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The Science in Laundry

My dUCk seemed a lot more difficult to iron today. Sure, I did not load water into the iron tank for steam-iron function, but hey, other clothes iron just fine without steam anyway. If I am to spend big bucks for a tudung and it turns out more difficult to be ironed than my baju batik asrama, I’d flip any day.

When I was in university, I had attempted to theoretically invent a washing machine that leaves clothes wrinkle-free (and an iron that can pass through uneven surfaces like your beaded tudung or buttoned shirt). Yes, I was ambitious. So I googled high and low on the science behind wrinkled clothes and what people do to reduce it.

The clothes-wrinkling process happened during drying (or for better words, when they lose moisture). During my boarding school year, this is a widely known fact: clothes sent to the school laundry wrinkles a zillion times more than the ones you hang on the line. Which is why people didn’t send the school uniforms to laundry. Clothes on the lines were spread wide while drying, not heaped and turned together like when they are machine dried.

The science is this: water loosen up the molecular bond in your clothes. When water evaporates the bonds are frozen in the way they are when the water leave them. Therefore a well-spread clothes on the lines has less wrinkles than those machine-dried and then heaped in basket. This is also the reason why steam iron works better than dry iron. With moisture, the bond loosen up a bit, making it easier for them to be rearranged back into a straighter formation (using flat surface of iron).

So, if you really need to use those drying machine, careful to straightaway whip your clothes and fold them neatly after you take them out of the machine, before the wrinkles could settle. Also you may stop the machine a bit earlier before all the moisture evaporates, so you could iron them off a lot easier than when they are dried crisp.

My dUCk? They just need a bit more water, I guess.

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