No matter how busy you are each week, chances are high that laundry is one routine task that usually gets done.
all, it's hard to ignore a pile of dirty clothes when you're fresh out
of workout shorts or your kids don't have a clean pair of socks to wear
Here's how to wash like the pros.
Immediately rinse or blot away spills to prevent stains from setting.
Read the label before you wash clothes, especially for the first time. Your clothes will last longer if you know how to treat them.
Sort and wash clothing by color, wash cycle needed, and water temperature required. This will help prevent the dreaded pink shirt coming out of the wash when a red shirt and white socks went in.
Before washing stained garments, pre-treat or presoak the spot. If at first you don't succeed, wash, wash again.
To keep snags and lint to a minimum, zip zippers, button buttons, empty pockets, and brush away lint before tossing duds into the hamper.
Detergent is activated by the wash-water's temperature. The recommended amount is for an average-size load with moderate stains and dirt.
If your load is large, heavily soiled, or the water cold, add extra detergent.
Add fabric softener to the wash, or dryer sheets to the dryer, for fluffier clothes. Except for your towels: fabric softeners decrease the towel's water-absorbing ability.
Check wet clothes before putting them into the dryer to ensure any stains have been lifted. If a spot remains, re-treat as needed before drying. Heat will set any lingering stains permanently.
Tumbling a handful of garments prolongs the drying time by reducing the tumbling, leaving you using more energy less-efficiently. Dry only full loads.
Leave tough stains and the care of delicate fabrics like lined-silk and hand-beaded garments for the dry cleaner.
About the Author
Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.