CONSUMER REPORTS — College bound Gabriella Garita won’t miss washing the dishes when she’s away at school. However, she’s fully prepared to tackle her laundry.
“I think I actually started doing my own laundry in like seventh or eighth grade,” Garita said.
Gabriella’s head start will pay off says Consumer Reports Home Editor Keith Flamer. He’s found there’s always a laundry lesson to learn whether you’re a novice or you’ve been laundering as long as Gabriella.
Lesson one, keep it cool – for the most part.
“Hot water accounts for about 90 percent of a washing machine’s energy. We’ve been conditioned to think that everything needs to be sanitized and washed in the hottest water,” Flamer said.
CR’s tests have found detergents nowadays are much better at removing dirt and stains at lower temperatures. So reserve the hot water for tackling oily stains or for washing sheets and towels if a family member is sick. For everything else, check the care label and opt for cold water when you can.
Lesson two: Less is more! Never overload your washer. It can damage the machine and it won’t clean as well if it’s packed to the gills. The same is true when it comes to detergent.
“Many people are under the false impression that more detergent will get your clothes cleaner but too much detergent is bad for the environment plus it can leave more residue on your clothes.”
And finally, you’ve heard it before but lesson three bears repeating … keep your laundry separated! Mixing loads on most cycles causes more fabric friction which can shorten the lifespan of your clothes. One last lesson from Gabriella … fold your clothes as soon as they’re done drying.
“Try to just do it all in one shot and get it over with,” Garita said.