The mistakes listed here are common even in the most seasoned of laundry-doers. Even if you’ve been washing clothes your entire life, you might have been causing harmful damage to fabrics all along. And with the mind-numbing consistency of doing laundry time and time again, it’s easy to commit some unnecessary errors while cleaning your clothes. Consumer mistakes might not be the only problem. Be sure your washing machine is high quality and not the actual cause of any issues. Let’s review these tips below to keep clothes fresh, damage-free and looking their best.
Mistake #1 Sort Properly
Sort your clothes! You will thank yourself in the long run. It’s hard to carefully sort clothes when you’re in a rush, but doing so will keep your clothes fresh. Separate really dirty pieces of clothing from clothes that are only lightly soiled. It’s also good to sort abrasive or heavy fabrics like jeans from more delicate pieces. Mini-tip: Turn denim inside out, gently wash in cold water and dry at low temperatures. You don’t want your sheets to twist either. Wash sets separately instead of everything at once. It’s a good idea to include smaller items like underwear with the load.
Mistake #2 Detergent
Never put detergent directly on top of your clothes. There’s a proper way to load the washing machine. Distributing the detergent is key. This is the most important element when it comes to clean clothes. The best way to ensure detergent distribution, is to place laundry in first, include water and then add soap. This changes when using bleach. Putting bleach in loads means that you first add water, laundry and then soap.
Mistake #3 Don’t Misuse Your Dryer
Air-drying is almost always your best bet. You save energy and of course it’s much gentler on clothing, specifically stretchy clothes like gym wear or yoga pants. However, life doesn’t always permit that luxury of time. So, whenever you do decide to tumble-dry, it’s imperative that you don’t overload the dryer or keep clothes inside for too long. Fabrics that are over-dried are subject to irreversible harm. Natural fibers like wool, cotton and linen can be damaged if too much moisture is removed.
Mistake #4 Zippers Should Stay Closed
Ever wonder why clothes washed with jeans sometimes come out with small tears and snags? This might be due to zippers being left open. Be sure that they are zipped all the way up before you throw them in the washer or dryer. This same problem could occur with unclipped bras. The clip part can tug on fabrics or even damage the drum if they fling around loosely. One easy solution is purchasing a lingerie bag or an old pillowcase to place them inside.
Mistake #5 Buttons Should Not be Fastened
Zippers stay fastened. Buttons do not. Washing a button down shirt with the buttons fastened is a surefire way to rip the buttons from their holes. And not just the center buttons. The collar and cuff buttons are included in this rule.
Mistake #6 Do the Bleed Test
Are you worried about that brightly colored shirt you just bought? Try this test to find out what will happen before you make a mess. Lightly wet a small spot, and then blot it with a cloth to see if the dye bleeds. Do this in a discreet spot.
Mistake #7 Don’t Scrub Stains
You might believe the best method to treat a stain is to scrub it as hard as you can with detergent. No matter how hard you scrub, this is not the best course of action. It might even result in the stain spreading. Instead of doing that, gently rub the stain, making sure to work from the outside toward the center. The earlier you treat it, the more likely it is to go away.