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Published: Thursday, 9/21/2006

6 Easy Tips for Perfect Laundry

(NewsUSA) - You may think you're doing laundry correctly but are you really getting the perfect load every time?

There is more to doing laundry than just separating the lights from the darks. For instance, did you know that you could save a considerable amount of energy if you wash your clothes in cold water?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 80 percent to 85 percent of the energy used for laundry is for heating the water. The department also says that by simply changing your temperature setting from hot to warm, you can cut the machine's energy use by 50 percent. According to the Consumer Energy Center, using cold water reduces your washer's energy use by 75 percent.

The makers of Purex laundry detergent offer these tips for doing laundry correctly and efficiently.

* Sort your clothes by color, wash temperature and fabric type. Always follow the care instructions on the label. Separate lightly soiled clothing from heavily soiled garments. Also, separate fabrics that may shed lint, or delicates such as lingerie and pantyhose, from the rest of your wash.

* Check the pockets for money, tissues, pens, lipstick and other loose items and remove them.

* Set your washer to the appropriate water level for the size of the load. To conserve energy, wash full loads. However, be careful not to overload your washing machine. Leaving space for your clothing and detergent to move freely in the machine ensures that stains and soil will be removed from your garments.

* Allow the washer to fill with water before adding detergent and any laundry additives. Add your clothes last.

* If you are washing your clothing in cold water, use the appropriate type of detergent.

Some detergents do not work as well in cold water as they do in warm. To compensate for less heat, use a detergent formulated to work well in cold water.

* Remove clothes from the washing machine and dry them as soon as the wash cycle has completed. Read the label on each garment carefully and follow recommended drying procedures.

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