Believe it or not, the Wall Street Journal has opinions on laundry best practices too. Check out this article from 2010. Ellen Byron, "The Great American Soap Overdose", Wall Street Journal, Jan 25, 2010
1) Observe garment manufacturer’s instructions for proper care. The manufacturer’s care instructions are your best guide for cleaning your garment. If in doubt read the instructions.
2) Detergent. Be sure to use the amount that is recommended by the soap manufacturer on the container of the product. Most people use too much detergent when washing clothes. This is not good for the clothes, the equipment or the environment.
3) Separate white and dark colors. Mixing white and dark colors in the same washer should be avoided to keep the whites white. This also minimizes problems caused if the darker colors bleed from the fabric.