While you're sorting (or, ideally, as you're tossing dirty clothes in the hamper), keep an eye out for tough stains. The earlier you can catch and pre-treat a stain, the better; if a badly soiled shirt makes it all the way through the wash cycle and the dryer, the stain might never come out. Keeping all of your stained items together makes it easier to check everything after the wash cycle and ensure that all those dirty spots are gone.
- American Cleaning Institute. "HE Washers and Detergents." (April 3, 2012) http://www.cleaninginstitute.org/assets/1/Page/HE.pdf
- Hinnant, Amanda. "18 Time-Saving Tips." Real Simple. (April 3, 2012) http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/time-management/20-timesaving-tips-tricks-10000001547685/index.html
- Mama's Laundry Talk. "Laundry Basics: How to Sort Clothes." Oct. 25, 2010. (April 3, 2012) http://www.mamaslaundrytalk.com/2010/10/25/laundry-basics-how-to-sort-clothes/
- Martha Stewart Living. "The Wash Cycle." January 2012. (April 3, 2012) http://www.marthastewart.com/267832/the-wash-cycle
HowStuffWorks finds out how often you should wash your coffee cup or mug to avoid germs.