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Learning the Basics of Laundry Care


When it comes to laundry, everyone has a routine. But are your laundry habits beneficial to you and your clothes? Dr. Elizabeth Easter, professor and textile consultant for GE Clothes Care, breaks down the basics.

Drying your clothes in a dryer won't decrease their life expectancy.

Over the course of time, washing and line drying instead of washing and drying in the dryer won't extend the life of your favorite yoga pants. During the first initial washes, line drying may lessen some shrinkage, but over time the shrinkage to any garment will occur anyway. Delicates or sweaters that need to be reshaped should still be hung on the line or laid flat to dry, as per the care label.

GE dryers offer sensors to help prevent over drying with dual thermistors that continually monitor temperature. This helps to keep your clothes looking and feeling their best.

Dryers with HE Sensor

Washing small loads doesn't mean cleaner clothes.

Not only is washing small loads harder on the environment, it's also not beneficial to the cleanliness of your clothes. Dr. Easter advises against overloading your washing machine, but running a cycle on a full load will get your clothes just as clean as a small load. With today's washers ranging from 3.5 to 5.0 cubic feet capacity, you can fit a lot in one wash cycle. That cuts down on time you spend doing laundry and the impact on the environment.

Large Capacity Washers

Adding fabric softener and laundry detergent at the same time is a no-no.

According to Dr. Easter, the chemical reaction between fabric softener and detergent can render the other inactive. Only add fabric softener at the beginning of a wash load if your machine has an auto dispense feature.

Too much detergent and fabric softener isn't a good thing.

Follow the recommended dosage based on load size and soil level. Too much detergent can cause over-sudsing in the washer and result in a rough feel to clothes. GE's SmartDispense™ feature takes the guesswork out of how much detergent and fabric softener to add, and when to add it. This feature can hold more than 100 ounces of detergent and 100 ounces of fabric softener, and it will automatically dispense them during the ideal times in the wash cycle. SmartDispense makes the chore of loading detergent and fabric softener for each load a thing of the past.

Washers with the SmartDispense Option

Scrutinize your soils.

While 75 percent of the market uses liquid detergents, a powder detergent still reigns supreme when it comes to certain types of soils. Heavy soils, like dirt, are best removed with a powder detergent, but ridding your shirts of body oils and cooking oils fares better with a liquid formulation. GE's washing machines can also help you remove stubborn stains with pre-programmed settings for laundry stains. Select the type of stain plaguing your pajamas, from wine to tomato.

Washers with Stain Removal Guide

No time to do the laundry? GE's Overnight Dry feature can be an advantage.

"Wet clothes left in the washer overnight can increase the potential transfer of color staining," says Dr. Easter. GE Frontload washer's innovative "Overnight Dry" option helps to remove so much moisture that clothes are comfortable to wear without transferring to the dryer.*

It's the first unit in the industry with the ability to wash small loads* on an overnight cycle. The cycle even helps prevent clothes wrinkling compared to clothes that are left sitting in the washer overnight. The Overnight Dry cycle keeps clothes moving gently up to eight hours to remove moisture content.

Washers with Overnight Dry

About Dr. Easter

Dr. Elizabeth Easter is a professor at the University of Kentucky in the Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles Department, where she has taught textile science courses since 1984. Her research experience ranges from basic research in the development of detergent formulations to applied research, such as evaluating the removal of pesticides during home laundering.

Currently, Dr. Easter supervises the Textile Testing Laboratory in her department at the University of Kentucky. The laboratory provides contractual and fee-based services for the Association for Linen Management as well as the textile and apparel industry in the state of Kentucky and the appliance industry. Dr. Easter received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Textile Science from the University of Tennessee.


*2.5 lbs. AHAM spec allows drying of one pair of jeans, three cotton dress shirts, two soccer uniforms, three sets of crib sheets, one dress shirt, one pair of khakis, and two sets of scrubs.

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