Fundamental Facts for Cleaner Clothes
Proper laundry care can save time and headaches. The Coin Laundry Association (CLA) recommends
these handy tips to combat wrinkles, fabric bleeding and other common laundry nuisances.
- ALWAYS read the care label instructions on clothes first. Those instructions
take precedence over all other laundry tips. When in doubt, always follow the label.
- Avoid mixing lint generators such as towels, sweatshirts and flannel with lint
magnets such as corduroy, velvet and permanent press items. When in doubt, turn lint magnet items
- To minimize fabric discoloration and excessive lint, group like items together
in the following categories:
- Delicate fabrics
- Towels and bath linens
- Sheets (can be combined with towels)
- Permanent press (i.e., dress shirts)
- Red items or new, colored garments
- Other dark colors
- Light colors.
- To test garments for colorfastness, dampen with water in a discreet spot and
blot with an old white cloth. If the color transfers, the item will bleed and should be washed separately. Wash
an old white handkerchief with these items until it comes out clear—then the other items can safely be washed
with like colors.
- Secure zippers, buttons, snaps and buckles to prevent snagging. Tie drawstrings
and unroll shirt cuffs to prevent tangling and crumpling.
- Choose the appropriate water temperature for the load:
- Hot water - whites, towels, very soiled items and oily, greasy dirt
- Warm water - most light and dark colored clothes, permanent press
- Cold water - delicates, dyes that may bleed or lightly soiled
- Don’t overstuff your washing machine—it will prevent clothes from moving freely
and result in less effective cleaning.
- Don’t use too much detergent. Contrary to popular opinion, more suds do not get
your clothes cleaner and can actually trap dirt in the fabric.
- Wash colored garments inside-out to prevent fading and pilling.
- For gentle-care items, such as bras and swimsuits use a mild detergent,
dish-soap can be substituted.
- Check for remaining stains or discoloration/bleeding from another garment when
transferring laundry from the washing machine to the dryer. These items will need to be re-washed, or the dryer
heat will set the stain.
- To minimize wrinkling, shake out items before drying to prevent them from
balling up and wrinkling. Don’t overload the dryer, as it prevents proper tumbling and causes clothes to dry
slowly and wrinkle. Be careful to avoid over-drying—excess heat can set wrinkles (and shrink clothes). Fold or
hang up clothes immediately after drying.
- Use a dryer sheet to prevent static cling when drying clothes.