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Laundry 101

Take the guesswork out laundry by following these easy steps.

Woman doing laundry


  • Sort your laundry into three separate piles: whites and lights, darks, and bright colours. Why? Some colours may bleed in the wash, so mixing the darks or bright colours with the whites and lights could make your whites not so white anymore, or even worse — give you an entire load of baby pink T-shirts and underwear!


Get your clothes ready to wash.

  • One single tissue in the load can cause your clothes to be covered in sticky white lint, so empty out all the pockets.
  • Make sure to check for any loose buttons or snaps that might get lost in the laundry, and do up any zippers to prevent them snagging on other clothes.
  • If you haven’t already done so or are washing something for the first time, take a moment to read the care labels. Not all clothes are machine washable or dryable so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s directions. Some clothes, such as dark-wash denim, may need to be washed separately or inside out, so again, read the directions and act accordingly.
  • It’s much easier to remove a stain before it goes through the wash, so pre-treat any stains as part of your laundry preparation.


  • Use the guidelines found on your laundry soap and fabric softener when putting them in the washing machine. Use a laundry soap that is designed for cold water washing if you would like to conserve some energy (and save money), and use a soap that is designed for high-efficiency washers if you have one.
  • Add your laundry and choose the appropriate temperatures and settings. Machines can vary, so use both the directions on the care labels and the guidelines in your washing machine manual to help determine the settings to use.
  • Turn on the machine; when the load is finished, remove any items that aren’t to be machine dried. Hang or lay out these items as necessary.


  • Before adding the washed laundry to the dryer, remove the lint from the lint tray.
  • Add a fabric softening sheet if desired.
  • Put the clothes in the machine and choose the appropriate setting, again using the manual and the care tags as a guide. If your dryer doesn’t have a sensor to stop it when the laundry is dry, be watchful not to over-dry your clothes, as this will put extra wear and tear on them. Remove your clothes when dry and fold or hang them immediately to prevent wrinkles from forming.

More on laundry

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7 Stubborn stains and how to remove them
How to iron

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