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The Types of Laundry Aids and Equipment

Laundry may be a never-ending task, but new technology can often come to the rescue. Even the hapless bachelor can manage laundry using the many types of soaps, fabric treatments and washing machines available. Cutting-edge laundry machines operate faster, quieter and with less cost to both the environment and your wallet. Machines are hitting the market that use microwaves and electrolysis to clean your laundry.

Washing Machines

Technology makes an age-old chore simpler and easier.
Front-load washers can handle larger loads.

The least expensive type of washer is a regular top-loading machine. This machine performed more poorly than the other types tested by Consumer Reports and is noisy. Front-load washers perform better than top-loaders and can handle larger loads. They cost more but have a better spin cycle, which reduces drying time. Something new on the home laundry scene is no-detergent washing. Such machines wash clothes without detergent by using electrolysis to separate out hydrogen and oxygen from the wash water. The oxygen molecules break down the stains and prevent dirt in the water from getting back into the wash.

Drying Options

Using solar energy in the form of a clothes line to dry laundry requires no electricity or fossil fuel, so it's easier on the environment. Still, many people prefer gas or electric dryers. According to Consumer Reports, clothes dryers with a built-in moisture sensor are gentler on your wash because they do not subject them to more heat than is necessary to get them dry. Moisture sensors also reduce the amount of energy the dryer uses because they cut the dryer off automatically when the clothes are dry.

Stain Removers

Stain removers isolate and lift out stains.

Fabric treatments to remove stains come in several types. Sprays and sticks can be applied directly on the stain and the garment washed in the regular laundry. According to Frostburg State University, most stain removers work by surrounding stains with a surfactant that causes it to be carried away from the fabric into the wash water.

Fabric Softeners

Fabric softeners make your clothes feel nice and get rid of annoying static cling. They do this by coating the fibers of the clothes with a thin film of lubricant chemicals that are electrically conductive. Fabric softeners are available as a liquid that can be added to the wash or as individual dryer sheets. Fabric-softener dryer bars come in an adhesive-backed cartridge that sticks to the inside of the dryer drum. A real advantage of this type fabric softener is that it offers many uses before having to be replaced, and you don’t have to remember to put a dryer sheet in every time you do laundry.