NYT Attacks Dirty Clothes

You know the recession is drilling down to deeper levels of the economy when theThe New York Times Home section makes laundry into the Next Big Thing.

To get top tips on the subject, The Times reached out to quinuple threat Cheryl Mendelson, a former philiosopher turned Harvard lawyer, professor, wife, mother, and expert homemaker. Mendelson's secret to bright clothes? Get ready: you have to separate clothes prior to washing!

Unlike your mother, Mendelson suggests you filter your clothes five ways: whites; lights and almost-whites (yellows and whites with prints); brights (reds, oranges and light blues); darks (purples and blues); and blacks and browns.

She also recommends testing to see if a fabric will run by dipping your clothing into a small dish with a tablespoon of detergent with label-recommended hot or cold water.

Bottom line: newbies should follow directions on the label.

We figure if a philosopher/launderer can do it, so can we, so after the jump, you'll find our top money-saving laundry tips-even a couple ideas about wha to do if you're ready to spring for your own little bundle of laundry love: a washing machine that's sized just perfectly for your tiny rental.