May 27, 2009

Laundry 101: A Cheat Sheet


If your favorite white sweater is now pink and could fit your 13-year-old, what you need is Laundry 101. Here's a list of what you can lump together in one load without fear. It's easy to follow for all those family members who aren't accustomed to washing their wears — it might even get them to lend a helping hand.

Machine Wash, Cold Water

  • Brightly colored items
  • Women's underwear and bras
  • Delicate whites such as cotton-blend blouses
  • Tightly knit cotton sweaters
  • Lacy, sheer clothing
  • Pantyhose and tights
  • Unlined rayon clothing

To dry: Line dry or tumble dry low; lay cotton sweaters flat to dry

Machine Wash, Warm Water

  • Polyester or polyester-blend items
  • Blue jeans
  • Cotton T-shirts and shirts
  • Sweatshirts and colored towels
  • Workout clothes

To dry: Tumble dry medium or high

Machine Wash, Hot Water

  • White or nearly all-white clothing, towels and linens

To dry: Tumble dry medium or high

Hand Wash

  • Lingerie
  • Silk blouses
  • Frilly or adorned items (appliqués, embroidery, beads, sequins, fringe, eyelet)
  • Mittens, gloves, mufflers
  • Colors that will bleed into others

To dry: Tumble dry low or hang dry

Dry Clean

  • Men’s ties
  • Cashmere
  • Woolen pants, tops, jackets, sweaters (unless the tag says hand wash)
  • Rayon items, especially if they feel stiff
  • Business suits, blazers, vests, etc.
  • Any piece of clothing that has a lining

Important: Always read the special care instructions on the item's tag.

MakeLifeBetter provides tips and smart strategies to help you feel good, look good, and get more out of life.



you really shouldn't wash anything in warm or hot water. it will fade and shrink.

Mary Frances Ballard

I disagree with Linda. Towels and washcloths should be washed in the hottest water possible for sanitary reasons. Many of those have colors that bleaching would ruin. Also, many oil based stains in fabrics need hot water to remove them. Not everything will shrink or fade in hot water.
Mary Frances

Sarah Pandolfo

I always wash everything in cold water except when I am trying to get my whites really white.


Here is the thing i was always told to wash in cold water, but I know my whites are whiter in Hot water, but I didn't know any of this other stuff so thanks.

Suzi Bloomfield

I wash almost everything in cold water with either a 15 or 30 minute soak. Gets out stains and dirt without extra additives and my whites are white.


Thank you for the laundry cheat sheet. It is a great reference for our children to use as they learn to do their laundry.

The comments to this entry are closed.


Bookmark and Share