Odds & Oversized items
1. Stain Removal
Blood, Fresh & Dried
Rinse fresh blood stains in cold running
water and rub with soap. Repeat. For dried stains, first
scrape or rub off as much dried blood as possible. Soak
in warm water using a product which contains enzymes.
Wash. If this doesn't work, rewash the item using a
chlorine-free bleach. In the case of stubborn stains,
rust removers may be helpful.
Presoak item in liquid detergent with bleach. Wash using
the hottest water temperature that is safe for the
Dampen stain and rub with liquid detergent. Rinse, then
Dingy White Socks
Presoak in a liquid detergent solution for a minimum of
30 minutes. Wash in a liquid detergent which contains
bleach. Food Coloring Soak in cool water. If stain
remains, rub on detergent and rinse. Wash.
Fruit Juice, Wine & Soft Drinks
Soak stain in cool water as soon as possible. Then, soak
in a laundry detergent which contains bleach, using the
hottest water safe for the fabric. Wash.
Brush off as much as possible when garment is dry, then
rinse under cold running water. Pretreat with a paste of
powder detergent and water, or liquid laundry detergent.
Wash using laundry detergent and a fabric-safe bleach.
The yellow, orange or brown spots we sometimes find on
our clothes may be caused by rust. Iron content of over
.2 parts per million in your water supply can cause
these type of stains, so it's important to have your
water supply checked. Two possible sources can be rust
water pipes or water heaters. One way to combat this
problem is by using a mechanical water softener with an
iron filter. Also, using a non-chlorine bleach can help,
as chlorine bleach may cause the iron in the water to
precipitate on fabrics and leave stains.
2. Washing Tips
Brighten Colors with Salt
Hard water can cause clothes to become dull or dingy
after several washings. To solve this problem, add a
couple of pinches of ordinary table salt to the washer
with the detergent. Let some water run in the washer to
dissolve detergent and salt, then add clothes. Colored
clothes will come out much brighter.
Think you have to take that sheer voile blouse, beaded
top, fringed silk shawl, or lace trimmed dress to the
cleaners? Think again! You can clean these at home by
simply tying the articles in a cotton pillow case,
knotting it closed, and washing in cold water on regular
cycle. Beads, sequins, buttons and delicate laces will
not fall to pieces, and garments can be restored by
steam ironing or steaming in the shower!
As a general rule, down items should be cleaned twice a
year- once before you start wearing them, and before you
put them away after the winter season. Down can be
washed or dry-cleaned, read your care label for
instructions. You're better off taking large items that
require a lot of washer and dryer space (i.e.
comforters) to the laundromat, which has larger
machines. Be careful not to tumble dry down items at a
temperature greater than 140F, or water-resistant shell
fabrics can slow drying.
3. Odd & Oversized Items:
Old stuffed animals can be salvaged. Place stuffed
animals in a pillowcase, tie a knot in the case, and
then place the stuffed animals in your wash machine on
gentle or permanent press. You can even dry them. For
best results, machine dry animals for about 20 minutes
and then let air dry. Your child's favorite stuffed toy
may look like new.
To clean baseball caps without destroying their shape,
place them on the top rack of the dishwasher and run
through a complete cycle.
* Large items such as bedspreads, comforters and king
size blankets should be washed alone or laundered and
dried in oversized machines, which are available in most
4. Rayon (Up
Q. Can you wash rayon items by hand
or in the washing machine or by hand?
A. The confusing part about caring for
rayon is that two types of rayon exist: viscose and
polynosic. The major difference is that viscose rayon
becomes weak when wet, and therefore normally requires
dry cleaning. Occasionally it can be finished so that
gentle hand washing is possible. Blends with 30 percent
or more polyester will provide enough strength for
gentle hand washing or machine laundering. Polynosic
rayon is an improved version with high wet strength. You
can safely machine wash and dry it.
How do you tell the difference? Unless information is
provided on the label, or can be obtained by calling the
manufacturer, you can't. Machine washable rayons will
have the term polynosic, the trade names Modal or
Zantrel, or indicate machine wash and dry on the label.
The term viscose on a label will be accompanied by a
care label that indicates to dry clean.
For best results, follow care label
5. Silk (Up
Why Dry Clean Silk? Did you know that silk does not need
to be dry cleaned? All you need to do is warm hand wash
the blouse with some mild woolwash (normal detergents
are the wrong pH for animal fibers like wool and silk).
Then dry until it is just damp, roll it tightly and
place in a sealed plastic bag then place that in the
freezer. Then when it is frozen take it out and iron it.
Suds & Cleanliness
When soap flakes were used, a lot of suds meant good
cleaning performance. However, the way laundry detergent
is presently formulated, this is no longer true.
Unfortunately, many people are unaware of this, and use
excessive amounts of laundry detergent.
Never set the washing time for over 10 minutes -- most
detergents have done all the work they are going to do
by then-- the rest of the time your clothes are just
agitating in the dirty water. It may not seem like much,
but you can save a quite a bit of money over time using
Water temperature plays a key role in the washing
process. Hot water offers the quickest, best form of
cleaning, and should be used for the following items:
Sturdy whites, colorfast pastels and light prints, cloth
diapers and similar baby items, and heavily soiled
clothes. Warm water removes wear wrinkles, helps reduce
wrinkling in the washer, and minimizes dye loss. It
should be used for permanent press, all colorfast dark
or bright colors, nylon synthetics, polyester, acrylic
and washable woolens. You may want to keep in mind that
laundry detergents are formulated to clean best at
temperatures above 60°F/16°C. Cold water may prevent
sensitive dyes from "bleeding" minimizes washer
wrinkling and saves hot water. It can be used for
lightly soiled fabrics, and should be used to rinse all
loads, regardless of wash temperature. However, due to
detergent formulations, cold water does not clean as
effectively as warmer temperatures.
6. Drying Tips
Save on Drying Time
To save on the time spent running your dryer, especially
for "heavy" items like throw rugs, diapers, etc., first
run an extra "spin" cycle in your washing machine. Then,
add a clean, dry, fluffy towel to your dryer with the
wet laundry. This can cut your drying time by 25% or
*Don't over-dry your clothes. If your machine has a
moisture sensor, use it.
*Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is
not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a
fire. Manufacturers recommend using rigid venting
material, not plastic vents that may collapse and cause
*Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish
drying with the residual heat in the dryer.
*Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from
*Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to
improve air circulation.
*Drying a small load reduces the tumbling effect and
consequently lengthens the drying time. Add several
clean, dry white towels to speed up the drying of small
*Turn your jeans inside out, so they won't fade as
*Most dryers have delicate permanent press cycles, which
have lower settings to protect fabrics which might be
damaged by high temperatures.
*Don't overload your dryer, as it can result in
7. Down Items
Some manufacturers recommend putting new
tennis balls in the dryer to keep the down from
clumping. However, the Soap and Detergent Association
does not recommend this practice. The neon dye on the
tennis ball could transfer to the down-filled item, or
the tennis ball might not be able to withstand the heat.
To avoid clumping, it is safer to periodically remove
the item and shake vigorously. Adding clean, dry towels
to the dryer load can also help.
LL Bean's Advice
In washing down filled items. wash on
the gentle cycle, but when it comes to drying remember
that it takes a very long time! I bought LLBean jackets
for my children.......after going thru the normal dryer
cycle, I thought they were dry, they appeared dry. The
down was settled at the bottom of the jackets though, so
I thought the jackets were useless and I called LLBean
for advice. They told me to dry the jackets on low heat
all day long. The down needs to dry out well, and when
it does *then* the down will be evenly distributed
through-out the jacket. I did as I was told, I was
doubtful, but sure enough it worked! LLBean did say that
using a commercial dryer would work faster.
8. Ironing Tips
Cut Down on Ironing Time
My time is valuable to my four children,
husband and me. I've reduced my electricity used and
time spent by removing my clothes directly from the
dryer while they're still warm and laying them flat --
one item at a time -- on top of my washer until the
whole load is stacked. Then, I take the entire stack to
my favorite folding place. If I have to do something
else and return to the stack, it's still unwrinkled and
ready to be folded -- not ironed! Now I only iron a few
Free Distilled Water for your Iron
If you have a dehumidifier in your basement, you have
"free" distilled water in its tank, which you can use
for your iron.
Courtesy of Laundry Altenative Inc.