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10 Laundry Mistakes You’re Probably Making
Until someone comes up with the concept of self-washing laundry or disposable fashion, washing laundry is something most people will continue to dread. There’s always that one aspect of laundry a person dislikes the most. Perhaps your least favorite thing to do is sort the dirty laundry because you don’t like touching our family’s dirty undergarments.
Perhaps you don’t love touching the wet laundry that comes out of the washing machining as it’s transferred into the dryer. Or maybe you are no fan of putting laundry away or folding it. Wherever you stand on laundry, you’re making some mistakes here and there it’s time to rectify.
Mistake: Not Using the Correct Amount of Detergent
You might think you can eye it, but you can’t. There are two levels of this laundry mistake. If you think eyeballing your laundry detergent is a good idea, what happens if you’re not good at it and you use too little? It’s not going to offer your clothes the level of cleanliness they deserve. If you use too much, you’re just wasting it. Your clothes do not receive a better wash when you use more than the recommended amount of detergent.
Additionally, not all detergent requires the same amount. If you switch them up based on sale prices, where you shop, or any other reason, like the best smelling detergent, you might think you know how much to use based on your prior one. However, you might use too much or too little of your new detergent. Read the instructions and follow the instructions.
Mistake: Vigorously Rubbing Tough Stains
It’s a natural desire to want to scrub things that made a mess all over your clothes. You scrub the floors when there is a sticky mess or a spill on them, so why wouldn’t you take the same amount of time to also scrub your clothes when the kid spill something or you accidentally get lipstick all over your shirt when you put it on in the morning?
If you’re scrubbing those stains furiously, you’re only setting them in faster and more efficiently. You’re not helping remove the stains. You’re just putting them further into the fabric. The best way to rid your clothes of tough stains is with gentle rubbing and a patient attitude. Dabbing is the best option.
Mistake: Leaving Zippers Undone
Be honest about this. Do you ever think to zip up those jackets or those jeans when you toss them into the laundry? Most people don’t, and you might not even realize what a big mistake you’re making. It might not happen to you yet, but it might happen to you eventually. Zipper teeth are horrible at snagging things in the wash when they are all moving furiously around the machine.
The best way to prevent snags is to zip your zippers up to the top. If you don’t want to do it while you’re sorting your laundry, ask your family to make it a habit to take off their jeans and jackets, rezip them, and then place them in the laundry. It could save your delicate items.
Mistake: Not Cleaning Your Dryer
Your dryer needs a good cleaning every now and again, and you must pay special attention to the vent. Dryer vents are known fire starters. If you’re not taking the time to clean the vents regularly, you might find you’re causing serious problems at home. The other thing you must do is clean the lint tray each time you use your dryer. Don’t just take the lint out of the tray, either. Remove the tray from its position and clean under it and around it.
You should also take time every few months to fun a white cloth and some soap and water mixture along the inside of your dryer to remove tough stains, dirt, and other loose debris that make prevent your clothes from becoming really clean.
Mistake: Not Cleaning Your Washing Machine
Cleaning your washing machine almost seems as silly as cleaning your dishwasher, doesn’t it? Those items are used several times a week or even every day to clean things, so you’d think they’d be pretty clean on their own. Unfortunately, this is just not the case. These are dirty items, and they’re in need of a good cleaning.
Take time every few months to do a load of nothing in the washing machine. Make sure it is turned on to use the hot water and throw some white vinegar in there. This helps loosen dirt and other nasty things from inside the washing machine. When it’s done the washing, clean out the washing machine with a clean towel to remove anything else. Do one more load of nothing, this time using nothing but the hot water. Think of it as a rinse cycle for the machine.
Mistake: Not Washing Jeans Alone the First Time
Jeans are a great invention, but they can ruin your clothes. The dye used to turn them that great shade of dark blue is known to bleed, and you don’t want everything you own turning a shade of blue when you wash those new jeans the first time. Is it a good idea to wash small loads consisting of only one thing? No, it’s not particularly great, but it won’t hurt every so often when you don’t want to ruin everything else. You can try handwashing, but it’s not always effective when you’re talking about washing new jeans.
Mistake: Under or Over-Filling the Machine
Your washing machine has some instructions with it, and you should probably read those. They’re good instructions created by the people who made the machine, so they do offer good advice. This advice touches on how much or how little you should put in the washing machine. The general rule is overstuffing it is not only dangerous, but it’s not cleaning much of anything. You also shouldn’t spend much time washing only one or two items, but it’s less of a problem when you need to do just that.
Your washing machine does have a capacity, and you must learn what that limit is. It’s the best way to prolong the life of your machine, and it’s the best way to ensure you’re not half washing your clothes. No one wants to get all the laundry done in one load only to realize they didn’t get any actual laundry washed.
Mistake: Not Sorting Laundry
Sorting is so important, and so many people skip this step. You can’t bleach colors, and colors can turn your whites less than white. You might not think washing your towels and your jeans together is a problem, but it’s also not great. Think of it this way. Would you rather spend a few minutes sorting the laundry and washing towels with other towels and colors with other colors, or would you rather spend a half hour trying to get all the towel fuzz off your favorite sweater before you wear it?
Sort your laundry. It protects it, it helps you wash better, and it’s good for your clothes and other accessories. If you can, provide your family with specially labeled baskets that tell them precisely where to put their dirty laundry. If they’re sorting it as they use it, your job is easier all around.
Mistake: Not Reading Labels
You will find labels inside of everything you own, and you should read them. You should also take them seriously. If you have clothing that suggests handwashing the item and hanging it up to dry, you should hand wash that item and hang it up to dry. Washing and drying it might destroy the fabric. It might change the color of the item. It might shrink the item. You should read the labels.
If something states it’s a dry clean only item, don’t ignore that. There’s a good reason it needs special attention, and you can’t just hope you don’t ruin it by throwing it in the washing machine. Read the labels, follow the instructions, and don’t regret your decisions later.
Mistake: Not Opening Shirts
Now that you know your pants and jackets should be zipped all the way up prior to being washed, it’s time to tell you you’re not washing those things thoroughly when you do that, but that’s a battle you might want to choose on a case by case basis. If you’re washing your button-down shirts with the buttons closed, you’re not getting a full wash.
Laundry is already enough of a chore as it is. Realizing you’re not even doing it right isn’t going to make your day more enjoyable, but it is going to help you make the future a bit brighter. Your whites can be brighter. Your sweaters might not have nearly as much fuzz on them, and your jeans will never ruin another item again. Just follow instructions, learn how to correctly do laundry, and you can improve the entire experience.