Always wash in cold water. Pretreat any spots. Washing in cold water saves on energy bill and keeps clothes from fading. Now that summer has arrived, use a clothes line for most of your laundry. This will save on your energy bill and the clothes smell great.
My appliance repair guy told me that the water has to be warm in order for the soap to activate. I also found an environmentally conscience laundry detergent, which is concentrated - you use less and your clothes last a lot longer. I've only been using now for a few months, but I noticed on some of my new t-shirts that they have not faded at all. A friend of mine has been using it for years and says that clothes that used to only last about 6 months now last at least a year. http://www.saferforyourhome.com/
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