If you've always relied on a parent to wash your clothes, it's about time you learned this most essential adulting skill. Doing laundry is boring AF, but really, nobody wants to sit next to the person who smells of mildew, or stale sweat, or last week's taco dinner. Here's a beginner's guide to getting your clothes clean. via GIPHY 1. Have a designated laundry bag or basket to put your dirty clothes in, because you’re not going to be doing a load of laundry every day, and keeping them in a pile on the floor is just gross – it will start to stink. 2. When you’re ready to do a load, tip the contents of the basket onto the floor or another convenient flat surface. 3. Decide what kind of wash you need to do. There are two things to consider: colour, and the temperature needed to wash. Separate your pile into white, light and dark. “Light” can be anything pale in colour, but not pure white. If you don’t separate, the colours from darker clothes can stain your lighter coloured stuff. Towels, bedding, sports clothes and underwear – stuff that’s likely to be “soiled” – is one sort of load, and is best washed warm (40C) or even hot (60C or more, although these days most launry detergents work at lower temperatures; read the bottle or box). Everything else, white, light or dark, can be washed (separately) at 30C. Using a liquid detergent is even better than powder, which sometimes needs warm water to work. You need to be careful with delicates – thin fabric, or stuff like silk, wool and linen. Some of those fabrics can’t go in the washing machine, so read the label inside. If they can, wash them with other delicates of similar colours, on cold (30C). Also be aware that clothes with metal decorations, or transfers should be washed inside-out, and on cold. If shopping is your go-to stress relief, or you just have too much stuff, you need to read these five tips on how to shop less 4. Go through each item of clothing and turn the pockets inside out. You might think this is silly but it will make sure you don’t accidentally wash money, notes from your last lecture, or your phone and passport (very sad but true story). It also ensures that you catch anything like tissues which can leave a nasty way of breaking apart and leaving fibres over everything, or pens, which will leak. The purpose of washing is to get stuff clean, not make it worse. 5. Fasten any zips, hooks and eyes, or studs before you throw clothes in the machine. This helps the garment keep its shape, but more importantly, it prevents loose hooks from clawing holes in your other clothes. Expert advice on buying your first proper suit - because appearances sometimes really do matter 6. Throw everything into the washing machine. If it’s more than two-thirds full, take some stuff out, otherwise it won’t be clean. We mentioned detergent – liquid is easier and more likely to clean at lower temperatures. The label on the bottle will tell you how much to use, but it’s usually a capful or less per load. In a front-loading machine (with a door on the front), it goes in the drawer. In a top-loading machine (where you open the top), it usually goes in a compartment on the inside of the lid. In both cases, it’s the compartment with a “II” symbol. 7. When the washing is finished, it needs to be dried. If you don’t have a dryer, hang up everything except knitted items, which you should lay flat so they don’t lose their shape. If you have a dryer, you still need to remove anything delicate, woollen, or denim, as these may tear or shrink in the heat of the dryer. And then put them away, ideally ironing them first. But that's advice for a whole other article. This article was curated by Young Post .