What are the Best Laundry Tips?

DM Gutierrez

The best laundry tips can help even seasoned homemakers get articles of clothing cleaner by removing stains, eliminating static cling, and brightening and softening laundered items. Other laundry tips deal with decisions like whether to use a laundromat or a home washer and dryer system. Doing laundry with an eye toward energy and cost efficiency can also become much easier with the use of laundry tips.

Shirts on a clothes line.
Shirts on a clothes line.

In order to achieve the best cleansing for a load of laundry, make sure to pack the washer to just capacity: an overloaded washer often won't clean clothes properly, while an underloaded washer tends to waste water, power, and detergent. Laundering clothes in the warmest water the fabric can tolerate is a good tip for getting fabrics as clean and hygienic as possible. Washing delicate clothes in cold water on a gentle cycle, however, can be a great tip for extending the life of the items. A stain-removing spray or stick can often lift stains, but attending to them as soon as they occur is best. For specific stains, try searching for customized tips; for example, soaking a blood stain in cold water can prevent it from setting, while club soda, salt, and even white wine are sometimes recommended for removing wine stains.

A bottle and cup of laundry detergent.
A bottle and cup of laundry detergent.

Unlike those designed to improve cleansing, some laundry tips are designed to save money or household resources. These may include purchasing washers and dryers that are energy efficient, and searching for sales or deals that allow you to purchase them at reasonable cost. Most front-loading washers use less water and energy than top-loading machines do. They also require less detergent and fabric softener, so they are typically much more cost-effective to run than top-loading machines are.

Overloading the washer will keep clothes from getting their cleanest.
Overloading the washer will keep clothes from getting their cleanest.

If your home is on a self-contained septic system, limiting the number of loads of laundry you do in a 24-hour period is generally an important tip for extending the life of your septic system. Septic tanks usually have difficulty processing high volumes of waste water in short periods of time, especially if the solids in the septic tank are too near the top. Doing a few loads of laundry each day instead of many at once will allow the septic system to operate more efficiently.

Front-loading washing machines typically need less detergent and fabric softener.
Front-loading washing machines typically need less detergent and fabric softener.

When doing laundry in a public laundromat, vigilance and courtesy are generally considered useful laundry tips. Inspecting a washer or dryer before using it is important since the previous customer may have used dyes or bleaches that could damage your clothing. In some areas where oil rig workers or mechanics are employed, crude oil or automotive grease residue might be left behind in a commercial washing machine. Soiled machines should be reported to laundromat staff, as should damaged or nonfunctional machines.

Using fabric softener eliminates static cling and, if scented, gives clothing a fresh smell.
Using fabric softener eliminates static cling and, if scented, gives clothing a fresh smell.
Doing a separate load of white clothes allows you to bleach whites, if you desire.
Doing a separate load of white clothes allows you to bleach whites, if you desire.
Laundry detergent.
Laundry detergent.
Washing delicate items with cold water and on a gentle cycle can help extend the life of the clothing.
Washing delicate items with cold water and on a gentle cycle can help extend the life of the clothing.
Light colored clothing should be washed separately from darker colors.
Light colored clothing should be washed separately from darker colors.
Homes on self-contained septic systems could benefit from limiting the number of loads of laundry done in a 24-hour period.
Homes on self-contained septic systems could benefit from limiting the number of loads of laundry done in a 24-hour period.
A laundromat patron should be courteous and make sure a machine is cleaned after use.
A laundromat patron should be courteous and make sure a machine is cleaned after use.
Top-loading washers usually use more water and energy than front-loading machines.
Top-loading washers usually use more water and energy than front-loading machines.
Laundry should be stored in a hamper until being washed.
Laundry should be stored in a hamper until being washed.
Front-loading washing machines use less water and are more energy efficient.
Front-loading washing machines use less water and are more energy efficient.

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