Between new developments in laundry technology and thoughtful approaches to the task at hand in your own laundry room, you can reduce the effort and increase the efficiency of your wash-and-dry chores—with cleaner laundry to show for it. How you systematize your routine depends on which part of it you want to streamline.
Sizing Your Appliances
If the capacities of your current laundry pair seem undermatched to your typical washday needs, you may be ready for a larger washer and dryer. Continuing to rely on an older set of appliances may seem like the thrifty thing to do, especially if your current machines still operate properly. When you figure in the enhanced water and energy efficiency of new laundry technologies, especially high-efficiency designs, you may rethink your strategy, especially in light of the improvements in cleaning performance that you can achieve with new appliances. While you're focused on energy efficiency, look to LED lamps as replacements for the older incandescent bulbs in your laundry area.
Stacking & Pedestals
Organizing your laundry extends to the way you set up your laundry room, too. If you're short on floor space, or long on plans for the space you have, a front-loading laundry pair offers you stackable options that can reclaim half the footprint of a traditional side-by-side setup. Alternatively, you can opt for pedestal bases on which to set your appliances in a traditional configuration, saving space by stashing your detergents, bleach, stain fighters and softeners in the pedestals' built-in storage drawers.
Hampers & Laundry Bags
You'll find it easier to keep laundry sorted from the moment it becomes laundry if you equip each closet with a multi-compartment hamper. Even little ones can learn to separate their clothes based on color and reinforce their color recognition skills in the process. You may need to verify sorting techniques to avoid the accidental brightly-colored T-shirt nestled in with white socks, but three-bin sorters make your task much easier to share with the rest of the family. To keep clean-laundry baskets from turning into hampers, store them where they don't serve as an easy target for dirty clothes. As an alternative, use washable laundry bags instead of baskets.
Whether you use the same brands of laundry products for long periods of time because you've found detergents you like or in deference to a long search for hypoallergenic products that combined cleaning power with a lack of dyes and perfumes, some situations call for a fresh take on your old reliables. The mainstays of a wash routine centered around a top-loading, agitator-based machine won't work properly in new high-efficiency appliances. The suds you always welcomed as a sign of cleaning prowess reduce the ability of high-efficiency machines to launder effectively. Along with a change in detergents, you may find another alteration in your laundry routine with HE equipment, as some of these appliances offer cycles that tidy up lightly worn clothes with pure steam, using no detergent whatsoever.
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