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Why you're probably washing your clothes wrong

Published: Saturday, October 03, 2015 @ 4:19 AM
Updated: Saturday, October 03, 2015 @ 4:19 AM

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When it comes to best practices for washing clothes, there are some traditional rules of thumb. According to some recent insight from the experts over at Consumer Reports, however, the rules have changed.

With all the different options for detergents and machines available today, many people have forgotten how water temperature impacts the effectiveness of washing clothes.

Washing in cold water is a much more effective option than it used to be, according to Consumer Reports experts. Traditionally, detergents required higher water temperatures in order for them to be most effective.

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That's no longer the case. Detergents are made differently today, in a way that allows them to be more effective at lower temperatures.

Today, “detergents are formulated with enzymes that kick into action even at 60 degrees Fahrenheit,” says Pat Slaven, a chemical engineer who has worked as a detergent tester for Consumer Reports for 10 years. 

So what does that mean exactly?

Cold water works just fine

You can wash your clothes on a cold cycle and the detergent will do its job and clean your clothes just fine. The only exception is for people who live in areas where tap water is typically colder -- places like Maine and Alaska, where tap water can run at temperatures of around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. So if you're one of those people, experts says it's better to have a newer machine "that automatically adds some hot water to your cold cycle or your detergent won’t dissolve properly."

If you're trying to remove a stain, cold water is still a better option, according to the experts. Once the water temperature reaches above 75 degrees, detergents becomes less effective, and the heat can actually help stains set into the clothing. Hotter water can also damage some fabrics and colors.

When to use hot water

Cold water will clean dirty clothes just fine, but it won't sanitize them. And sanitizing clothes and other items is necessary in certain situations, for example, if someone in your home is sick -- and potentially contagious -- or if you use reusable diapers.

In order to properly sanitize sheets, clothes and items like cloth diapers, you need to use very, very hot water. Even the warm and hot cycle settings on new washers don't use water that's hot enough.

How to properly sanitize laundry

According to Consumer Reports experts, “As long as you’re using a decent detergent and a decent machine, almost anything washed in water at 65 degrees Fahrenheit is fine."

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Americans binge 17 billion drinks a year, CDC estimates

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 7:44 AM

Parents Dining With Kids Limited To One Alcoholic Beverage At NY Restaurant

College students have a reputation for binge drinking, but it’s not just them. Americans drink massive amounts of alcoholic beverages, according to a new report

>> On Even one drink per day can increase your risk of cancer, study warns

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study, published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, to determine how much booze United States citizens down. 

To do so, they examined information from the CDC’s 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which included self-reported data on individuals’ liquor consumption habits over 30 days. They calculated the annual binge drinking by “multiplying the estimated total number of binge drinking episodes among binge drinkers by the average largest number of drinks consumed per episode,” the authors wrote. 

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After analyzing the results, they found the Americans guzzled 17 billion drinks in 2015. That equals 470 total binge drinks per binge drinker.

“This study shows that binge drinkers are consuming a huge number of drinks per year, greatly increasing their chances of harming themselves and others,” co-author Robert Brewer said in a statement.

>> On Do you drink too much? Here's what a new study says

The prevalence of binge drinking was more common among young adults ages 18-34, but more than half of the binge drinks consumed annually were by adults 35 and older.

Furthermore, about 80 percent of the drinks were consumed by men. And those who made less than $25,000 a year and had educational levels less than high school drank “substantially more” a year than those with higher incomes and educational levels. 

The researchers said the results “show the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to prevent binge drinking, focusing on reducing both the number of times people binge drink and the amount they drink when they binge.”

>> On Alcohol better than exercise to live past 90, study says

With their findings, the researchers hope to implement prevention tactics such as reducing the number of alcohol outlets in a geographic area and limiting the days and hours of sale.

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Woman buys $600 worth of Girl Scout cookies, has Scouts give them out free to strangers

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 1:56 AM

The History of Girl Scouts

A Seattle Girl Scout troop is ending the cookie season on a sweet note.

KIRO-TV's Siemny Kim shows us how their cookies inspired strangers to pay it forward.

The annual cookie sale gives Girl Scouts a lesson in business.

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For this troop, it's also given them a lesson in kindness.

“At first, I was really surprised. I didn’t know what to do,” Girl Scout Norah Wall said. 

Norah Wall and Ruthie Bridgman had set up outside of a Grocery Outlet store in Seattle's Madrona neighborhood when a good Samaritan approached their booth.

>> Dunkin' Donuts introducing Girl Scout Cookie-flavored coffees

“I remember this lady coming up and she was like, ‘Hey, if I buy all these cookies, will you hand them out to everyone that comes out of the store?’” Ruthie said. “And we were like, ‘Yeah, I guess.’”

The woman spent more than $600.

Norah and Ruthie even had a hard time giving the cookies away.

“Some people just didn't believe that somebody would actually do that,” Norah said. 

Incredibly, that random act of kindness didn't end there.

It made its way inside the Grocery Outlet, where Cami Nearhoff is a cashier.

“We had a lady in my line – people in front, people in back – and she bought all of their groceries,” Nearhoff said.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Nearhoff said people paid it forward all day.

“All day it just seemed like people were doing little things. So I think it kind of inspired people to give back to each other. Whether it was a dollar, someone was short 6 cents – all day long it was happening. It was just crazy. Really crazy day,” Nearhoff said.

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This troop is excited knowing their cookies could inspire such kindness. 

“I think it's really cool, and it made me so happy that I was able to be a part of this,” Ruthie said.

The troop is raising money to attend Girl Scout camp this year.

If you're still looking for the sweet treats, you'd better hurry. Sunday is the last day of cookie sales.

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Florida man going blind sees beach for last time

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 1:47 PM

A Florida man who is going blind got to see the beach for the last time.
A Florida man who is going blind got to see the beach for the last time.(

Woody Parker and his wife, Genie, arrived at Fernandina Beach in style.

Woody has glaucoma, an eye disease that causes blindness, and he’s on the verge of losing the sight he has left.

Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale Senior Living decided to help make Woody’s dream come true before he goes blind, ActionNewsJax reported.

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He wanted to see the beach with his wife one last time.

“I love it. I love the beach,” Woody said.

He and his wife made their way down closer to the water.

“There’s nothing like the sound of the beach with the waves crashing,” said Woody.

“Always special to be anywhere with him, especially here. We enjoy it,” Genie said.

Hand in hand, they relaxed on the beach.

“It’s just real cozy. There’s just something about it that’s just different,” Woody told ActionNewsJax.

Woody says even though he may lose his sight, it won’t stop him from coming to the beach if he has another chance.

“Of course, I won’t be able to see the changes, but I’ll be able to feel them,” he said.

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Couple married 72 years die 10 hours apart

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 3:28 PM

A stock image of wedding rings.
Rodrigo Valladares/Freeimages
A stock image of wedding rings.(Rodrigo Valladares/Freeimages)

Malcolm and Betty Clynch never did anything apart, their family said. That proved to be true even in death.

The Texas couple married in 1945 when they were teenagers, WFAA reported. But soon the newlyweds were separated for the only time in their lives, while Malcolm served in the Army. Love letters shared by the family illustrate the couple's deep love and devotion to one another. Malcolm signed each love letter with: "I'll always love only you."

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That love continued for the rest of their lives, as they raised a family and had long careers. After 72 years of marriage, Malcolm and Betty, both 90, were in failing health. Betty had Alzheimer's disease and Malcolm had heart issues, the family told WFAA.

The family believes that Malcolm felt like he had to die first, to show Betty the way. Malcolm did die first, at a Fort Worth assisted living facility. Betty followed him in death just 10 hours later, family told WFAA.

The family held a double funeral for the couple on Monday.

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