It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work a washing machine, but nailing the details might be a bit difficult for some of us. Admit it: Most of us just separate light-coloured and dark-coloured clothes, and then put the whole bunch of similar-toned items into the washing machine with nary a care about fabric or care instructions. Here are seven tips to do your laundry right. They’ll not only make your clothes last longer, but also save you money too!

1. Always look at labels
Those pesky labels that sometimes dig into your skin are there for a reason: They tell you how you should be washing those shirts. If a shirt requires hand-washing, don’t put it in the washer or it’ll shrink or tear—or both.

2. Wash with warm water
Wash white and light-coloured apparels with warm water. This will not only get rid of bacteria, but also help to remove stains.

3. Wash with hot water
Towels and washcloths and items with stubborn stain should be washed with hot water, for the same reason as above.

4. Rinse with cold water
Getting the temperature of the water right is important during wash, but don’t rinse with water of the same temperature! Rinse should always be done with cold water.

5. Remove stains immediately
Spilled something on your top? Make sure you get rid of it pronto because fresh stains are easier to remove. You can even use hand soap as a stopgap measure.

6. Make sure the pockets are empty
The worst thing that can happen is to have tissue or paper in your bottoms. Good luck in picking out the tiny pieces of disintegrated tissue if you forgot to take them out before putting your clothes into the wash.

7. Clean your washing machine
The machine has done a mighty job in cleaning your laundry. Now it’s time for you to return the favour by keeping it clean. This helps to get rid of gunk and soap residue that might clog up the machine. This page tells you how to clean it.

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