Doing laundry seems like a very simple task. You toss your laundry in the washing machine fill it with water, add soap, and switch the machine on. You may have been washing your clothes for years, but you may not know that there are things you haven’t been doing right – like some that cause fading to your black shirt and pants, white items getting pink or yellowish, and buttons in your shirts getting loose. Here are some common laundry mistakes that you might be doing:
1. Sorting just by color
Most people just sort by color, especially if they plan to wash everything in cold water. By the least, whites are separated from colored garments. But for the best clean, sort items by materials also. Separate different weighted fabrics and heavily soiled items. For instance, you must not wash your denim jeans with your basic light T-shirts.
2. Pouring detergent directly on clothes
Some people pour soap directly into the clothes before filling it up with water. You may be thinking, is there something wrong with that? Actually, there’s a right way to load the machine for best detergent distribution. First, place in the laundry, add water then soap (unless you’re using bleach). If you’re using bleach, then put the water first before the laundry, and put the detergent last.
3. Using too much detergent
If you notice that your clothes aren’t getting clean and fragrant enough, then you might be tempted to use more detergent. However, by using too much soap, stains can be lifted, get carried in the suds, and get scattered into other garments in the wash (or in areas that doesn’t always rinse clean), which ultimately leads to bacteria buildup. Using more detergent won’t help. It might be time to switch to a better quality detergent.
4. Leaving zippers and clips open
Loose zippers can snag other clothing items in the load, so make sure you zip up your garments when putting them on the wash. These loose zippers might also scratch the doors of front-loading washing machines. Also, bra clasps can get tangled with other fabrics if they fly around loosely. Make sure you clip your bras before washing or perhaps get some lingerie bags so they won’t get mixed up with your other clothes.
While zippers need to be fastened, button-down shirts need to be unbuttoned when putting it in the wash. While it’s fastened, it can damage the buttons and rip the button holes, leading to premature poppage. Also, don’t forget the sleeves, the cuffs, and collar buttons.
6. Scrubbing stains
You may think that the best way to get rid of stains is to scrub and rub it, but it can even make a stain worse by causing the soiled area to spread, and getting the stain more absorbed by the fabric. It can also wear away the fabric. Instead of scrubbing, try blotting the stain out and gently dab it from the outside in to get rid of it. Tackle the stain right away after it happens, rather than waiting for the laundry day. Rinse or soak the garment in cold water with detergent or stain remover, then wash the garment as usual.
7. Ignoring “dry clean” labels
Garments are labeled “dry clean” for a reason – they are not meant to be washed in your washing machine. Items that typically has a dry clean label are delicate types of fibers such as linen, silk, suede, and leather. Stick with dry-cleaning these items to preserve their colors and extend the life of these garments. Also, anything with embellishments and structured pieces like blazers must not be washed in your machine.
8. Leaving socks loose
Perhaps you have experienced putting complete pairs of socks in the wash, yet you up with one sock missing. It’s one of life’s greatest mysteries. It’s easy to lose track of your of your socks when you put them in with a giant load of laundry. To save your socks from missing, place them in the washer first before adding everything else. This way, they will less likely to attach to other clothes, which is often the reason why they go missing. Or better yet, use a laundry mesh bag to keep your socks washed together securely.
9. Letting the laundry “rest” between loads
While doing their laundry, some people multitask, like cooking on the side, talking to a friend, flicking through a book or magazine, playing games, or updating Instagram stories. But some of these activities make us forget about the laundry cycle that has just finished, and this makes the laundry mustier and more wrinkled. The best time to get the laundry out of the washing machine is right away. Keep an eye on your laundry and remove the load as soon as the cycle is finished. It’s the same thing with your dryer. Running back-to-back washer and dryer loads is more energy efficient as well.
10. Not cleaning your filter and machine
Don’t disregard your filters, as well as your tubs itself. It’s best to empty your lint filter after every laundry because lint can build up and clog the duct. It’s also beneficial if you’d actually clean out the filter itself at least once a year by scrubbing with a toothbrush dipped in detergent. Clean your washing machine as well. Yes, it cleans your clothes but it needs cleaning too. Washing machines are prone to getting mold, which can pass on to your clothes. Run your washer on the cleaning cycle to clean out the tub once every three months.