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How Do You Wash Clothes? 13 Laundry Tips for Washing Your Clothes

The dirty laundry basket never seems to be empty. You wash, you dry, you iron or fold and then you do it all over again. But are you washing your clothes the right way? Here are 13 laundry tips you might not know and the best way to wash clothes.

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shutterstock_150550232 aluminum foilSergiy Kuzmin/Shutterstock

Use Aluminum Foil

If you’re out of dryer sheets, throw a ball of aluminum foil in your dyer. The aluminum will fight static buildup and help keep your clothing separated.

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shutterstock_567717730 freeze your jeansPixieMe/Shutterstock

Freeze Your Jeans

If you like to wear your jeans more than once between washings, stick them in the freezer between wears. The frigid air will kill bacteria that can cause odor.

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Check the Temperature


Use cold water for dark colors that tend to bleed and for delicate fabrics that are prone to shrinking. Cold water is also an eco-friendly choice that will save you money on your energy bill. Warm water is best for man-made fibers and jeans. Use hot water for whites, cloth diapers, bedding and towels.

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shutterstock_80776129 unshrink clothes laundry matCREATISTA/Shutterstock

Unshrink Clothes


Did your favorite T-shirt shrink? Soak the shrunken clothing item in lukewarm water with a splash of baby shampoo. This will allow the fibers to relax, allowing you to stretch it back out.

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shutterstock_306280355 laundry detergent Andrey­_Popov/Shutterstock

Use Less Detergent


Using too much detergent can cause your clothes to remain dirty since too much detergent causes an abundance of suds that can trap soil on your clothing. Instead, try using half the recommended amount of detergent and adjust from there.

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Use a Salad Spinner


If you have some articles of clothing you don’t want to put in the dryer, use a salad spinner to remove excess water. Then hang them on a rack to dry.

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shutterstock_519858151 choosing laundry detergentStokkete/Shutterstock

Choose Detergents Wisely


There are several recipes online for making your own laundry detergent which can save you money. Store-bought detergents should be chosen carefully. If you have kids and need to fight tough stains, choose a detergent with a strong cleaning and stain-fighting ingredient such as OxiClean or bleach. For those with sensitive skin or sensitivities to fragrance, look for a formula that’s unscented and free of dyes.

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shutterstock_95680816 laundry wash bright colorsarosoft/Shutterstock

Wash Bright Colors With Salt


You can use salt to prevent colors from fading. Just toss a teaspoon of salt in with your dark clothes to help make the color last longer. Washing colored clothing inside out can also help maintain color.

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shutterstock_219109198 folded sweaters mazalis/Shutterstock

Sweaters Should Skip the Dryer


Skip the dryer when laundering winter sweaters. Instead, drying them flat will help them maintain their shape.

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shutterstock_316024223 dryer clothes laundryLars Hallstrom/Shutterstock

Save Drying Time


When you’re running short on drying time, throw a dry towel in with the load. The towel will help absorb some of the moisture and help your clothes dry quicker.

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shutterstock_529871035 reduce wrinkles clothes ironFabrika Simf/Shutterstock

Reduce Wrinkles


To reduce wrinkles and the need to iron, use a dryer sheet and set your dyer to the lowest setting possible. As soon as the clothes are dry, remove them from the dryer and fold or hang to keep them crisp.

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shutterstock_371625925 shopping for washer and dryer laundrygoodluz/Shutterstock

Top-Loading or Front-Loading?


If you’re in the market for a new washing machine, the options can be overwhelming. Top-loading machines with an agitator often cost less and have a faster run-time than top-loading machines without an agitator (known as a high-efficiency machine). High-efficiency machines are better at cleaning and use less water than agitator models. Front-loading machines are more expensive, but do a better job at cleaning than top-loading and are gentler on clothing. However, front-loaders can take longer to complete a cycle than top-loaders. Do some research to find which model will work best for your needs.

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shutterstock_153411761 laundry clean your machine Csaba Vanyi/Shutterstock

Clean Your Machine


Your washing machine does need to be cleaned regularly. Every couple months, set your washer to the largest load setting and hottest water temperature. Add a quart of white vinegar and a cup of baking soda and let the washer agitate for a minute. Then open the lid or pause the cycle and let the mixture sit for an hour. Scrub any parts, such as the lid, with a toothbrush to remove buildup. After an hour, let the cycle complete and run a second cycle on hot to remove any residue left behind. Your clothes will thank you.

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.