Hamper keeps you in sorts

The three-compartment hamper tote from the Container Store ($39.99) helps manage laundry chaos.

With one slot for colors, another for darks and another for whites, there's no excuse for family members to not presort. Good for use in the laundry room, dorm room or apartments.

Available as shown in kiwi, or in white with pictures of T-shirts to represent color ranges.

The Container Store also sells a matching kiwi-colored bin labeled for dry-cleaning so you can stash it out of the way until you're ready to grab it on the way out the door.


Laundry drop packets

There's another entry in the handy packet cleaner format: Cot'nWash Inc. has developed Dropps, which are dissolvable, organic and premeasured for standard and high-efficiency machines.

You won't see many suds from the packets, which are biodegradable, and free of enzymes, phosphates and chlorine. It's available scent-free. The detergent can be used for all colors, temperatures and fabrics.

The product is available in many area Target and Wal-Mart stores. Or buy it online at www.dropps.com.

Sixty of the small packs, each enough for a washload, sell for $29.99 online.

No more measuring messy liquid detergents. And apartment dwellers can quit lugging laundry jugs to the laundry room.


Detergent cleanses microfiber

There's a dirty little secret about microfiber workout clothes: They don't always smell so nice, even after you've washed them.

A new laundry detergent is formulated to target that problem.

Win High Performance Detergent uses oxidization to remove the bacteria and sweat that get trapped in the microfibers, causing the clothing to retain a musty odor. The detergent also rejuvenates the fabric's moisture-wicking properties, the manufacturer says.

Win can be used in traditional and high-efficiency washing machines or for hand washing. It's safe for all colors and fabrics.

The detergent is available at specialty sports retailers including Dick's Sporting Goods, and it can be ordered at www.windetergent.com. Suggested retail price is $6.99 for a 21-ounce bottle.


Tool drives out dryer lint

Cleaning your dryer vent isn't a neat-freak housekeeping detail. It's a potential lifesaver.

And now there's a tool to make the job easier.

The LintEater is a rotary brush on a flexible rod that can be attached to a cordless drill and snaked through the vent. The tool scours out built-up lint that can block airflow, causing a dryer to overheat and possibly catch fire -- not to mention making your dryer work less efficiently.

(The use of a cordless drill is important because its clutch can be adjusted to a lower torque so the tool won't break through the duct or vent if it encounters a blockage.)

The LintEater sells for about $30. An extension kit is available for vents longer than 12 feet.

The tool is available at Lowe's, Ace, True Value and other hardware stores, and online at the Brookstone and SmartHome websites.