away. If you spill it on your clothing, rinse immediately. If too much bleach is used on cloth, the cloth will disintegrate. Bleach will remove dye, so it must not be used on anything other than white cloth.

Powdered Oxygen Bleach: The greatest advantage offered by powdered oxygen bleach is that it removes stains without the use of toxic chemicals. For some stains, it works even better than chlorine bleach. It brightens fabrics and can be used on upholstery and carpet. It is non-toxic to humans and animals, and it breaks down into environmentally friendly components when the oxygen is released (the release of oxygen is what removes stains).

Mixing Bleach and Ammonia: Bleach and ammonia should NEVER be mixed because doing so causes a chemical reaction that releases poisonous gases. The primary gas released is chlorine gas which was used as a chemical warfare agent during World War I. Chlorine gas is highly toxic. Other gases that can be released include nitrogen trichloride (which can explode in your face), and hydrazine (a component of rocket fuel).

5. What precautions should be taken when using liquid fabric softeners?


Liquid fabric softeners leave an invisible residue on the garments which prevents static cling, softens the fabric, and imparts a light fragrance. It should only be used in the rinse cycle when no soap is present in the water, because it will react with soap and leaving a sticky, visible residue which resembles lint. If your washing machine has a fabric softener dispenser use it and the fabric softener will be added at the right time in the cycle. Otherwise, you must add it yourself at the beginning of the rinse cycle. Be careful to not pour it directly on clothing, but rather into the water.

6. Know how to remove the following stains

  • Blood: If the blood is fresh, wipe it up with a sponge soaked in cool, salted water. Then rinse with clear water. If the blood is dried, use diluted hydrogen peroxide (one part peroxide, nine parts water).
  • Chewing gum: Scrape off as much as possible first. This is easier if you cool the gum down with ice cubes first, as that makes the gum brittle rather than gummy. If the item is washable, apply a little dry cleaning fluid and rinse it off. You may have to repeat this several times.
  • Crayons: Place the stained item in the freezer and leave it there until the crayon freezes. You can then literally break the crayon stain out of the garment. If there is any residue left after this, place the item on a paper towel or a blotter. Then place a second paper towel (or blotter) on top of the item. Apply a warm iron. This will melt the crayon, and the paper towels should soak up the stain. Change the paper towels as often as is necessary.
  • Grass: If the garment is white, you may soak it in a solution of chlorinated bleach, then rinse and launder. Otherwise, apply methylate alcohol (wood alcohol) to the stain, rinse in warm water, and then wash.
  • Grease: Scrape away as much of the grease as you can. Rub petroleum jelly into the stain, and then wash with a laundry powder or liquid detergent. You can also try a spot removing the product.
  • Fruit: Try to remove the stain before it dries by rinsing it in cold water. Otherwise, soak white garments in a chlorinated bleach solution. For colored garments, treat with sodium percarbonate or warm borax solution.
  • Ink: Place a paper towel under the stain and then spray the stain with hairspray. Hairspray breaks up many types of ink, and you will want the paper towel there to catch the ink and not allow it to stain another part of the garment. Hairspray may discolor the fabric though, so test in an inconspicuous place first.
  • Rust: Sprinkle the stain with salt and rub it in. Then wet it with lemon juice and place it in the sun. Keep the stain moistened with lemon juice until the stain disappears.
  • Grape juice: Mix one tablespoon of white vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent with one quart of warm water. Soak in this solution for 15 minutes. 4. If the stain remains, sponge with rubbing alcohol and rinse thoroughly.Apr 6, 2007

Why must stains be removed before laundering? == Putting a stained garment in a dryer will set the stain, making it even more difficult to remove. Always remove stains before laundering.

7. How are woolen and wool-like garments laundered?


Soak the garment in cold water for about 15 minutes. You can use shampoo instead of detergent, or you can use detergent specially formulated for wool. You can then change the water and soak the garment in clean water for another 15 minutes, or you can put it in a washing machine. If you decide to put it in a washing machine, make sure to select a setting that will not agitate the load. Also, be sure to use cold water.

Do not wring the wool out, and do not hang it up to dry. You can roll it in a dry towel, or just lay it flat to dry, but be careful not to stretch the fabric while it is wet, or it may become misshapen.

8. Why is it important to remove garments from a dryer immediately when the cycle is complete?


When a garment is still hot from the dryer, hanging it immediately will prevent it from getting wrinkled. If you forget to remove the garments from the dryer wrinkles will start to set, try throwing a damp washcloth into the dryer with the clothing and run the dryer for a few minutes. This may reduce the wrinkling.

9. What points are to be considered in selecting a washing machine, dryer, and iron? How should these items be cared for?


The primary concern when selecting a washing machine or a dryer is financial. Remember that the initial cost of the appliance is only a part of its operating cost though. Buying an energy-efficient appliance - even if it is more expensive - can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Another factor to consider is the amount of laundry you intend to do with the appliances. If you are going to do laundry for a family of six, you will need a larger machine than if you are going to do laundry for a family of two.

When selecting an iron, look for features that enhance safety. Many irons today will shut themselves off automatically if left idling for too long.

Wipe down your appliances regularly, and use appliance touch-up paint to repair any chips in the finish. An untreated chip will lead to rust which can destroy your appliance. Also be sure to clean out the lint trap of your dryer between every load, and clean the exhaust duct regularly. Lint build-up in the exhaust duct is a fire hazard.

Do not iron over silkscreen designs, as this will melt the paint on the garment and stick to the iron. This residue is extremely difficult to remove from an iron, and if left there, will transfer to any other garments you use it on.

10. Know what type of materials should be dried only on the lowest heat setting of a dryer.


Some items should not be dried in a dryer at all. Particularly, any item containing foam rubber should not be placed in a dryer except on a no-heat setting, as it can easily burst into flame.

Knits and delicates (such as silk and nylon) should only be dried on the lowest heat settings.

11. Show a blouse or shirt that you have properly ironed.


The most obvious garment to show is your class is a uniform. This requirement can be met before a club inspection or on a campout (assuming the uniform has been washed by the Pathfinder ahead of time).

12. Properly launder and fold clothes for your family for one week.


The regular launderer in your family will thank you for this. Make sure you tell that person "You're welcome!"