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How-To: 10 Tips For Better Laundering

Tired of pulling laundry out of the dryer and seeing that it's frayed or faded? A recent San Francisco Chronicle article, "How to Make Clothes, Bedding, Last Longer," by Susan Fornoff, offers some smart tips for getting your clothes clean while also extending their lifespan.

Here are some of my favorite tips from the article:

  • Try to avoid sateen sheets, as they aren't as long-lasting as plain and twill weaves.
  • 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.
  • For comforters, choose the highest fill you can afford. 550 and up is recommended.
  • 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 five percent spandex.
  • White sheets made of cotton not treated for wrinkles look best longest.
  • Inspect and pre-treat stains and soils with liquid detergent. Use a bleach pen for pre-treating stained white areas of garments with stripes or patterns.
  • Sort into whites, lights, and darks. 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.


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