sorting laundry

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Sort Before Laundry Day

Even if you're only washing the clothes of one person, a singular big hamper is definitely not the way to go, says Cilley. You probably already know to use two laundry baskets for dirty clothes: one for dark-colored clothes and one for light-colored items—but here's why Cilley finds two baskets a time-saver: When the basket is full, there's no need to sort—just dump all the darks (or lights) into the washer, and you're set. (You could also go the divided sorter route, buying a hamper with separate sections for different colored garments.)


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Take Your Socks Off the Right Way

Certain items, such as jeans, should be washed inside out (to minimize color loss as the denim jostles against other garments). Socks, however, need not be washed on the reverse side, since it's unlikely they'll fade. Plus, having to turn them right side out after they're washed and dried can be time-consuming. Instead, when you're getting undressed, says Cilley, pull your socks off by the toe—that way you won't have to turn them right side out later. If you have a big family, you may even want to have everyone stash their dirty socks in their own mesh bag. Wash the socks right in the bag, and dry them that way too—then each person can sort their own (and you'll spend less time trying to figure out which socks belong to who).

washing machine

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Speed Up the Drying

When it comes to getting clothes dry in record time, you can toss dryer balls or even a dry towel into the dryer with your wet clothes (like dryer balls, the towel absorbs moisture, although Cilley says it could add lint to your newly cleaned garments). The most dependable method for quick drying, though, is simple: don't cram the dryer with too many items, because it minimizes air flow. Cilley prefers medium loads for efficiency (which means the dryer is about half full), but even a large load is okay—as long as the machine is not more than three quarters full.