Putting the Stomp Down on Shrinking
Read the washing instructions. In case you are unaware, your clothes actually come with handy-dandy instructions that tell you exactly how to wash them -- go figure. Following these directions is your best shot at not shrinking your clothes and turning your long nightgown into a crop top. Look at the inside of the neckline for a label that states what kind of care your clothes need or inside the seam of the shirt. If you follow the directions, you are likely to keep your clothes the correct size.
Keep things cool. Set your washer on the cold water cycle to prevent your clothes from shrinking. Washing with cool water will also cut down your electricity costs, as you won't have to enlist help from your water heater -- which means you can buy more cute clothes. Hot water often causes fibers to shrink, making your clothes look like they belong on a toddler.
Skip the dryer. The heat from the dryer can also cause certain fabrics to tighten and ultimately shrink. Prevent this from happening by allowing the air to work its magic on your clothes and dry them for you. Lay your garments out on a flat surface or hang them on hangers. In a few hours, your clothes should be nice and dry -- and their original size.
Forget About Fading
Turn your clothes inside-out when placing them in the washer. Performing this nifty little trick will protect the outside -- and most colored -- part of your shirt and will likely prevent fading. Not only will implementing this technique save you money, as you won't have to replace the dull garments, but it allows you to be lazy and not turn your clothes right side out when throwing them in the hamper or on your floor.
Use detergent that is made for dark colors. The soaps in these products are gentle and avoid stripping the dyes of their colors.
Take your garments out of the dryer as soon as they are dry. As with most things in life, with the good comes the bad. Dryers are handy little tools that get your laundry dry in a hurry. However, their intense heat also sucks the life right out of some colors. Put your dryer on the low-heat setting and rescue your clothes are soon as they are just dry.