A no-spin guide to washing clothes, car-seat covers, and nearly everything in between.

By Sarah Stebbins
Updated March 12, 2008
Michele Gastl

Chances are you’ve experienced a few wardrobe malfunctions on occasion―from the errant red sock that found its way into (and left its mark on) a load of whites to the wool sweater that came out of the washer small enough to fit a Bratz doll. You learned from these gaffes and moved on. Still, despite your years and years (and loads and loads) of experience, laundry can present vexing questions. Does a silk shirt absolutely require dry cleaning? Should lingerie always be hand washed? This compendium will help you sort through the frustrations―and, of course, your darks and your whites.