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Expert tips to get your laundry clean: Consumer Reports

Many laundry hacks shared online are promising cleaner clothes, but some of these tips and tricks could actually ruin your clothes or wreck your washer and dryer.

Consumer Reports laundry expert Rich Handel shared some advice with CTV News Toronto, for whether you're a seasoned pro or a rookie around the washing machine.

"I am the person that does the laundry at home. My general advice is always check your washer's manual and look at the care labels on your clothes," Handel said.

Handel said to only use a dedicated laundry detergent in your washing machine and never use vinegar, liquid soap or dish detergent.

He said that vinegar can damage the rubber seals and hoses in some washing machines. With dish soap, Handel said, "You'll just end up with a huge sudsy mess in your machine."

Instead, add the correct amount of detergent, which is about 1.5 ounces or three tablespoons. Too much can leave a residue on your clothes and your machine, reducing its cleaning capabilities.

Handel stressed it is crucial to always separate your lights from darks.

"You always wash your whites together, but if you have a white item that's stained, do that separately, pre-clean it," said Handel.

Keep heavy fabrics separate from lightweight materials because you don't want your jeans beating up your delicates and always pre-treat stains.

"Whenever you're dealing with a stain, pre-treat it, put it in the wash. Check it when it comes out of the wash. Make sure you remove all of the stains because if you put it in the dryer, it will set that stain, making it very difficult to remove," Handel said.

To save on money, Handel says to use laundry detergent to pre-treat stains and skip fabric softener. Fabric softener can leave a layer of residue on your clothes, irritate sensitive skin and reduce the absorption of your towels.

Handel also said to think twice about using bleach as it's a harsh chemical that can break down fabrics over time. He advises an oxidizing detergent for your whites instead. Top Stories

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