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 Appliances Clothes Care, breaks down the basics.
Drying your clothes 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.
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, like the GE Profile™ Series Frontload running at 4.8 DOE cubic feet capacity, you can fit a lot in one wash cycle. That cuts down on the time you spend doing laundry and the impact it has on the environment.
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.
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 brand. GE's Profile™ Series Frontload washing machine can also help you remove stubborn stains with pre-programmed settings for 40 different laundry stains. Select the type of stain plaguing your pajamas, from coffee to mouthwash, and let the machine work out the stain for you.
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.