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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Basics of Laundry—Laundry 101

By Dr. Laundry May 31, 2006

I know – you do laundry two, three times a week. But sometimes we don’t even realize that we could be making little changes to our technique that might extend the life of our items, or make the process smoother.

Step 1: Sorting

Everyone is a different kind of sorter. Do you still try to cram it all in one washload?  Or are you a lights/darks person? Sorting really is the first key to obtaining the best results. How shall I sort thee?A) First, group clothes by colors:

White items, light colors, dark colors and delicates.

B) Then by texture
It’s great if you can keep the lightweight and the heavy items separate, especially when you get ready to dry them. 

C) Third, separate lint producers (like towels) from lint attracters (like corduroy).  They can start transferring little fuzzies in the wash and look kind of dull by the time you pull them from the dryer.


  • Sorting is the time to consider pretreating or presoaking any problem spots

  • Close zippers and snaps on all clothing

  • Unroll cuffs on sleeves and pants

  • Turn those polo shirts and workout clothes inside out to reduce pilling

  • Empty pockets of all items, especially tissues, lipstick, candy and lost money