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Laundry Tips and Tricks

How to Be a Better Laundress

Tired of pulling laundry out of the dryer and seeing that it's frayed or faded? Have you dyed your honey's tighty whities an embarrassing shade of pink? Don't worry, there's hope for you yet! You can still be an absolutely fabulous home laundress, when you use these tips.

  • Button-up pants and shirts, close zippers, and turn garments inside out to reduce wear from laundering.
  • Check for stains after washing and before drying, because drying sets the stains.
  • Don't use hot water unless you're washing items you believe must be absolutely clean and disinfected. Hot water wears down fibers.

For the rest of the tips,


  • Don't bleach wool, silk, or garments with more than 5 percent spandex.
  • White sheets made of cotton not treated for wrinkles look best longest.
  • Inspect and pretreat stains and soils with liquid detergent. Use a bleach pen for pretreating stained white areas of garments with stripes or patterns.
  • Always wash garments with like colors to avoid those pink-stained whites! However, if you're washing in cold water, your clothes' colors are much less likely to run.
  • If you have a lot of loads, sort items into further subcategories, such as into heavy and light clothing.
  • Avoid fabric softener, since it leaves a coating on clothes. Use dryer sheets instead. Or, for the lightest impact on your clothing, avoid the dryer altogether and hang your clothes.
Image Source: Thinkstock
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Join The Conversation
Niami Niami 5 years
Yeah I'm not really sure how drying clothes outside is so great, other than saving $$ on the electric bill. As a kid it sucked. Mom didn't use a dryer and my clothes were always stiff and rough. I had to check them for spiders and bird poo too!
inlove23 inlove23 5 years
I agree with anon 4. My mom used to hang the towels out and they would be completely stiff and awkward. I agree that they do have a weird smell.
runswimmerrun runswimmerrun 5 years
Drying outdoors is great in the right conditions. I used to live in Pennsylvania and we had a big clothes line outside, everyone did. When I was a kid hanging out laundry on a breezy, summer afternoon, the first items I put outside were dry before I finished hanging up the load. I live in a suburb of New York now. I do my laundry in a laundromat. Not exactly one of the benefits of the move.
LittleMzFit LittleMzFit 5 years
Use a cup of baking soda to soften the water & stretch your detergent out further. ;)
pinkerbell03 pinkerbell03 6 years
Dryer sheets are fabric softener. Use a brand like method, they use plant-derived softeners. Big box brands (like Bounce) use animal fats. Beef fat on my jeans? No thanks!
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