Woman loading blue shirt into a Maytag® dryer

12 LAUNDRY TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR LAUNDRY ROUTINE

Love it or hate it, laundry is a key part of running your household. Luckily, numerous laundry tips exist to help you streamline your routine. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned laundry master, use these laundry methods to help get a clean load the first time.

Person looking at freshly washed dress shirt Person looking at freshly washed dress shirt

1. READ CLOTHING CARE TAGS

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.

Person doing laundry with a puppy in a basket Person doing laundry with a puppy in a basket

2. SORT YOUR LAUNDRY BY COLOR AND FABRIC TYPE

Sort your laundry by color to help avoid color transfer, and if possible, also sort by fabric type since delicate fabrics and handmade knits should be washed separately from sturdier fabrics. Heavily soiled items 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. 

Person placing a towel in the washing machine Person placing a towel in the washing machine

3. 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. It’s important to know how your washer works and to be sure you load your machine in a way that allows for optimal results.

When loading your machine, distribute clothing loosely and evenly, being sure not to overpack the washtub. Regardless of whether 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 brand offers a selection of large-capacity washers that may be better suited for your family’s needs.

Water running on clothing in a washing machine Water running on clothing in a washing machine

4. 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. Check your garments’ care tags before you begin. 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 often best.

Stains can be tricky to remove and if you aren’t sure where to 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 hotwater. Lipsticksweat and grass stains should be treated with higher temperature water.

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.

Maytag® washing machine with Extra Power Button Maytag® washing machine with Extra Power Button

5. 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. Check your owner’s manual for more specific details about the cycles and settings on your model. 

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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 can be washed using this cycle. It generally uses cold to warm water and slow spinning speeds.

Person handwashing a garment Person handwashing a garment

6. KNOW WHEN TO HAND WASH DELICATE ITEMS

When it comes to delicate items like wool, silk, and rayon, it's important to always check the care label before washing. While many fabrics can be safely laundered in a washing machine, more delicate materials may require alternative methods or hand washing to help prevent damage.

Person adding Swash® laundry detergent to the washing machine Person adding Swash® laundry detergent to the washing machine

7. 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 can cause 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 help remove the buildup, but adjusting the amount of detergent you use can also 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 it into the detergent dispenser, or if your machine doesn’t have one, pour it 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 detergent such as Swash® Laundry Detergent1, which features a Precision Pour Cap to help you use the right amount every time.

SHOP SWASH® LAUNDRY DETERGENT

8. USE HE DETERGENT FOR HE WASHERS

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.

Clothing in a washer Clothing in a washer

9. USE THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF FABRIC SOFTENER

Fabric softener is a laundry enhancer designed to help soften fibers, reduce wrinkles, eliminate static and add a fresh scent to clothes. Available in powder, liquid or dryer sheet forms, fabric softener offers multiple benefits for laundry.

To get the best results with fabric softener, use the amount suggested on the bottle. Using too much liquid softener or too many dryer sheets can leave residue on clothes and appliances, and may cause issues like a dirty agitator. Check the packaging for dosing instructions that match your load size and softener type.

Person carrying a stack of folded towels Person carrying a stack of folded towels

10. DON’T LET YOUR CLOTHES SIT IN THE WASHER OR DRYER

Once your cycle is done, move your clothes to the dryer promptly to help prevent unpleasant smells and 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 your garment labels, since they often 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 on select models 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 may also help fight wrinkles, as well as soften your clothes and remove static. 

Person making a selection on a dryer Person making a selection on a dryer

11. USE THE CORRECT DRYER SETTING

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. Learn how to troubleshoot if your dryer is not getting hot enough

12. MAINTAIN YOUR WASHER AND DRYER

Regular maintenance is crucial for both your washer and dryer to help ensure its performance and longevity. For your washing machine, use a cleaner such as an affresh® washing machine cleaner tablet2 and run a clean washer cycle or a normal cycle with hot water every 30 days or after every 30 wash cycles. Additionally, inspect door seals, hoses, and connections regularly, and clean the exterior with mild soap.

For your dryer, clean the lint trap after each cycle and deep clean it every six months for proper airflow. Wipe down the drum with warm water and dish soap, and clean internal and external vents to help prevent lint buildup. Finally, run an empty cycle for 15 minutes to help remove excess dust from the dryer.

EXPLORE LAUNDRY OPTIONS FROM MAYTAG BRAND

Maytag brand offers a variety of washers and dryers that are built to last. Shop Maytag® top and front load washers and washer and dryer sets to create the configuration that fits your space, needs and style.

EXPLORE MORE FROM MAYTAG BRAND

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1. Swash® products and the recommending brands’ products are all owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation.
2. affresh® brand products and the recommending brands' products are all owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation