Patric Richardson, laundry expert and founder of the blog Laundry Evangelist, joined Washington Post staff writer Jura Koncius last week for the newspaper’s Home Front online chat. Here is an edited excerpt.
Q: Is it better to use washer liquid, powder or pods in the washing machine? Do you recommend diluting detergents?
A: I prefer soap flakes, but use liquid if you don’t have them. I would never use laundry pods because they have way too much detergent for one load. I would use less product instead of diluting; use maybe three tablespoons for a very full load. I never use softeners because I don’t like what they do to clothes. When you use less detergent, you will find your clothes are naturally soft.
Q: How can I keep my white clothes looking bright without using bleach?
A: Use warm water and less detergent. Never use bleach, because it actually yellows white fabric. I like to pretreat the stains with a horsehair brush and some soap, so the soap has a little less to do.
Q: How do I wash my cashmere throw? Once washed, how do I create a flat drying surface?
A: It should be easy to wash; use natural soap, so you get a good rinse. If you want to put it in the