From professional work attire to casual fare, we have a lot of money invested in our clothing. Therefore, it makes both sense and cents to safely and efficiently launder our garments. Dr. Elizabeth Easter, a University of Kentucky professor and textile consultant for General Electric Clothes Care offers these safe laundry tips:
Line Drying vs. Clothes Dryer
Often, clothing is set out for line drying in the hopes that it will extend fabric life and avoid shrinkage.However, Dr. Easter states that this is a myth for most garments. Shrinkage, occurs in the first few washes regardless of drying method. Care should be still be taken for delicates and sweaters that require manual reshaping. These items should be placed to line dry or put on a flat surface to dry as per the care label instructions.
Full Loads = Clean Loads
There still exists the consumer misperception, that very small loads equate to cleaner clothes. Actually, Dr. Easter states today’s washing machines are designed to effectively clean laundry at full capacity. Washing tiny loads, unnecessarily, results in higher energy and water bills. Full loads, however, should not be confused with over stuffing your washing machine.
Time Your Fabric Softener
A common laundry room mistake, is adding laundry detergent and fabric softener to the washing machine at the same time. Dr. Easter, remarks that this causes a chemical reaction and can inactivate the effectiveness of the products. Instead, fabric softener should only be added at the start if your washing machine is equipped with an auto dispense feature.
Always, measure accurately per your laundry volume and degree of dirt. Adding too much fabric softener or more laundry detergent than needed will result in over-sudsing and clothing that retains residue and feels rough.
Powder Detergent vs. Liquid Detergents
Liquid detergents are used by 75% of consumers to clean their laundry. Yet, powder detergents are more effective at removing heavy soils – such as dirt – from clothing. Oil stains, whether body based or cooking oils, obtain better cleansing results in liquid detergents.