Washer-dryer Settings Quiz

Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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.

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?

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?

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?

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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