Washer-dryer Settings Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
2 min
Washer-dryer Settings Quiz
Image: Jessie Cowan/Getty Images

About This Quiz

We all think we know how to do a load of laundry. The instructions are right there! But how much do you really know, and how much is just habit? Prove your mastery of laundry knowledge with this quiz.
Surprisingly small loads of laundry can sometimes take longer to dry than larger ones. What's one way to speed up a small batch?
add a couple of clean, dry towels
crank up the dryer to the hottest possible setting
throw in a couple of clean kitchen sponges to absorb moisture
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Hotter settings are harder both on your clothes and your electric bill. Throwing in a couple of towels increases the tumbling action in the dryer, decreasing the total wait time for toasty-warm undies.

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New clothes can bleed their dyes and fade with the first wash. What's one way to stop this?
use the massage setting on your washer
drop in half a cup of salt with the wash
add one tablespoon of corn syrup to make the colors stick, then wash normally
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A half a cup of regular old table salt can help the dyes on new clothes set during their first wash, especially if you live in an area with hard water.

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Some tags say "dry clean only." How seriously do you have to take that?
Very seriously. Clean your dry-clean-only clothes any other way, and you might as well be setting them on fire.
Moderately. Dry cleaning is often just one of your options.
Ignore it. Clean is clean.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Clothing manufacturers are only required to inform you of one way to clean your clothes. Some dry-clean-only fabrics like silk can be hand-washed as well.

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Which of these materials can be washed in hot water?
a sturdy wool sweater
a white linen bedsheet
a sexy, yet tasteful, pair of leather pants
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Hot water is only for the toughest of white cloth and colorfasts. Most dyed fabrics will lose some of their vibrance in a hot water wash, and wool shrinks like crazy. Congratulations on finding a tasteful pair of leather pants, though.

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At what water temperature do most laundry detergents work properly?
40 degrees Fahrenheit
50 degrees Fahrenheit
60 degrees Fahrenheit
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Colder temperatures mean a significant reduction in detergent's effectiveness. Just like with human skin, washing with colder water leaves behind a soapy residue that can be hard to get off.

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Washing downy articles like comforters and coats can result in clumping when they get to the dryer. What's one way to keep your fluff fluffy?
place something heavy (like a stack of books) on top of the dryer to keep it from vibrating too much
freeze wet down before putting it in the dryer
throw in tennis balls
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Don't mind the noise -- tennis balls in the dryer are actually a great way to break up clumps of wet down. But to be safe, you should keep the dryer off the highest heat setting. Tennis balls that have been melted into goo are slightly less effective.

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True or false: More detergent means cleaner clothes.
True. Too much is never enough.
False. What do you need all that soap for?
It depends, so long as we're not talking about going bananas and using the entire bottle.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Detergent companies specially design their products to work with certain ratios of water and clothing. Use too much, and your clothes aren't getting cleaner, they're just marinating in soap. Follow the instructions on the bottle, and use sparingly -- wastewater from our laundry often goes unprocessed straight into watersheds and marine ecosytems.

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How much water does it take to wash a load of laundry?
Enough to get the clothes wet, but not more than a few inches at the bottom of the washer.
Just enough to cover. We're not making laundry soup here.
The washer should fill entirely. They're designed that way for a reason.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Water to cover is plenty. It's tempting to hit the large load button every time, but using too much water is wasteful and won't get clothes any cleaner.

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Which of the following will make your clothes dry faster on a regular basis?
cleaning the lint trap
taking wet clothes out of the washer as soon as possible
making sure dryer loads are separated according to fabric type
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Checking the lint filter regularly is a good idea anyway for fire safety. If you find yourself cleaning it after every load, you're using way too much detergent.

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What's the best way to treat silk after hand-washing?
iron immediately, then stretch it by hand as silk dries
dry silk in the dryer at the lowest heat setting, then iron it
Let the silk air dry until it's damp, and then put it in the freezer. Once silk is frozen, it can be ironed.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Silk garments burn extremely easily under an iron, but giving them a light freeze can make your garments easier and safer to iron.

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You Got:
/10
Jessie Cowan/Getty Images