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Washer MaintenanceClean dirt and lint from inside your washing machine. Wipe the interior with a clean, damp cloth, then run a short hot wash cycle with detergent; rinse the empty machine with a plain water cycle. If the machine is exceptionally dirty, fill it with a disinfecting solution: 3/4 cup chlorine bleach and 1 tablespoon powdered detergent for every gallon of warm water. Let it sit for a few minutes, then drain and rinse a few times.
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Dryer MaintenancePrevent lint buildup in and around your clothes dryer; it can cause the machine to overheat. Clean the screen or filter after every use. While the dryer is running, check that exhaust is coming out of its external vent. If not, you may have to disconnect the exhaust duct to remove blockage. Be sure to remove accumulated lint from behind the dryer.
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Removing Grass StainsRemove grass stains from sports uniforms and gardening clothes by pretreating them: Mix equal parts liquid detergent and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to the stained area (don't wait more than two days before doing so), and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Use an old toothbrush to work the solution into the fabric and to loosen the stain, then wash item.
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Sorting StationCreate a laundry-sorting station. Use separate bins for lights, darks, and dry-clean-only garments and you'll save time and avoid extra hassle on wash day.
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Mend ClothingSet aside time to perform simple repairs, such as replacing buttons, fixing hems, or patching holes. Use mercerized thread, which glides easily and is more durable than regular thread.
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Shoe-Care KitProtect shoes and keep them looking new with a well-stocked shoe-maintenance kit. Keep leather cleaner, wax-based polish, flannel buffing cloth, and leather conditioner in a resealable plastic container. For suede shoes, a suede stone and brass bristle brush come in handy.
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Closet SpacePrevent clothes from piling up on furniture by making sure you have sufficient hanging rods and shelf space. Add a light fixture if needed.
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Give Order to ClosetsGet an orderly wardrobe by sorting items by type and color so they're easy to find. Do a thorough clearing once a season.
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Get a Seasonal WardrobeStart sorting and washing clothes that are out of season and organize closets. Discard worn items, give away any that no longer fit, and pack the rest for storage. Bring out winter clothes and inspect them. Check for evidence of moths; if you find any, immediately wash all items stored in that spot. You can stitch small holes closed in knit garments, but large holes may require professional reweaving.
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