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College of Human Ecology

Laundry tips can save time, money

Thursday, May 22, 2008

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Checking the condition of clothing before tossing it in the laundry basket may save time - and money, said Deb Brosdahl, associate professor of apparel, textiles and interior design in the College of Human Ecology at Kansas State University.

Not all clothing needs to be washed after each wearing, said Broshdahl, who is a researcher with K-State Research and Extension. Washing or dry cleaning clothes when they donĀ“t need it can shorten the life of the garment.

To keep clothing in tiptop shape, Brosdahl offered these tips:

*Examine clothing after each wearing. Many items can be worn more than once before washing or dry cleaning is necessary, particularly if a garment is hung up after each wearing or folded and put away, rather than tossed on the back of a chair or the floor.

* Read - and heed - clothing care labels.

* Sort laundry by color and fabric type. Wash towels with towels and lingerie with other delicates.

* Check for spots and stains, and treat them before washing or dry cleaning.

* Pre-soak heavily soiled clothes.

* Use a cold water wash to reduce energy use - and cost.

* Buy concentrated detergent to use less and save, plus reduce packaging costs.

* Match detergent to cleaning job. Add bleach to a load of kitchen towels, for example.

* Remove clothing from washer or dryer immediately after cycle ends to reduce wrinkling.

* Hang clothing to dry, when possible. Tumbling action during the drying cycle can wear collars and cuffs unnecessarily.

More tips for laundry and stain removal are included in Basic Apparel Management S134H, a K-State Research and Extension publication that can be downloaded at www.oznet.ksu.edu . More information on caring for clothing and textiles also is available at county and district Extension offices.

This article was posted on Thursday, May 22, 2008, and is filed under College News.