Use salt to brighten colors
If you have hard water, it can cause your bright clothes to become dull quickly. This is an easy problem to solve by using table salt. Add a teaspoon of salt along with your detergent in the washer. Let the water run for a minute or so to dissolve the salt, then add your clothes. You'll be surprised how much brighter your colors will be.
Don't overstuff your washer
You can't overstuff your washer and expect your clothes to come out fresh and clean. However, the weight of the clothes is what determines if the clothes are too much. Check your washing machine's instructions to find out its capacity. The average top loading machine is usually for 8-10 pounds of clothing. A large capacity washer generally can hold up to 15 pounds, while a front-loading machine can handle even more. You don't need to weigh your clothes out. As a rough guideline, count tops as 1/2 pound, pants as a pound, and jeans as two pounds. The weight of towels, sheets and other items depend on the type of fabric and size, of course.
Wash delicates in a pillow case
You don't need to run to the dry cleaner to clean a sheer camisole, lace dress or beaded top. Place the item in a 100% cotton pillow case. Knot the pillow case closed and wash the garment in your washing machine using cold water. Hang the item or lay it flat to dry. If it has any wrinkles, steam them away in your bathroom next time you are taking a shower.
Add bleach plus baking soda
Baking soda can actually boost the power of your bleach. Add 1/2 cup each of bleach and baking soda to your white laundry loads to clean away germs, whiten the fabric and reduce odors.
Consider the type of stain
Stains generally fall into these categories: protein-based (blood, vomit, dairy products, eggs, baby food, mud); dye-based (grass, ink, mustard, Kool-Aid); tanin-based (coffee, soda, fruit juice, wine, tomato sauce); or oil-based (makeup, deodorant, oils, butter, mayonnaise). Each category requires a different method of stain removal.
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