How to Do Laundry Properly | Arm & Hammer™

How to Do Your Laundry Like a Pro in 6 Steps

If it feels like you’re always doing the laundry, it’s probably because you are!


  • One American generates a quarter of a ton of dirty laundry every year.
  • The average American family does 8 to 10 loads of laundry a week.
  • One load takes about 2 hours to do: around 30 minutes to wash, 55 minutes to dry, and 30 minutes to fold (putting it away is something else).  


With these 6 steps from our laundry pros, you’ll be on your way to laundry success in no time:

1.Sort It Out

Dye transfers. Shrinking clothes. Dingy whites. The first step to preventing these and other laundry problems is to properly sort your laundry by:

  • Color: Separate laundry by whites, light colors, similar bright colors, and dark colors.
  • Fabric Type: Protect delicate fabrics like laces, lingerie, and washable silk by washing them separately. And wash lint-giving fabrics like chenille and terry separately from lint-attracting items such as corduroy and permanent press.
  • Soil Content: Heavily soiled work or play clothes should be washed separately from lightly soiled clothes.


Note: As you sort, empty out pockets, close buttons, and zip zippers to prevent snagging and other damage. And be sure to check your clothes’ care labels for instructions on washing, bleaching, and drying. 

2.Wash in the Right Temperature

Now that your laundry is sorted, wash them in the hottest water each garment will allow. A general rule of thumb: use hot water for white cottons, and cold water for bright colors. Read the care labels for more instruction. 

3.Check for Colorfastness

To see if your garment will retain color when washing or pre-treating, find a hidden area (like the inside seam) and apply a concentrated dose of detergent. Rinse and if color remains, it’s safe to wash.

4.Pre-treat Stains

Fresh stains are easier to remove than old ones, so pre-treat them before you wash them — and be sure to test for colorfastness in a discreet place.

How can you get rid of blood, grass, and other tough stains? Find out now.

5.Boost Your Cleaning Power

Laundry detergents have a big job to do, but if you want a little more cleaning power, these additives work with your detergent to help out:


  • Laundry Boosters enhance your detergent’s performance by adding extra cleaning power, or by softening the water to help detergent work more effectively.
  • Scent Boosters freshen and deodorize laundry — and add a long-lasting scent.
  • Chlorine Bleach Boosters and Color Boosters: One works to boost the whitening power of chlorine bleach, the other is a color-safe bleach that helps brighten colored garments. 



For a natural additive that cleans, deodorizes, whitens and brightens, use ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda. Add ½ cup of baking soda along with your bleach to whiten whites, and ½ cup to your wash cycle to brighten colors.

6.Dry with Care

Once you’ve washed your clothes, these tips will help you finish strong:

  • Check those treated stains before going into the dryer to see if your pre-treating worked; dryer heat can set stains permanently. 
  • Don’t overload your dryer; clothes need to tumble freely to dry efficiently. And, it helps prevent wrinkles. 
  • Toss in a dryer sheet to soften your clothes, reduce static cling and lint, and smell fresh.

Your laundry is an investment in time and money. With these 6 steps, you can be sure you’re doing all you can to care for your clothes — and help them last longer.

With so much laundry to do, watch this video for fun ways to get your kids to help lighten the load.

Black, Ken. “Business Statistics: For Contemporary Decision Making, 6th Edition,” Decision Dilemma. eBook 3 February 2017.
Leverette, Mary Marlowe. “Interesting Laundry Facts and Trivia.”, About Home, Web 3 February 2017.

Tips to freshen things up

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