As I am sitting here writing, my washing machine is running in the back ground, so I thought that this would be a good time to pass on a few tips about laundry, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
Check your soap or detergent drawer. It is really easy for the detergent and the fabric conditioner to build up here. The result being that it can be almost impossible to get a really clean rinse. The result of this is that you can have traces of detergent left on the fabric and consequently on your skin. Not good for eczema or for sensitive skin either.
Pull the detergent drawer out completely and dismantle the unit , then in a bowl of warm clean water use an old tooth brush or small angled brushes (Lakeland sell some excellent small utility brushes that would be perfect for this job) to get into all the small nooks and crannies of the drawer. Also look inside the cavity where the drawer slots in. Quite often there is not only a build up of detergent, but also black mould. By removing this you can help the machine to smell nice, get a good clean rinse on your clothes and make sure that the detergent and fabric condition can be dispensed properly. No one wants mould spores or detergent on their skin!
Add extra water to the programme wherever the machine allows you to. Most of the modern machines are very economical with water usage and that is a good thing for our water consumption, but not so good for the fabrics that are being washed. By adding extra water the friction on the fabrics is reduced. The result of this is less wear and tear on seams, cuffs and belts. Also towels will come up softer and fluffier too,when extra water is used. All of which can extend the life and appearance as well as the feel of the fabric. It is true to say that it is good to use as little resources as possible and that includes water, but by extending the life of the garments and fabrics, it is possible to use less resources by not having to replace them so often.
Finally, check how much detergent and fabric conditioner that you are using. Very often we do not put on a full load of washing, especially if we are splitting the load up into different fabric types and colours (which of course I would recommend); but also it is very easy to always use the full amount of detergent when it is not needed. This is particularly true if we are using capsules as there is no means of reducing the quantity of detergent. Half a load of washing only needs half the detergent. The consequence being that we are paying too much for the detergent, using more resource than needed to get our laundry clean and making our machines work extra hard to get all the detergent out of our laundry. This applies to fabric conditioner too!