Whites, Darks, Dryers, and Jewelry
5. Launder whites after every wear. It’s tempting to put a white blouse back into the closet after a spill-free wearing. After all, it looks spotless. But “body oils and perspiration, along with other time-released stains (like perfume, white wine, and oil splatters), will start to give a once-bright white a yellowish tint,” says Steve Boorstein, developer of the DVD Clothing Care (Day Light, $20, amazon.com).
6. But don’t overwash darks. Boorstein blames frequent washings for faded clothing. Black pants, in particular, can be worn several times before laundering. For best results when you wash, run darks on a short cycle in cold water and let them air-dry. Blot any stains, since rubbing will create a lighter spot.
7. Beware the dryer. “Excessive heat makes fibers brittle, causing the fabric to break down,” says Boorstein. Combat this by removing lightweight garments, like T-shirts and camisoles, and anything containing spandex (which can lose elasticity over time when exposed to too much heat) 10 minutes earlier than heavy garments, such as jeans and sweatshirts. “Most of the damage is done in the last 10 minutes of drying,” says Boorstein.
8. Hold off on your jewelry. “Wait 15 minutes after applying perfume or body lotion before slipping on baubles,” says Krodel. Beauty products are notorious for leaving a greasy buildup.