There is a lot more to doing laundry than you might think. If you think you know how to do laundry, you might be surprised at what home experts have to say. How you wash your clothes and household items, what soap you choose, what temperature you wash your items at and many other factors can have an impact on the life of your clothes and bedding. The type of washer that you have can also play a role in how long your beloved clothes and other items last. Check out some of these tips from home experts and learn how to do laundry the right way:

Don’t overfill the washer: This is the number one mistake that people make when doing laundry. You should only fill your washer about three quarters of the way full per load. If you have a front loading washer you should only fill it about halfway. If you overstuff the machine the clothes and other items don’t agitate properly, and they won’t get as clean. Even though doing laundry can be a pain, you are better off doing more loads with less clothes in each load.

Sort your clothes: You already know you need to separate lights and darks. But the more you sort your clothes, the better off the results will be according to home experts. Separate whites from other light colors and wash them separately. Also separate your clothing and household items by fabric type. Wash t-shirts together and separate from towels, for example. Taking the time to sort your clothing more efficiently can cause a big difference in how long your clothes last and how clean they get.

Use a natural soap: Chemical filled detergents with heavy scents and lots of additives like bleach or softener can destroy your clothes very quickly. Make sure that you always wash laundry with a natural soap that has no chemical additives and no fragrances. You don’t need to use harsh soap to wash your clothes. And don’t use a lot of soap. It doesn’t take much detergent to clean a load of laundry. When you use too much detergent, the leftover detergent gets on the clothes and can cause the fabric to wear out over time. Use about half of the amount of recommended soap to start with and add a little more if you need some extra cleaning power. You will probably be surprised at how little detergent you need to get your laundry clean!