Probably the big part of all your garments is made of cotton (or cotton mixed with artificial fabric like lycra). Cotton has many advantages – it is warm, versatile and relatively cheap. The really good information is that it is also very easy to wash and dry.

Cotton is a durable fabric that can be machine washed, dry-cleaned and machine dried with no bad effects. However, for best results and maximum safety, you should wash it in warm but not boiling water, with normal wash cycle, and tumble dry on low setting.

What about bleaching? Probably it is OK to wash cotton whites with bleach on a hot water setting, but always read the label first. Avoid using bleach if a special finish is applied to the clothing. Also avoid using more than the recommended amount of bleach - it can seriously damage the fibers.

Remember that cotton garments can shrink easily and they are often combined with other fibers. Some of them should be treated with particular care, so check the instructions on the label. Cotton is also prone to wrinkling. You can use a hot iron to remove wrinkles.

And what about cotton towels? You have to treat them differently than regular clothes. When washing and drying, never use a silicone fabric softener because they can act as a water repellants and will diminish the absorbency of the towels. There is also another trick – to keep towels soft and fluffy try to use about half the amount of recommended detergent and then run them through an extra rinse cycle. It's helpful because detergent residue can diminish softness.