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Published: Wednesday, 2/8/2006

Pillow Talk

(ARA) - Bedding can be an expensive investment. The following guidelines from the Coin Laundry Association will help extend their life:

* Be kind to your bedding. Wash and dry in large-capacity machines. Most household washers can hold between 10- and 12-pounds of laundry. This is not large enough for a queen-size comforter. Commercial-grade washers, such as those found at your coin laundry, can handle up to 75 pounds of wash and are best for cleaning bedding. Using larger machines will not only extend the life of your comforter, but also of your home washer and dryer.

* Wash colored bedding in a mild detergent. Whites should be followed up with an oxygenated-bleach. Avoid chlorine bleaches, which leave a residue that is hard to clean and can cause discoloration over time.

* When drying your bedding, use a fabric-softening sheet as opposed to a liquid-softener. Fabrics, such as down, have a tendency to absorb the liquid unevenly.

* Contrary to popular opinion, you can wash down-filled bedding. Be sure to read the care instructions, but most down comforters and pillows can be laundered. Use a mild detergent to wash and when drying put some clean tennis balls into the dryer to help fluff and distribute the down.

* Wash and dry flannel sheets separately. Flannel has a tendency to deposit lint in the dryer. Perhaps the most important care instruction for flannel is not to over-dry. Over-drying can cause wrinkles to set and colors to fade.

* Wool blankets can be washed and dried! Use cold water on a gentle cycle and fluff dry. Add some towels to help absorb moisture and cut down on drying time.

* Always read the care-labels! Laundering comforters and bedspreads yourself saves a considerable amount of money over dry cleaning, but certain fabrics, such as satin, cannot be washed and should be taken to a professional dry cleaner. Courtesy of ARA Content

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