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Homes | The clean cycle

Load up on laundry advice

Whether you find doing laundry relaxing or were born to live with an overflowing laundry basket, the reality is that it's the chore that won't go away. The Web site of the Soap and Detergent Association (www.cleaning101.com) has basic tips — and some new tricks — for washing your clothes. Washington Post

• Sorting laundry is very important, and this doesn't mean just separating the lights and the darks. Fuzzy sweat shirts, chenille or flannel robes and new towels might share their lint with whatever else is in the washing machine. Wash them in a separate load, and always keep them away from corduroys or permanent press garments that especially attract lint.

• If you have a stain on a piece of clothing, check it after you've laundered it to see if it has gone away. If not, pre-treat it again and wash it for a second time. Drying could permanently set the stain.

• Do not mix liquid and powder washing detergent products in the same dispenser compartments. This can cause the dreaded "caking" which won't get your clothes very clean.

• If you have bought a High Efficiency (HE) washer, make sure you use only special HE detergent, which is available in most supermarkets. HE detergents are specially formulated to be low-sudsing and to achieve maximum energy and water savings. Be wary of any detergent bottle or box that is labeled "HE Compatible" as most of these are actually just regular sudsing detergents.

Sorting laundry is very important, and this doesn't mean just separating the lights and the darks. Fuzzy sweat shirts, chenille or flannel robes and new towels might share their lint with whatever else is in the washing machine. Wash them in a separate load, and always keep them away from corduroys or permanent press garments that especially attract lint.

If you have a stain on a piece of clothing, check it after you've laundered it to see if it has gone away. If it hasn't, pretreat it again and wash it for a second time. Drying could permanently set the stain.

If you have bought a High Efficiency (HE) washer, make sure you use only special HE detergent, which is available in most supermarkets. HE detergents are specially formulated to be low-sudsing and to achieve maximum energy and water savings. Be wary of any detergent bottle or box that is labeled "HE Compatible" as most of these are actually just regular sudsing detergents.

Do not mix liquid and powder washing detergent products in the same dispenser compartments. This can cause the dreaded "caking," which won't get your clothes very clean.

Load up on laundry advice 04/09/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 9, 2009 4:31am]
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