How to Do Laundry if You're Blind or Visually Impaired
Adjusting Your Washer and Dryer Settings
Request a braille control panel.If you can read braille, you can contact or call the manufacture of the washing machine or dryer to see if they offer a free braille control panel. Not all manufactures do this, but some offer it on a limited array of models.
Place tactile marks on the washing and dryer machines’ controls.To make the knobs and controls on the machines easier for you to adjust, place tactile marks over the controls to mark your most-used settings. Get the help of someone sighted to place different or multiple tactile marks over different areas so you can identify the settings by touch. Examples include:
- One mark being bigger than another to indicate the water temperatures.
- One mark having a different texture to represent the ‘off’ button on a dryer.
- Adding multiple marks over the lint filter so you can find it more easily.
- Placing a big, black mark on the ‘on’ button so that you can identify it more easily, if you have some sight.
Count the number of clicks your washer and dryer make.If you have a washer or dryer that has manual dial controls, count and notice the number of clicks you go through to get to each setting. This can help you figure out where in the settings you are, by counting each click as you turn.
Doing the Laundry
Treat stains right away.If you happen to notice a stain or if someone tells you about one, keep track of it by pinning a safety pin on it. That way you can identify where the stain is and spot it easily when you clean it. Try cleaning stains with a stain-removal product as soon as possible. Blot or scrub the stain with a sponge or cleaning brush, before you do the rest of your laundry.
Ensure the machine is empty before you add any clothes.Before adding any detergent or clothes intro the washer, use your hands to feel whether there is anything inside the washer. This is easier to do if you have a front-loading machine, but is still possible with a top-loading one; you just might need a step stool to allow you to reach all the way down.
Place an old tablecloth next to the washer and dryer.Lay an old tablecloth or towel you don’t mind getting dirty on the floor, right next to the washer and dryer. If any clothes fall out when you try to remove them, this will stop them from getting grubby or dirty on the floor.
Add detergent.You might find it easier to measure detergent using kitchen measure cups, rather than the container that came with your detergent. If you’re visually impaired, mark the measuring cup with a 3D marker to see the numbers more clearly.
- You can also use the top or cap of the laundry detergent to measure out the detergent, if that works for you.
- Consider using detergent packets. Instead of the usual detergent liquid or powder, use detergent packets (i.e Tide Pods) when washing your clothes. All you have to do is throw in the packet directly into the laundry and then place the washer on to start. This makes it easier because you won't have to measure anything.
Pour the detergent once the clothes are in the washer.This helps to avoid spills when you pour the detergent.
- Avoid adding too much detergent. Adding too much detergent will cause chunks of powder in the pockets and leave you with soapy clothes. Add only the amount instructed on the detergent container or bottle.
Shut the washer door before putting it on.This one sounds obvious, but it's worth double checking, to avoid spills or accidents.
- If you ever have to open the door while the washer is still on, ‘’shut the machine off’’ first and listen for the washer to stop working completely before placing your hands into the machine.
Know how to clean out the lint filter from your dryer.It’s very important to clean out the lint filter between uses to avoid a fire hazard. If necessary, place tactile marks over the lint filter to identify where it is. Thoroughly remove the lint by scraping it using your hands and place the lint in a trashcan. Then throw your wet clothes in and set the dryer (using the tactile marks, audible clicks, or other accommodations you've set up ahead of time).
Remove the laundry from the dryer right when it’s done.Once the dryer shuts off and the cycle is over, remove the laundry immediately. If you leave the laundry for too long in the dryer, the laundry will start to wrinkle.
Pin your socks together after you wear them (before you wash them).To make socks easier to match and find, pin them together with a safety pin so they don't end up lost or mismatched. Pinning the socks together does not affect the wash and makes them much easier to put away.
Separate the laundry using different baskets or bags.To keep your laundry organized, separate the clothing by its color and texture. Consider placing braille stickers on clothes to identify their colors. If you’re visually impaired, use a 3D marker to write the color on the clothing’s tag. Organizing your laundry in different baskets and bags can be useful especially if you wash your laundry at a laundromat.
Have a flexible-arm lamp next to you while you work.While you organize or fold your laundry, it may help to have flexible-arm lamp or swing-arm lamp. If you’re visually impaired, this can help make it easier to see more clearly while you work.
Fold clothes in whatever way works for you.Use your hands to guide you while you’re folding, and don't worry about getting that perfect department store fold. As long as your system allows you to store and organize your clothes, it works! Separate your clothes as you fold them for easier identification (i.e one area where all the folded shirts are, another section where the folded pants are).
Hang clothes if desired.This may be easier than folding, depending on the garment. If you have some vision, use black and white hangers to see them more easily when you hang your clothes.
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- To spot stains, try asking a trusted friend or family member for help. Stains are hard to catch if you’re blind or visually impaired so it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for help.
- Some fabrics or pieces of material wrinkle easily. To avoid this, smooth out the material and hang or fold it right away.
- You can also keep socks together by buying only black and white socks. For those who are visually impaired, black and white colors may be easier to see, and it’s much easier to pair them together.
- You can determine once the washer or dryer is done running by listening for the sounds of the cycle. Also, if the machine has bright lights you can determine once the lights go away or change color.
- Ask for help if you're at a laundromat. There is usually at least one person daily that provides costumer service and they'd be willing to help you if needed.
- The National Federation of the Blind provides the Accessible Home Showcase which includes different types of washing machines and dryers for the Blind specifically.
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Date: 06.12.2018, 15:00 / Views: 94364