Useful Notes on Doing Laundry in Taiwan

Because I like to have clean clothes in the winter and spring months too. :laughing:

But no, like most people on rainy days I stick my laundry in a closed room and turn on the dehumidifier. Better than a dryer as it doesn’t damage the clothes at all.

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Because I like to have clean clothes in the winter and spring months too. :laughing:

But no, like most people on rainy days I stick my laundry in a closed room and turn on the dehumidifier. Better than a dryer as it doesn’t damage the clothes at all.[/quote]

You need a bigger balcony. :smiley:

For the benefit of newcomers to Taiwan, here are a few suggestions related to doing laundry (any quoted material in this post has been copied from a previously existing thread in “Temporary”).

[quote=“Lili”]Yes. I just bought[…] fabric softener because I can’t read Chinese.
[…] here are the characters on the bottle. Can anyone confirm if this is fabric softener or did I actually buy detergent and it smells really strong?
衣 (two characters that I can’t find on google) 柔軟劑[/quote]

[quote=“PigBloodCake”]柔軟 = soft…gently soft
劑 = sorta like liquid
You should be looking for 洗衣精.[/quote]

[quote=“Mucha Man”]A really good detergent is this natural organic orangy powder from Orange House made in taiwan. Can buy at health food shops but also cheaply at Costco.
Called Eco Laundry Detergent Ultra Soft. Dissolves well and leaves no scent.[/quote]

[quote=“yuli”]tap water in Taiwan is in many places high in calcium, and thus towels tend to be scratchy […]
dryers that don’t dry the clothes often fail to do that because of clogged up lint filters or plugged up exhausts.[/quote]

[quote=“Jack Burton”]question:

  1. Back in the US, for over a decade, I’ve done my own laundry and never used fabric softener: My towels were nice and fluffy and soft.
  2. Here in asia, they dry and then become like sandpaper, rough and tough. so now i am experimenting with fabric softener on towels.
    Is this because of the hard v. soft water? Or that I don’t use a dryer anymore?[/quote]

[quote=“tommy525”]I do my clothes at a laundromat in berkeley, calif and I’ve never felt I needed fabric softener and my towels come out fluffy and soft. However, if they were air dried and not dried in the dryer they do come out rough.
I bet if you used a dryer on the wan it would come out soft too. Taiwan water may be harder water then berkeley water as well.
Minerals in the water makes the clothes stiff.[/quote]

Jeez. Why don’t we just have a whole forum devoted to laundry?

[color=#804000]Forum rules:[/color]

[color=#804040]We hope that the Laundry in Taiwan forum will be of value to you and others. To ensure this, please note:

It is best to capitalize topics and to avoid vague titles. “Hi, which softener?” and “Help, clothes pegs” are examples of bad titles.

Before posting, please check the Frequently Asked Cycles thread, and – more importantly – use the spin function to ensure that your laundry has not been discussed before.

While it is preferable to post questions dealing with dissimilar topics in different threads (“Can I hang double D bras outside?”, “Why have my smalls got noticeably tighter?”), if you are a new arrival, it is possible to present numerous questions in one post, but realize that your thread will then, after two weeks, be merged into the slightly pink “New to Taiwan: I can’t wash at 40 degrees” thread.

For missing socks, please go to the miscellaneous forum and see the Lost and Found thread.

[/color]

[quote=“Super Hans”]Jeez. Why don’t we just have a whole forum devoted to laundry?

[color=#804000]Forum rules:[/color]

[color=#804040]We hope that the Laundry in Taiwan forum will be of value to you and others. To ensure this, please note:

It is best to capitalize topics and to avoid vague titles. “Hi, which softener?” and “Help, clothes pegs” are examples of bad titles.

Before posting, please check the Frequently Asked Cycles thread, and – more importantly – use the spin function to ensure that your laundry has not been discussed before.

While it is preferable to post questions dealing with dissimilar topics in different threads (“Can I hang double D bras outside?”, “Why have my smalls got noticeably tighter?”), if you are a new arrival, it is possible to present numerous questions in one post, but realize that your thread will then, after two weeks, be merged into the slightly pink “New to Taiwan: I can’t wash at 40 degrees” thread.

For missing socks, please go to the miscellaneous forum and see the Lost and Found thread.

[/color][/quote]

:bravo:

I second that. :bravo: :bravo:

We used to have something getting close to that - it got temp’d (possibly for intemperant extemporation?)

How do you lot get rid of stains on white clothing when you can’t wash with hot water? Since we’ve arrived, our sparkly whites have developed stubborn grey stains on them. I’ve bought Vanish in powder and liquid form. A Taiwanese friend suggested better laundry detergent, so I assumed the most expensive would wash better and ended up buying three bottles from different brands with each one not working. I’ve done washes with all of this in it and it just does not come out. I can’t use bleach because there are clothes with patches of colour on them as well that go in the wash. Can’t wash pure white stuff separately from the non-pure white else one or both of us will run out of clothes because it takes too long to dry and the rest of our clothing is on a ship somewhere. Plus, the non-pure white clothing is also becoming stained. Any help? :s

There is no guarantee that hot water will do anything - in fact, certain stains can get more firmly attached to the fibers if hot water is applied.

If we don’t know what the stains are (metal dust? oil or grease? oil paint? plant juice? protein? blood? soil?), and if we don’t know what the material and manufacturing process of the fabric is, we can’t give you any sensible advice about what checmials you might want to use. After several chemical attacks on your part (that seem to have been in vain) i hope it is not too late aready, but i would recommend going to a professional cleaning outfit and see whether they can clean it. :slight_smile:

Most of it seems to be just dust from the apartment floor and body grease or sweat. For some of the socks it is from walking in the rain (apparently the soles inside the shoes leak a little bit of colour when soaked completely through), black from my boots, brown from my husband’s leather shoes. Dirt on trousers from filthy rainwater seems to come out fine, but nothing else does. We have one thing that does have a blood stain on it. The material is mostly cotton, some things have a bit of polyester and viscose. I used a cheap detergent back in Europe, no Vanish, no bleach and all of this would come out in one wash.

I’d prefer not to have to take the majority of our ordinary clothes to professionals. We’re still bleeding money from moving here. :astonished:

asiababy runs an online store that sells bleach for unbleachables. excellent for getting whites back to their original shine.

For removing stains, use 7-Up or soda water. Soak and dip and pour. It can take a while but I’ve removed an entire glass if red wine from a white shirt this way. Make sure you do not wash first and especially not in hot. As yuli says, hot water can set a stain.

Btw, despite the fact that machines don’t have a hot function you can run a hose from your bathroom (or nearest faucet) or just carry buckets over. It seems like a hassle but it’s easy enough and for things like bed sheets and towels you really should use hot water.

Oh, i though you had some items that needed speacial cleaning - sounds like all your laundry needs it. :wink:

Right, that stuff is vicious… i’d switch to black or brown socks - honestly… water in shoes is unavoidable in Taiwan, with sidewalks and roads being what they are… your white socks will never be really white again. :frowning:

A few more points:

The trick in general is to soak things in cold water as soon as possible and then to wash them in water that is being heated during the washing, the way some European machines do it (putting hot water on anything with protein related stains - as American washing machines tend to do - fixes the protein to the fibers). Wet, stained clothes you come home with should not be allowed to dry but soaked right away.

Blood needs special treatment, especially old stains (in some cases they can’t be removed, period): whole novels have been written about that topic. :laughing: Here is one chapter: stains.getridofthings.com/get-ri … stains.htm

Someone should have told you that it is litte use to bring lots of clothes from one place to another, if the climate and culture are so different.
Long term planning: you will notice that in Taiwan people don’t use white clothes much - and you may find it easier to adjust to the Taiwanese way of life rather than trying (and failing) to keep your whites white… Especially, since clothes are cheap here, you’ll probably find this adjustment not too trying. :slight_smile:

Yes, cold water doesn’t really get any of the grease out… I’ll have to give this a try.

Thanks for the other tips. I’ll see if I can get some 7-Up and have a go with that as well.

No, I never said some, but it’s probably true that I’ll have trouble with the rest of the laundry as well. Trust us to go and stock up on clothing before coming here only to find we probably wasted a lot of money. :laughing:

Well, that sucks, but I guess there’s not much else we can do about it. Thank you for the advice.

My helpful hint:
Find a laundry store and drop off your stuff once a week and pick it up when you drop off the next lot.
Socks and undies once a week in the washing machine with whatever soap that’s cheap.
What’s so difficult?

Reading the question? :wink:

I was wondering that maybe those stains are from humidity. I have had problems with that before. I reccomend then drying the clothes with a dehumidifier and checking your closets for humidity.

I do not think Vanish is a good brand of soap. There is a Dr. Backamahama whatever that they sell in Welcome in a small blue tub. That one, IMHO, is a lot better for taking out stains without damaging your fabric. Personally, I still go for the organic laundry powder -it also has an organic stain remover, works marvels- and vinegar, plus I soak most really dirty stuff -my washing machine has a soak cycle. The organics can be bought at organic supermarkets or Costco.

The other thing is to check your washing machine. When was the last time you used the special inner tub cleaner? We can all see the outside is clean, but Heaven knows what gathers in the rim and edge between the outer and inner shells. I try to use the special cleaner they sell -again, Coscto, ant supermarket- which you just put two packets and soak function and voila, washing machine clean all over. Your clothes come out differently. If you don’t believe me, try it and then put a cheapie white cloth to wash. Then see the results. Eeeeekkkyyyy.

As to the socks, well, I wear water proof shoes -Timberland and Rockport have them. Either that or go local and wear slippers outside and keep the nice shoes in the office. Meipanfa.

[quote=“Icon”]…The other thing is to check your washing machine. When was the last time you used the special inner tub cleaner? We can all see the outside is clean, but Heaven knows what gathers in the rim and edge between the outer and inner shells. I try to use the special cleaner they sell -again, Coscto, ant supermarket- which you just put two packets and soak function and voila, washing machine clean all over. Your clothes come out differently. If you don’t believe me, try it and then put a cheapie white cloth to wash. Then see the results. Eeeeekkkyyyy.
[/quote]

Yes, very important especially considering most washing machines are outside on a balcony.

Yes, we do still need to purchase a dehumidifier. For now, we’ve just been aiming a fan at it. Not sure how well that works, but it usually dries most things overnight unless it’s very thick.

Thank you for all the advice. There’s a Wellcome not too far from where I am and the Costco is not too far by bus. :slight_smile:

Good idea! While I’ve only been in this apartment about 2 weeks and the washing machine looks brand new, I do not know how long the previous tenant was using it or whether she ever even used an inner tub cleaner… we still haven’t completely finished cleaning up all the filth she left behind spattered on the doors and are making surprise discoveries of used Q-tips and floss jammed behind drawers. :sick:

Seems like a pair of waterproof shoes would be a worthwhile investment for the both of us. :laughing:

In this overall rather warm climate, some sturdy sandals are also very useful - water may run in quickly, but it also runs out quickly. :wink:
(I got used to wearing sandals in Europe and have never returned to the habit of wearing closed shoes. :wink: )

We find that “Shout” which is availabe in spray or in a gel works good on collars which can get very dirty with the pollution here. It is difficult to find. We buy it at the Welcome next to Sogo on Zhong Xiao. We have used it on spots difficult to get out too. We usually put it on when taking off the clothes and let the gel set it until the laundry day.