Be a part of the Laundry Community
- Check the labels. They will tell you whether an item can be machine washed. Place all clothes that are labeled “wash separately” or “hand wash” into separate piles. As a novice launderer, if it says “dry clean only,” believe the label and place in a bag to take to the dry cleaners.
- Sort laundry by color. Whites, pastels, light gray and white background prints will go in one pile. Deep colored clothes – black, red, navy, brown, dark gray – go in another pile.
- Sort each pile one more time by type of fabric. For instance, in the whites separate towels and sheets from apparel. In the dark colors, separate t-shirts and jeans from lighter weight items like blouses and dress shirts. Washing by fabric type allows you to use different water temperatures and keeps drying cycles simple.
- If there are not enough items to make up a full machine load of each type and you are in a hurry, you can wash all of each color together. Just be sure to choose the machine cycle to fit the most delicate items.
- Select an all-purpose laundry detergent and read the directions to determine how much to use. Most recommend adding the detergent to the washer before loading to prevent residue on clothing.
- Unless your clothing is caked with dirt and heavily stained, washing in cold water will serve your needs and prevent most laundry disasters. Always rinse in cold water – there’s no need for a hot or warm rinse on any fabric.
- Check that all pockets are empty – even tissues and paper. Remove any accessories such as belts and jewelry. Close all zippers and buttons.
- Load items one at a time, making sure they are not in a wad. Do not cram the washer too full. The clothes need room to move about in the water. To protect fabric finishes and reduce the “washed out” look, turn knitted items, corduroy, textured fabric and sweatshirts inside out.
- Bed linens and towels need to be washed at the highest recommended temperature at least every other wash to sanitize.
- Promptly remove wet laundry from washer to lessen wrinkles and prevent mildew. Hang items to air dry or place in dryer.
- If you did not separate loads by fabric type, do it now and dry all lightweight items together and then all heavy fabric items. This will prevent shrinking and protect your clothing.
- Hang or fold each piece as it comes out of the dryer to prevent wrinkling.
Specific questions? Just ask here.
- Read clothing labels
- Sort by color
- Use cold water
- Dry on lowest setting
- Hang or fold immediately after drying
What You Need
- Washing Machine
- Laundry Detergent
- Dryer or Clothesline