Are you getting less than stellar results from your laundering efforts lately? It may be worth going back to the basics and reviewing the fundamental best practices of doing laundry. Here are four must-do’s from Consumer Reports:
1. Sort things out. While it’s tempting to save time and throw everything in a cold-water wash, you’ll regret it. Separate lights from darks, paying close attention to reds and other bold colors that are likely to run. Keeps towels and sweats separate, as well, as they’ll cause smooth fabrics to pill. Finally, wash your jeans inside out to keep the color from fading.
2. Give stains special attention. Use a specialized stain treatment to pre-treat stains, or apply a little liquid detergent directly to the spot. If you use powdered detergent, mix a little with water to form a paste and rub it into the stain. You can also let the stained garment soak in your washing machine. No matter what method you choose, timing is everything. Attack the stain as soon as possible.
3. Don’t overstuff. Your clothes won’t clean properly if you overload the washing machine, so get out your manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. For top-loading machines, start by filling the tub with water before adding detergent and then your clothes.
4. Measure detergent. Don’t just haphazardly pour detergent into the machine. Too much detergent can leave a residue on your clothing or cause the wash cycle to run longer. Be precise and find out the exact amount of detergent to use, and mark the spot on the cap with a permanent marker.
Following these tried-and-true laundry basics will not only keep your clothing looking its best, they’ll also help keep your washing machine in optimal working order.