Avoid over soaping. ¼ cup of liquid detergent is usually all you need, but check packaging. If using a pod, place in drum NOT the dispenser, and load before adding clothing.
Check clothing and detergent labels. Many modern detergents work best in cold water. Reserve hot water use for whites and dirty linens.
Be sure to clean the lint screen before every load. Add dryer sheets if desired.
Avoid high temperature for fragile materials. Always check clothing care tags if unsure.