How Do You Wash Fabrics?


Quick Answer

According to For Dummies, the process used for washing fabrics depends on the type and color of the fabrics being washed. The appropriate temperature, wash cycle and dry cycle are different for each type of load.

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Full Answer

Separating light colored clothes and whites from darks and brights ensures that colors do not bleed and stain lighter fabrics in the same load. Using cold water on fabrics prone to bleeding minimizes dye loss and maximizes the life of the color. Additionally, separating fabric types helps the fabric last longer, with heavy fabrics, such as denim pants or terry towels, separated from light cottons and linens. Clothes that are delicately constructed, such as underwear and bras, should be hand washed instead of machine washed to minimize damage to the fabric. Delicates should also be air-dryed to minimize heat damage. For Dummies also cautions about using bleach to remove stains, as bleach breaks down fibers in the fabric and damages it. Chlorine bleach is safe to use on whites but damages brightly-colored fabrics. All-fabric bleach is safe for fabrics of all types and colors, though it should still be used sparingly. Water hardness affects how bleach works, so it is important to always test bleach on a small swatch, such as a washcloth, before washing an entire load with it.

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