Shopping can become an expensive habit if you aren't washing your clothes in a way to make them last. And sadly, we can't stick our moms in our hampers to help, so if this is you...
1. Cold. Water. Only.
Unless you're washing towels, all of your laundry should be done in cold water. This is how you maintain the color and shape of your clothes. Don't. Do. Anything. Else. This is true for darks, lights, and colors. There aren't any clothing items I can think of that don't require cold water. Most tags will confirm this, but check anyway.
2. If you're using pods as detergent, put them in before your clothing.
Ever read those nasty reviews about Tide pods sticking to clothes or not dissolving in the wash? Yeah, that's because those goons didn't follow the directions. To prevent sticky pods and ruining your favorite tee, start running your cold water and then throw the pod in. Give it a few seconds and then dump all your over-due laundry into it. Pro tip: Use one pod for small loads and two for larger.
3. Ladies, put your bra in a bra washing bag.
This doesn't require a lot of explaining. We pay upwards of 40 dollars for our delicates, so we need to treat them nicely. Invest in a mesh bra washing bag and use the darn thing.
4. Don't ever run anything nice through a full dry cycle.
It may sound like a pain, but clothes of nice-ish quality and above shouldn't run a full dry cycle, and need to air dry. Toss them for 5-10 minutes and then put them on hangers and let them dry there. This will protect the color, shape and material quality of your clothing.
5. When you do dry, check the lint trap.
With god knows how many people using one of the college dryers, theres a lot of lint build up, If you don't want other peoples fuzzies (and I sincerely hope you don't,) and you want your laundry to dry faster: clean out the lint trap.
6. Don't let it sit when it's done.
Do not let your laundry sit in any way, shape, form or fashion when it's finished. First, do not let it sit wet in the washer or dryer. It will start to smell and someone might steal your pants. Second, don't let it sit crinkled in a laundry basket. You'll end up wasting time later trying to de-wrinkle it. Fold it and hang it right then and there to avoid looking like you just took a really intense nap 24/7. Unless you're into that.
Worst case scenario, you can always buy these laundry bags with directions printed right on them.
Lead image credit: The Berry