Home Help: Faster laundry

Staff reports

Here are four tips to help speed up laundry time while protecting clothes from damage:

1. If you spill on a garment, immediately rinse or blot away the stain using cool water to prevent it from setting. Make sure to read fabric care labels, and wash accordingly to help clothing last. And before you toss garments into the wash, be sure to double-check the pockets, as well as zip zippers and fasten buttons –– this helps cut down on snags, holes, etc.

2. Sort laundry by color, wash cycle and water temperature required. Make it easier on yourself and your family by placing bins marked for whites, darks, mediums and delicates in your laundry room. 

3. If your clothing is heavily soiled, extra-large or you want to use the cold-water setting, add extra laundry detergent when you start the cycle. Some high-efficiency washers feature a sanitize setting, which uses the hottest water available to thoroughly get rid of germs and grime.

4. Dry only full loads. Drying only a handful of garments prolongs the drying time by reducing the tumbling. If you have to dry a smaller load, add a few bath towels to help with tumbling.

-- Frigidaire/ Family Features

Cleaning Tip: Remove hard-water scale

To remove hard-water scale or mildew on shower and faucet heads, soak them in vinegar. If the head isn't removable, fill a plastic bag with vinegar and position it over the faucet, taping the bag shut to let it soak.

-- HGTV/ Scripps Howard News Service

Home-Selling Tip: Stay detached

Selling a home can be an emotional experience when you have a lot more than money invested in it. But detachment is something you should strive for, especially when the market favors buyers. To be a successful seller, put yourself in the buyer's shoes.

-- FrontDoor.com

Did You Know …

Existing home sales declined 5.4 percent in June from May, but they are 4.5 percent higher than 2011 numbers. -- Realtor.org

Going Green: Does your pet eat local?

The trend of eating locally grown ingredients spill into the pet world, with options of purchasing pet food from locally sources at co-ops, having it delivered via Community Supported Agriculture programs or making it at home with local ingredients. Pay attention to what you feed your pet, and see if you can make it more local.

-- Eath911.com

Garden Guide: Watering during drought

Any newly planted trees, shrubs or evergreens will need to be watered during dry periods like droughts at the base of the plant outwards towards the edge of the planting hole. Shrubs will need to be watered for at least two growing seasons and trees based on trunk diameter. Typically, one year of transplant care for every inch of trunk diameter is a good guideline, but individual home landscape situations will need to be considered.

-- University of Illinois Extension

GateHouse News Service