1. Myth: There's one correct order, so stick to it.
Reality: It's true that order is important when washing clothes, says Jolie Kerr, author of "My Boyfriend Barfed In My Handbag ... And Other Things You Can't Ask Martha," but what really matters is that you use the proper order for your particular machine. The old school water, soap, clothes rule once applied to top-loading washers, but is outdated because the detergent we use today isn't as troublesome. The modern order for top-loaders is usually clothes, water, soap. "Front-loaders, including high-efficiency (HE) machines, have a dispenser for laundry detergent. The thing that's important with these machines is to use the right amount and kind of detergent," Kerr says. "In the case of HE machines, make sure the detergent you're using is HE compatible."