It's a weekly affair for many of us: laundry. To keep your clothes and home furnishings clean and in good condition, don’t:
Rub at a stain
Rubbing at a stain will only make it worse. The action serves to spread the stain on the material. Instead, dab at it with a clean, lint-free cloth. Use a white cloth to make sure that colors won't transfer or bleed. Dabbing absorbs the stain, lifting it off of the material.
Use too much detergent
Aside from the residue it leaves behind, too much detergent can damage cloth. Colors fade much more quickly. Dirt will also cling to excess suds in the washing machine and it can build up in the creases, folds, pockets, and collars. Similarly, don't use too much bleach.
Leave zippers open
Zip up your jeans, jackets, and other zippered apparel before putting them in the washing machine. It's unwise to keep them unzipped, as the metal teeth can get caught in other items in the same load and cause damage to the material.
Unbutton your shirts
As opposed to the zipper, buttons need to be open when in the wash. Keeping your shirts and similar items buttoned up will put undue stress on the buttons, and might cause them to pop or fall off.
Wash items for dry-cleaning
Check the label before dumping your items into the wash. Certain materials like leather and suede, some types of silk, and apparel with hard embellishments or structures -- like blazers, sequined gowns, or pillowcases with wires -- will only get ruined if you don't follow the dry-cleaning rule. Stick to the instructions, limitations, and specifications on the label.
Forget to clean your dryer
Clean your dryer before or after you do your laundry; lint can build up and cause problems. This also keeps your laundry cleaner, after the wash.