Laundry Tips: A Home-Ec 101 Guide

It seems like anybody should be able to do laundry. Throw in some soap with some clothes and let the washer do it’s work. Theoretically that’s all you have to do. However, you can make your clothes -and your washing machine- last longer and look better by knowing a few more things about laundry basics.

Below is a list of articles to help you master the basics of laundry care. Just click the title of the article that you want to read.

laundry tips and tricks

Beating the Monster Laundry Pile: Getting Started

It seems that whenever I manage to get caught up, there’s a new giant pile lurking somewhere 5 seconds afterwards. So I share with you some of the strategies I’ve picked up over the years to keep the laundry monster at bay.

Can I Wash Clothes in Cold Water?

Lately I’ve been hearing about using cold water when doing laundry, in order to save energy. I have always washed everything in warm water. Can my socks, my toddlers clothes, and my husbands workout clothes really get clean using cold water?

Do you remember when we talked about freezing jeans?

I’ve actually come across this twice now in the last month. The first was a speaker at a conference, he mentioned this as an aside, talking about how he expects the jeans -when he washes them in a year- to show the wear on the knees from playing with his child and then, just now in an interview of Levi’s CEO.

Hard Water and Dark Laundry

I am very careful about how I wash my darks in order to avoid fading – washing them only in cold water, air drying or drying on the lowest setting. Despite this I feel my darks are fading much sooner than they should. Any suggestions?

How to Clean Kitchen Laundry in a Public Laundromat

I’ve been washing my dishcloths in a bucket with regular laundry detergent and dish washing liquid for stains. But when it comes to bigger items like aprons and table cloths… I’m embarrassed to say, I’ve been buying new ones because it just feels strange to wash them on a public laundromat, even if I wash them separately from my clothes. If I don’t have a washer, how should I wash kitchen things?

How to Reduce Lint

My husband just started a new job that has him wearing dress slacks -like Dockers- and dress shirts instead of the jeans and t-shirts he’s always worn.  Even though I wash and dry them separetely (to avoid any ironing!) they still come out with quite a bit of lint on them.

How to Use Bleach Safely

Over the past few years, I have gotten the impression that many people are using chlorine bleach in an unsafe manner. Chlorine bleach aka sodium hypochlorite is a powerful disinfectant and is one of only a few widely available, inexpensive sanitizing agents. It is so powerful in fact that it should only be used in fairly low concentrations.

How to Use Vinegar and Borax in the Laundry

You mentioned using vinegar or borax to remove detergent build-up from towels.  We have hard water in our area and I believe this could be a problem for us, even though I haven’t had a problem with odor.  I have few questions…

Laundry Lessons: Colors Bright and Whites White

It seems lately my whites or mostly whites have been coming out dingy and faded. I don’t want to use bleach on them because a lot of them have colored sections as well. What can I do to keep the whites sparkling without effecting the rest of the color on these garments? And what can I do to prevent the dinginess before it starts?

Kitchen Towels Vs. Paper Towels

I use way too many paper towels and kitchen wipes.  Part of the problem is that it drives me crazy to have to wash all the kitchen towels separately! Do I have to wash them separately, or can I wash them with everything else?

Laundry and the Great Diaper Blowout

I’m a brand new mom and I need to know if it is okay to wash clothes that have suffered through a diaper leak with the rest of the baby clothes. How do I make sure that poop (sorry!) doesn’t get all over the washer and the rest of our stuff without resorting to throwing away the outfit?

Laundry love: Decoding the label

Have you ever looked at the care label on your shirt only to find it covered in mysterious hieroglyphics?

Laundry Lovin’: To Wash or Not

If I have brand new sheets, should I wash them first before putting them on my bed?

pH and Its Role in Getting Your Clothes Clean Without Damage

My question is, what would the ideal profile of the water be pH, hardiness, total alkalinity or buffering, etc…? I would assume a pretty neutral pH and low as I could get hardness concentrations, but in my experiments with a full tub and mixed water, soap and softening agent’s, I seem to always be trading one ideal at the expense of another.

Quick Tip: Saving time with the laundry

When is the last time you saw wrinkly underwear?

Quick Tip: Tackling Mt. Laundry

If you have fallen behind on laundry and have several loads to do, start with the one that…

Sunlight as a Disinfectant for Laundry

I’ve seen a couple of posts where you’ve mentioned that sunlight is a disinfectant… I wondered if you had any idea how effective it actually is, and whether the temperature outside influences its effectiveness?

The Hard Water Headache

I was visiting my MIL recently and she told me that they have hard water, so she had to put a lot of extra soap in the washer because otherwise she didn’t get any bubbles and it wouldn’t clean the laundry. This confuses me because I always thought you weren’t supposed to have a lot of foam in the washer.

Those mysterious socks

Over the years, socks began disappearing during the laundry cycle at some indiscernible point. Tonight, while watching my basketball bracket begin to bleed (Texas A and M losing to Memphis), I decided to do a complete sock audit…gather em’ all up in one pile..launder them and attempt to sort them out. I now have 19 single socks that have no hope of a mate…

To Sort Or Not To Sort

I don’t do separate loads of whites and colors because my laundry consists of whites for underwear and work out clothes. It seems such a waste to use that much water for so few whites.

information about washing things

Click the picture for more tips!

What Exactly Is Permanent Press?

We love the questions that find their way into our email inboxes. I never knew exactly what permanent press was, either. I’m a casual dresser and don’t own much that doesn’t fall under: denim, cotton, or cotton.

Why Should We Wash Our Sheets Regularly?

Could you please explain to my 14 year old daughter why it’s important to wash sheets regularly?

Send your domestic questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.



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