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August 15 10:01 AM

Learn the Basics of Laundry Care From an Expert


 (Family Features) Get a jump on that never-ending pile of dirty laundry with expert advice and a few simple tips. Once you know how to sort, pre-treat and protect your clothes, you'll get clean, fresh-smelling clothes in no time.

From the washer and dryer to the detergents used to keep your clothes clean, there are many elements involved in your laundry experience. With all of the money families spend annually on clothing, towels and bedding, keeping these items in shape is important. It all starts with proper laundry care.

Here are tips to simplify your laundry chores and keep your family's clothing squeaky clean:

  • Don't Skip the Sorting: Since a true "white load" typically doesn't exist anymore, consumers tend to ignore sorting according to color, soil level and fabric type. But ignoring these variances in your wash can lead to ruined clothing. Always sort according to soil level. If you mix heavily soiled items, like Ty's spaghetti shirt and Sarah's silk blouse, soil transfer can occur. Also be sure not to mix fabric types together in the wash, which can lead to color rub-off and fabric wear.

  • Pre-treat Properly: Always pre-sort for stains prior to putting clothes in the washer. "There are many treatment options available," says Dr. Elizabeth Easter, University of Kentucky professor and textile consultant for GE Clothes Care. "Whether or not the stain is removed greatly depends on how they are applied."

  • Protect Sensitive Clothes: Be sure to close fasteners such as zippers and buttons, and turn items with color-sensitive fabrics inside-out. Turning items inside-out can also protect products that pill or pick up fuzz, such as fleece.

  • Don't Over-do Detergent: When you put clothes in the washer, don't overdo it with the detergent. While many consumers associate the amount of suds in the washer with the cleanliness of their clothing, over-sudsing can actually result in a rough feel to clothes and degradation of the fabric over time. Using less detergent can also save you money in the long run. Some new washers, such as GE's new topload washer, offers SmartDispense, which automatically dispenses fabric softener and laundry detergent at ideal times during the wash cycle, based on each load's soil level and fabric or cycle type.

  • Raise it Up: According to a recent study, about 59 percent of consumers purchase a washer based on its opening and how easy it is to access. While most consumers forgo the expense of buying pedestals to raise their machines, they shouldn't. To eliminate the pains of being hunched over in front of your laundry, invest in a pedestal or a unit such as the GE RightHeight Design frontload washer and dryer. These machines allow the owner to raise the unit up to seven inches for easy access getting clothes in and out.

Following these simple steps will help ensure your family's clothes are cleaner and last longer, which will make your time in the laundry room more enjoyable.

For more information on laundry care, visit www.geappliances.com.

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