Real Simple answers your questions.

By Real Simple
Updated May 27, 2008
Clean laundry is only half the battle―it still needs to be sorted and put away. Save those steps by keeping washer-and-dryer-safe mesh bags (27-by-36-inch mesh bag, $8, in each kid's room―one for lights, one for darks. Throw the bags directly into the washing machine and dryer, then hand them back to the kids. If they're old enough, they can do their own folding.
Michele Gastl

Q. How do you get the smell out of a top-loading washing machine?
Heather Cline
Bridgewater, New Jersey

A. To get rid of a mildew or musty smell, run a cycle of hot water and two cups of bleach in your machine. The odor could be caused by a buildup of laundry soap, or oils and grime from your clothing if you wash only in cold water, says Mary Zeitler, a home economist for the Whirlpool Institute of Fabric Science. If you have a high-efficiency machine, try washer-cleaning tablets, such as Affresh ($7 for a pack of three, for locations). ―Kristin Appenbrink