Keep Your Laundry Looking and Smelling Great All Summer Long

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Never underestimate the power of scent. When you first open that dryer door or pull a warm, freshly laundered shirt over your head, you feel good, confident, clean and ready to face the day. You might not consciously think it, but you feel it. But in summer, long days outdoors result in frequent clothing changes and towel usage, creating “loads” more smelly laundry than usual.

Wondering how to make your favorite clothes stay bright and last longer? Want those sheets smelling great? Here’s some tips!

• Prep your clothes. Separating colors is a no-brainer, but be sure to secure clothing as well. Zip zippers, attach Velcro and fasten snaps to avoid snags and hang-ups that can ruin clothing. Check all pockets too—many cell phones and important papers have found a watery grave when accidentally run through the wash.

• Choose a scent. By using the right scent from start to finish, you’ll give your laundry a long-lasting boost of freshness and avoid cocktailing scents that can compete.

• Adjust your water temperature. Use the right water temperature for the soil level and the type of garments you’re washing. Use hot water to remove germs and heavy soil (though some fabrics are too delicate for hot and can bleed, so check the label carefully), warm water for good cleaning action without much wrinkling or fading, and cold water for delicate items or bright colors that might run or fade, dulling your whites.

• Choose the right detergent. Powders sometimes fail to dissolve in cooler water temperatures and pods can get really expensive. Make sure you read the label to get the right temperature.

• Boost softness. Use fabric softeners and dryer sheets to cut laundry time and make your laundry irresistibly soft and great-smelling. Fabric softeners also help keep clothes wrinkle- and static-free and help protect your clothing from wear and tear, lengthening garment life.

The summer can be the trickiest time of year to keep garments looking and smelling their best. With a few smart strategies, you can ensure clothes stay bright and fresh all season.