The Biggest Laundry Mistake You Should Avoid NOW
There are two ways to do laundry: sorting through your clothes and matching the washing machine cycle to the load, and tossing all the clothes in and praying that everything will be okay. And, you know very well, which is the right way.
Doing laundry seems like an easy task; after all, you handle it regularly. But the truth is that many people make mistakes that can damage the fabric or the washer-dryer.
For instance, if your dry clothes come out all wrinkly, it could be because you crammed them all to fit into one single load. And, things can be worse before you decide to bite the bullet and make some changes.
Common laundry mistake people make
If you are someone who rushes through laundry, then you may be making these mistakes:
Washing a dry clean item
The dry clean instructions, more often than not, mean handle with care. For natural fibers, silk, and linen, you can hand-wash them and let dry in the air.
First, soak a cotton swab in mild detergent and dab on a hidden seam to check for colorfastness. If the dye comes off even a bit, it should be dry cleaned. Otherwise, go ahead and dunk it in soapy water or throw it in the washing machine.
But do not extend the same process to suede or leather, or you may end up wearing a jacket two sizes too small. Also, stick with dry-cleaning for fitted pieces like blazers, silk dupioni, or anything with embellishments. These should be attended to by laundry professionals who provide specialized care for specific items.
Loading too much laundry
Your washing machine may be huge to look at and have a lot of room to fill. But stuffing it with dirty clothes means there is no space for them to move freely while rinsing. Ideally, you should be able to fit in two fists easily so that the load can be properly washed.
Likewise, while drying, pay attention to the cool-down period of the dryer. Donâ€™t pack it in with laundry- it will cause wrinkles. Besides, it will put a strain on the shock absorbers. So, if your dryer starts to shake and dance whenever you use it, check the load.
Also, try folding the clothes when they are still dry. If you leave them in the basket for too long, they may develop creases and spoil the look when you next wear them.
Too much detergent or bleach
You may want your clothes to be spot-free and smell fresh, but that does not mean you should down a bottle of detergent into the washer. Excess suds can get trapped in areas like under the collar and lead to bacteria growth.
Use half of the detergent you regularly put in, and if the clothes do not turn up as clean as you would want, gradually increase the amount. However, if you have a hard water supply, you may need to use more detergent than usual. Check the manufacturerâ€™s recommendations for the same.
Similarly, use bleach only sparingly, reserving it for stubborn stains or smells. It makes the fabric weaker and puts holes in your clothes or turns your whites into yellows.
When you do use bleach, mix it thoroughly with water before adding it to the laundry. Alternatively, before doing the laundry, you can boil water with a few lemon slices and soak stained tees, socks, or underwear for a few minutes.
Over scrubbing the stains
Rubbing furiously on the stained spot may actually backfire and make matters worse. It will also spread the stain and make it more visible. Especially with mud, red wine, and other stains, it is crucial to treat them as soon as possible.
But scrubbing is not the way to do it. Use a white cloth that does not transfer color. Dab and blot the stain from the outside to keep it contained. Put it to wash immediately instead of waiting for the laundry day.
Leaving zippers and buttons incorrectly
Leaving the shirts and blouses buttoned-up may seem like a great idea. You may think that it preserves the structure of the shirts, but it does the opposite.
Buttons and buttonholes undergo stress, which makes them pop prematurely. Washing them buttoned-up will loosen the threads and the fabric stretches out.
Most people do the exact opposite of their zippers - they leave them open. Metal teeth on the unzipped pieces can snag on delicate items and damage them when they are in the same load.
So, always remember to unbutton and completely zip your clothes before chucking them into the laundry hamper.
Using the wrong heat level on your dryer can shrink the clothes or tear them. They become wrinkly and cause static â€” the best way to avoid these issues to put the clothes in the dryer at low temperature.
Also, when you remove the laid from the washer, shake them to entangle. Separate the woolens, lightweight items, heavy cotton towels, etc. before putting them into the dryer in different loads.
Do not put partially dry clothes along with wet items. It will cause uneven drying. Besides, placing the dryer in a warm area can speed up the process.
Sorting clothes wrong
You may know about the rule about sorting your laundry by color. This is because dark-colored garments can bleed through your whites and damage the items.
But that is not all. You should separate them by texture, weight, stain level, and more. As difficult as it is to decipher the hieroglyphs on the machine, they are there to let you know which wash cycle is preferable for different clothes.
The easiest way to do this and remember for every time you do your laundry is to sort the clothes by fabric - woolens, cotton, delicates, everyday clothes, denim, and so on. Keeping them separate will ensure their longevity.
Leaving the socks loose
One complaint people who are too busy to get to laundry in time may have is that their washing machine is eating their socks. It seems silly to say this, but their socks disappear without a trace.
When you throw in a bunch of socks with other garments, they play hide-and-seek. You will be left searching for them while they hitch a ride on your giant load of laundry to the dryer.
Instead of making them sock orphans, grab them, and secure them in a clean pillowcase or a bag before putting them in the wash.
Resting the dryer between loads
Waiting a while before putting in the next load into the dryer wastes a lot of power. Instead, do continuous laundry cycles and take advantage of the previous drying cycleâ€™s retained heat.
This is a smart and efficient way to save energy and reduce strain on the dryer. The dryer should also not be stuck in a narrow area like a broom closet. It should have space to relieve the heat. Also, make sure that the dryer is on level ground to achieve maximum performance.
Not cleaning your dryer
Lint can build-up and clog the ducts with time. It can turn into a fire hazard. If the dryer takes an hour or more to dry an average load, it is a sure sign that there is a clog.
Clean the lint trap by removing it and using an old toothbrush and detergent. Give it a gentle scrub and air dry before fixing it back.
Emptying the lint filter after every use is not enough. You should also clean the dryer duct at least once a year to prevent dryer fires.
Using dryer sheets
Using dryer sheets may be the biggest laundry mistake you can ever make. They contain harmful chemical, fatty, or stearic acids linked to cancer. It may seem like when you use them, your clothes smell fresh and feel softer, but the heat melts these chemicals and attaches them to the fabric.
With every load, the lint trap and your clothes attract more residue, and the air holes in the machine get clogged. The trapped lint breeds bacteria and mold, endangering the health of the whole family. Lint and heat are a deadly combo and a potential fire hazard.
Even those that wear the clothes feel static and make fire-resistant garments less effective. Likewise, when washing bath towels, kitchen towels, cleaning cloths, and microfiber, you must avoid dryer sheets to preserve their performance.
Instead of using dryer sheets, you can:
Air dry: This is a natural way of doing things and not at all harmful. You can dry certain garments in the shade if the sunâ€™s rays can damage them.
Fabric softener: There are many issues to this solution, too. But the key is to know which product and how much amount to use.
Aluminum foil: These reusable dryer balls keep static off your clothes and save your money. They are also nontoxic.
Trust the experts with your laundry needs
Most people keep making one or more of these laundry mistakes unknowingly. But some may not have the time to check off all the boxes. Others may simply lack a washing machine at home and make trips to the local laundromat.
But you can also get laundry pickup and delivery at your doorstep. Let the experts handle your washing requirements by using Hammerapp.