The right laundry routines and supplies will extend the life of your clothing, reduce wrinkles and make washing clothes easier and more pleasant.
Start with the right supplies. If you or family members have skin allergies or scent sensitivity, choose unscented laundry detergent. If you have a front-loading or energy-efficient machine, you'll need a high-efficiency detergent (look for "HE" on the label). Hard water can set stains and leave white residue on dark clothes, so if you have hard water, look for water softeners — they'll cut cleaning time and extend the lifespan of your clothing and washing machine.
Make sure to separate whites and colors, since colored clothes can turn whites grey over time. Wash heavily soiled and lightly soiled garments separately. Before washing, pre-treat stains with a laundry stain remover, and check stained garments again before drying, since drying can permanently set stains.
To eliminate wrinkles, avoid overstuffing the washer and dryer and remove clothes from the dryer right after the cycle ends. Hang permanent-press garments while still slightly damp to let the wrinkles fall out naturally, and give them an extra boost with some wrinkle-reducing spray.
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