(Family Features) From messy meals to remnants of craft time creations, parents know that life is full of all kinds of stain-inducing - yet magical - adventures. But the great times should live on through cherished memories, not through permanently stained clothing. When it comes to removing those stains - from mud to markers and everything in between - knowing how to care for your child's garments means you can get out of the laundry room more quickly and focus on the activities your family enjoys.
Aside from letting your washer and dryer do the heavy lifting, there are a few tricks of the trade worth keeping in mind when it comes to protecting clothing items, according to laundry expert Tara Aronson. "There's more to prolonging the life of your garments than simply checking pockets and choosing the right cycle," offers Aronson.
Put these five tips from Aronson to the test to help better care for your garments, so you can spend less time sorting and treating stains, and more time with the family.
- Spot, Treat, and Check - If you spill on a garment, immediately rinse or blot away the stain using cool water to prevent it from setting. Make sure to read fabric care labels and wash accordingly to help clothing last. And before you toss garments into the wash, be sure to double-check the pockets, as well as zip zippers and fasten buttons - this helps cut down on snags, holes, etc.
- Sort, Sort, Sort - Sort laundry by color, wash cycle and water temperature required. Make it easier on yourself and your family by placing bins marked for whites, darks, mediums and delicates in your laundry room.
- Choose the Right Cycle - High efficiency appliances, such as the line of Affinity washers and dryers from Frigidaire, can wash clothing on various cycles. This means you can launder sturdy items such as jeans on the permanent press cycle using warm water, causing less agitation, while washing swimsuits, fine knits and undergarments on the delicates cycle with cold water. The Affinity collection also features quick cycles, allowing you to wash and dry a load in 45 minutes, so you can run a full load while preparing dinner for the family.
- Double-duty - If your clothing is heavily soiled, extra-large, or you want to use the cold water setting, add extra laundry detergent when you start the cycle. Some high efficiency washers feature a sanitize setting, which uses the hottest water available to thoroughly get rid of germs and grime.
- Quick Dry - Dry only full loads - drying only a handful of garments prolongs the drying time by reducing the tumbling. If you have to dry a smaller load, add a few bath towels to help with tumbling. If you're looking to purchase a dryer that can save you time, check out the Frigidaire Affinity Dryer featuring Ready Steam, which reduces wrinkles, can dry a full load in just 25 minutes, and uses 35 percent less energy compared to other machines.
"Remember that properly caring for your garments can help sustain your favorite clothing," says Aronson. To learn more about the Energy Star rated line of Affinity washers and dryers from Frigidaire, visit www.frigidaire.com.
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