For all the laundry we’ve done, it may seem surprising we still have how-to questions. But as fabrics and washing machines advance, there’s no doubt the way we do laundry changes, too. So, if you’re looking for a laundry hack or you’re wondering how to save your favorite, now shrunken sweater, read on. Our team of laundry experts is here to provide answers to your frequently asked laundry questions.

Why Do Clothes Still Smell After Washing Them? 

Sometimes you can’t beat the fresh scent that comes from a clean load of laundry. But when your clothes come out smelling anything but fresh, you can’t help but wonder why. There are many things that can cause your laundry to smell, including bacteria buildup in the washer, how clothes are dried, and even the type and amount of detergent used. Our tips on what you can do if clothes smell after washing will get your laundry back to smelling great in no time.

Should I Use Hot or Cold Water to Wash Laundry?

While it’s always best to follow the fabric care label, there are general rules to follow when washing certain fabric types. Wool, flannel and denim are typically safe to wash in cold water, while cotton and polyester can handle warmer or hot temperatures. See our no more guesswork guide to water temperature for more in-depth insights.

What Do I Do if I Accidentally Shrunk My Clothes? 

From too-short jeans to doll-sized sweaters, accidentally shrinking clothes has happened to us all. The next time you accidentally shrink your favored items, don’t panic. Try this fix instead:

  1. Soak the item for 30 minutes in a mixture of lukewarm water and gentle shampoo or hair conditioner. 
  2. Gently remove water from the clothing and lay flat on a towel.
  3. Roll the towel, with the clothing inside, while patting it to remove excess water.
  4. Lay clothing on a dry towel, carefully stretching it back to its original size and let dry.

Is it Necessary to Pre-Sort Laundry? 

By the time you’re on your third load of laundry for the day, it may be tempting to look for some time-saving shortcuts. There are plenty of laundry tips that can save you time, but tossing an unsorted hamper into the washer shouldn’t be on your list. Washing darks, lights and multiple fabric types together might seem like a good idea, but often that can lead to dye transfer, snags, shrinkage and pilling. Spare yourself from future regret and opt for other time-saving hacks.

When Should I Pre-Soak Clothes in the Washer?

Pre-soaking is a great way to help loosen stains, even if they’re set in. If your washing machine has a pre-soak cycle, simply add your items and detergent—your machine will do the rest. If your washer doesn’t have a pre-soak cycle, use a bucket or tub. If you want to up your deep-cleaning laundry game, try the trend people have been raving about—laundry stripping

Don’t make laundry more difficult with guesswork. Knowing the answers to common laundry questions means smooth sailing for all your laundry days ahead.