Maytag® top-load washing machine filled with water.

HOW TO DO LAUNDRY, FROM START TO FINISH

Master laundry fundamentals with this seven-step guide on how to wash and dry clothes.

A pair of jeans prepared for washing.

STEP 1: PREP CLOTHES

Laundry basics start with getting clothes washer-ready.

  • Empty pockets, close zippers, fasten hooks and tie strings.

  • Pretreat any stains that may need it. Learn more with this step-by-step stain removal guide.

  • Turn sweaters inside out to help avoid pilling — the little fuzz balls.

 

 

 

Maytag Tip: Wash Gym Clothes Inside Out

Washing heavily soiled athletic wear inside out will help soapy water reach the inside surface where sweat and odor get trapped.

 

 

 

STEP 2: SEPARATE LAUNDRY

There are three ways to sort. Sort by color first, then consider fabric type and soil level until you have full loads of similar clothes. Check your item’s tag for any special needs that may affect sorting. 

Color:

whites, lights, darks

Fabric type:

denim, cotton, synthetics, blends, delicates, towels and bedding

Soil level:

heavily soiled, lightly soiled

A hamper filled with laundry sorted by color.

 

 

 

Maytag Tip: Separate lint-givers from lint-takers

Keep lint off clothes by washing lint-giving fabrics like towels and rugs separately from lint-takers like synthetics, knits and corduroy.

 

 

 

Filling a Maytag® washing machine dispenser with detergent.

STEP 3: ADD DETERGENT 

  • If your washer requires High-Efficiency (HE) detergent, check that you’re using HE detergent. Learn more about HE detergent with this quick guide.

  • Pour detergent in the dispenser or, if there isn’t one, directly into the tub. Follow the instructions on the packaging when measuring.

  • If using a detergent pod, place it in the bottom of the tub.

 

STEP 4: LOAD WASHER

  • Load items into washer loosely and evenly around the tub, giving them room to move.

  • When washing bulky single items like a rug or jacket, add a few extra items around the tub to balance the weight.  

Washing machine laundry cycle options.

 

Washing machine laundry cycle options.

STEP 5: SELECT WASH SETTINGS

Select cycle, temperature, spin speed and extras
  • Select a cycle that matches your load. You may select a different wash temperture based on the soil level and type of fabric being washed. If you don’t know which cycle to use, see this Laundry Cycle Guide to find out. 

  • Use a low speed spins for delicates and a high speed spins for sturdier fabrics.

  • Select add-ons like steam or a longer soak for loads needing extra cleaning. On select Maytag® front load washers, add the Fresh Hold® option to intermittently tumble the load after the cycle ends.

 

STEP 6: GET READY TO DRY

  • Start transferring clothes to the dryer as soon as possible.

  • As you load, leave out stained items and anything that recommends air drying on the tag.

  • Clean the dryer’s lint screen by rolling lint off with your fingers. Do not use water to remove lint.

Maytag® front-load washer and dryer pair.

 

Maytag® dryer tumbling blue clothes.

STEP 7: SELECT DRY SETTINGS

SELECT TEMPERATURE
  • Low: casuals, delicates, synthetics, lightweight fabrics, shirts, pants, athletic wear

  • Medium: work clothes, medium weight fabrics, sheets

  • High: jeans, heavy fabrics, towels

SELECT TIME
  • Pick a specific dry time or a sensor setting that automatically stops the cycle when the load is done, like Advanced Moisture Sensing by Maytag.

 

Finishing the Job

Now that you know the basics, finish the job by finding a clean, flat surface for folding. Creating a designated space for folding helps clothes stay clean by keeping them off the floor or the tops of your washer and dryer.

 

 

Discover more ways to help clothes last

 

What Are Your Laundry Symbols Telling You?

Decode the symbols on your clothing tag to learn what they really mean.

How to Remove Stains from Clothes

Get tips on stain removal — from red wine and grease to blood and ink, Maytag’s here to help. 

How (and Why) to Use High-Efficiency (HE) Detergent in Your Washing Machine 

Learn the ins and outs of using HE detergent in your washing machine.

 

 


 

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