Choosing the right settings on your washer and dryer can help reduce the added stress each item goes through every time you wash and dry it. Learning the best laundry settings will help preserve your favorite items of clothing and help all your laundry look it’s best.
Preparing the Laundry for Washing
Always read and follow the care instructions on the label.
Sort the laundry by color and fabric type to make sure that delicate items are not put on the same cycle as items with sturdier fabric.
Turn pockets inside-out to prevent items like candy and lip balm from being included in your wash cycle.
Turn items inside out to help preserve their color.
Use this sorting time to exam each piece for stains that might need to be pre-treated. Although, the ideal time to treat stains is as soon as they happen to minimize the stain and prevent it from setting into the fabric.
Washing Machine Settings
“Always opt for the shortest possible cycle to get the job done; the less time garments spend being spun around in the wash, the longer they’ll last, ” recommends Jolie Kerr in her article in the New York Times, “How to Do Laundry.”
Items marked as “hand-wash only” can be safely tossed into a washing machine on the gentle cycle. Any items with straps (like a bra straps) can become tangled in other items, so toss those in a mesh bag before washing.
Another tip from Kerr, choose the permanent press wash cycle for the vast majority of your items as that setting is a good for reducing wrinkles.
Wash items mainly in cold water as it not only saves you money, but is also less taxing on fabrics and can extend the life of your favorite pieces of clothing.
Clothes Dryer Settings
“Permanent press: The medium-heat setting, with a cool-down period at the end designed to reduce wrinkling. This is the one you want for most of your clothes and for your sheets,” writes Kerr.
“’Synthetic fibers, found most often in sportswear, are particularly sensitive to heat and oil,’” says Lana Hogue, an experienced garment manufacturer and teacher. Hogue was quoted in a story by Whitson Gordon, “How to wash your clothes without wearing them out” which appeared on Popular Science website.
“’The heat from the dryer can cook a lot of garments,’ Hogue says. ‘Things like running shorts and spandex pants will lose their structure when exposed to a hot dryer too often.’”
Read “How to wash your clothes without wearing them out” by Whitson Gordon.