Image courtesy of Pottery Barn Image by: Image courtesy of Pottery Barn
1. One pile for lights and one for darks, right? Nope.
"Ideally, you should have categories by fabric, too," says Melissa Maker, host of YouTube's popular channel Clean My Space. "Lights—white, beige, light grey—colours, darks, delicates, jeans, towels and linens should each have their own cycle." If you feel your whites (undershirts and underwear) need to be washed in hot water, they can be done separately. Once you stop lumping items together, you'll prevent colours from bleeding, reduce lint transfer and prevent pilling, all which make your clothes look worn.
2. Removing a stain is easiest when it's fresh.
Stash a pretreating stain-remover stick/spray (read the directions first) beside the laundry hamper to get a leg up on stains at the end of each day, if you can. No chance? All is not lost, but know that set-in stains may require more effort. "Time and temperature are a stain's worst enemies, so presoak it for up to six hours," says Michael Vercelletto, group product manager for OxiClean Stain Fighters. In a large bucket or sink, dissolve an all-purpose stain remover like OxiClean with the amount of water suggested, then submerge the item. Use the hottest temperature recommended by the garment's care label. "If you have an item that should only be washed in cold water, dissolve the product first in hot water, then add the mixture to cold water," says Vercelletto.
3. Sort your clothes ahead of time
Sorting clothes in advance can save a lot of time in the laundry room. When one of the hampers in this rolling rack gets full, simply lift it out and tip the contents directly into the washer.
4. Store your socks in a mesh bag
Washing machines and dryers do not eat socks. "It isn't possible," says Whirlpool senior brand manager Gina Flinton. Socks, however, do find their way into pant legs, shirtsleeves and the corners of fitted sheets. Look under, beside and behind your laundry appliances, too. Hanging a mesh delicates bag next to each person's hamper is the simplest way to keep your pairs together, says Melissa Maker, host of YouTube's Clean My Space. "I get mine at the dollar store. I put all my socks into the bag, close it and toss the bag into the wash."
|This story was originally part of "Your Ultimate Laundry Guide" in the April 2015 issue.
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