How to keep your clothes clean and bright

    6:18 AM, Jan 22, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- THV 11 is working for you this morning. Here are a few ways to keep your clothes looking new from Shine from Yahoo!.

    Keep Your Whites White

    The main reason white items turn gray or become dull is incorrect sorting. People generally have few all-white loads, so they tend to mix whites with colored garments. Water quality, too, can affect how your whites emerge from the washer. Hard water can render detergents less effective and cause staining.

    Here's what you can do: wash whites separately. The best way to retain whiteness is to launder white items together in the hottest water the fabric will tolerate. Choose detergent with a bleach alternative, using the maximum amount recommended.

    Also, add a laundry booster. You can increase the cleaning power of a detergent by adding a booster, like borax, oxygen bleach, or washing soda to help maintain whiteness. Soak the items before washing.

    And, pretreat body-oil marks. To remove perspiration and other greasy stains, pretreat with liquid detergent, dishwashing liquid, or shampoo. Gently rub the liquid into the fabric using a clean toothbrush.

    Tackle colored stains with undiluted liquid oxygen bleach directly on the fabric before washing. Also wash your whites with a color remover once a month to get the dull out.

    But, you may have to accept less than perfect. No matter how hard you try, your whites won't stay fluorescent forever.

    Here's another one: minerals and water. If your water has a high iron content you'll see reddish stains in the shower and toilet. Launder with an iron-removing product and don't use chlorine bleach because it can combine to turn your clothes yellow.

    And for hard water, some detergent labels call for using larger amounts. If your water is particularly hard, you may not be able to get whites pristine unless you install a water softener, which removes minerals.

    Keep Your Darks Dark

    When washing your clothes, some of the fabric fibers will break, exposing raw fiber ends. This will trick the eye into seeing less color. Also, washing in warm water speeds up dye loss. There is no such thing as truly colorfast cotton.

    Wash your darks separately to preserve the items' original color and prevent bleeding into lighter colors. Wash in a cold-water cycle on the shortest cycle possible.

    Also prevent those fibers from breaking by limiting abrasions like closing zippers, fastening hooks and turning items inside out. Also wash items similar to each other. Don't wash your cashmere sweater and your jeans together just because they're both blue.

    Whenever possible, hang dry your items out of sunlight. This will help maintain their original appearance. If you use the dryer, use the lowest temperature setting and don't overdry your clothes.

    Also winter weather can affect the cold water in your home. Colder water can affect your washer and not even the best detergents can work. If this is a problem, use warmer water to ensure their clean.

    Keep Brights Bright

    Some color loss is inevitable, even in your bright garments. Separate these times by brights and pastels. Wash brand new brights on their own for the first few cycles. These are the clothes that will bleed the most dye.

    If these clothes do bleed on other items, don't put the stained ones in the dryer. It will only set the dye in. Instead wash them again separately. As long as you don't apply heat, you'll get the stains out.

    Also turn these clothes inside out to keep them looking good longer. Choose the shortest cycle for soil level and fabric.

    (Source: Shine from Yahoo!)

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