Love it or hate it, laundry is a key part of running your household. Luckily, there are many laundry tips that can help you do your laundry more efficiently. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned laundry master, use these laundry methods to get a clean load the first time.

Hand placing blue towel into top-load washer tub

Laundry tip #1: How to load your laundry properly

When it comes to loading your washer correctly, less is more. Don’t overload or overpack your washer since doing so may reduce cleaning performance. You won’t be saving time or energy by cramming too large of a load of laundry into your washer because you may need to re-wash, so it’s important that you load your machine in a way that allows for optimal results.

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Sorting

Sort your laundry by color to avoid color transfer, and if possible, also sort by fabric since delicate fabrics should be washed separately from sturdier fabrics. Items that are heavily soiled should also be washed separately. Before washing, turn your clothing inside out, especially knits to avoid pilling. Close zippers, fasten hooks and tie any loose strings. 

Washer with arrow icon

Loading

When loading your machine, distribute clothing loosely and evenly, being sure not to overpack the washtub. Regardless of if your washer has an agitator or impeller, load your clothes around the edges of the tub for even distribution.

If your household is large and piles up laundry quickly, don’t cut corners by trying to overload your washer. Maytag offers a selection of large-capacity washers that may be better suited for your family’s needs.

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Read your clothing’s label

Make sure you’re paying attention to your clothes’ care tags, since they will provide you with valuable information as to how your article of clothing should be washed. Not sure what any of those symbols on the tag mean? Read this guide to deciphering laundry symbols.

Maytag® top-load washer with clear top running a cycle

Laundry Tip #2: Choose the correct water temperature

The right water temperature for your load of laundry depends on the color, fabric and how dirty your clothes are. It’s important to pay particular attention to items that have stains on them. However, if you’re uncertain about which temperature to use for a specific garment, cold water is best. 

 

Stains can be tricky to remove and if you aren’t sure where to even begin, this stain-removing guide is a great place to start.

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Cold

Use cold water if you’re washing delicate fabrics, lightly soiled garments, bright or dark-colored cottons, linens, casual or mixed loads. Certain stains, like blood and toothpaste stains, are best treated with cold water.

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Warm

Synthetic fabrics like nylon and poly-blends, small comforters, non-iron fabrics, as well as lightly soiled clothing like blouses, dresses and pants can all be washed with warm water. Certain stains like red wine and chocolate will need a combination of cold then warm water.

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Hot

White pre-shrunk cotton, towels, sheets, heavily soiled items and sturdy colorfast fabrics can be washed with hot water. Lipstick and grass stains should be treated with higher temperature water.

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Extra Power

Since some stains dissolve better in hot water and some better in cold, Maytag® washers with the Extra Power button fight both in a single load. This feature uses a short cold water pre-wash to help lift stains that dissolve best in cold water, and finishes up with a warmer water temperature to target stains that dissolve better in warm water.

Close up of washer settings panel

Laundry Tip #3: Choose the best setting for your load

Like water temperature, the cycle setting you use for your load depends on what you’re washing and how heavily soiled it is. The number and name of settings on your machine will vary. However, you will typically find Normal, Whites and Delicates on most machines: 

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Normal 

This cycle can be used for most loads, including normally soiled color cotton, sheets and linens. Mixed garments can also be washed using this setting. It generally uses a mix of high spin speed and warm water.  

 

Note: if your washer has a Sheets Cycle, use this setting instead when washing bed sheets.

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Whites

Heavily soiled white fabrics and garments should be washed on this setting, which typically uses a combination of hot water and high to extra-high spin speeds.

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Delicates

Machine washable silks, lingerie, washable wools, delicate fabrics and lightly soiled business clothing like blouses and slacks should be washed using this cycle. It generally uses cold to warm water and slow spinning speeds.

Woman pouring Swash™ detergent into detergent compartment of washing machine

Laundry Tip #4: Use the right amount of detergent

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a huge amount of detergent for your laundry. Though it can be tempting to add more detergent to heavily soiled loads, it can actually be counterproductive, since using too much detergent causes oversudsing, making it more difficult to remove stains. 

 

Excess detergent can remain on fabric, causing buildup. You can use a method called laundry stripping to remove the buildup, but adjusting the amount of detergent you use can help prevent this problem.

 

If you use regular powder detergent, fill the measuring container up to the designated line based on the size of your load and instructions on the detergent box. Pour into the detergent dispenser, or if your machine doesn’t have one, pour directly into the basket/drum.

 

You can avoid the hassle of trying to figure out how much detergent to use by using laundry pods, or, Maytag recommends Swash™Laundry Detergent1, which features a Precision Pour Cap to help you use the right amount every time.

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Use HE Detergent

If you have a front-load, or a top-load high-efficiency washer make sure you use HE detergent, since it creates less sudsing and dispenses quicker. You can also use HE detergent in regular washers, though you should avoid using regular detergent in HE machines.

 Woman holding folded linens

Laundry Tip #5: Don’t let your clothes sit in the washer or dryer

Once your cycle is done, move your clothes to the dryer promptly to prevent unpleasant smells and lessen wrinkles. Be sure to check if stains remain on any items and skip drying any that are still stained because heat can set stains into fabrics. Pay attention to the label of your garments, since they will indicate the level of heat you should use to dry your clothes. Remove all items that are labeled as air dry, and select your dryer setting based on the kind of load you’re drying.

 

If you know you'll be away from your washer when the cycle completes, Maytag® washers offer features like the Wrinkle Control cycle to help prevent wrinkles and the Fresh Hold® option to keep your clothes smelling great even if you left them in the washer. Using dryer balls in your dryer will also help fight wrinkles, as well as soften your clothes and remove static. 

 

As a good rule of thumb, avoid using high heat unless drying heavier items like towels or duvets and comforters. For your day-to-day loads, Perm Press (or a similar cycle) is typically the best option, since it has a lower heat level.

More tips for mastering laundry

Master laundry fundamentals with this seven-step guide.

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

Folding clothes correctly is an easy skill to learn that pays off big. Learn some shirt and pant folding techniques with this guide.

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  1. Swash and Maytag are owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation.