8 common laundry mistakes you should avoid
No matter your opinion on laundry, it’s important to do it right, for the sake of your favorite jeans, best work shirt, that perfectly worn-in sweater, and the rest of your wardrobe!
Next time it’s laundry day, be sure to avoid these common laundry mistakes:
1. Mishandling stains
The only thing worse than getting a stain is allowing a stain to set in, which can effectively ruin your clothes. Tackle it right away and avoid scrubbing at the new stain - this can cause it to spread and can also wear down the fabric of your garment.
Gently blot and work at it from the outside, which will help contain it. Finally, when you wash it, avoid immediately drying without checking the stain’s condition. Once it’s dried, the heat will set the stain and make it much more difficult to remove.
2. Adding too much detergent
Extra detergent means extra clean clothes, right? Wrong! Be sure to follow the instructions of your preferred detergent and keep a close eye on the line as you pour. Excess detergent can cause an accumulation of soap, leaving residue on your clothes and allowing for a potential build-up of bacteria.
3. Incorrectly preparing clothes
As you load the washing machine, give each piece of clothing a once over. Any items with zippers should be zipped up, as the zipper teeth can snag other clothing as they move around in the washer. Keep buttoned shirts unbuttoned, including the sleeves, to protect the buttonholes. Finally, be sure to check any pockets for pens, lipsticks, and other items that can cause a mess in the washing machine.
4. Ignoring the dry-clean only tag
Not all clothes can handle the washing machine. Check your clothing tags for “dry-clean only” and don’t ignore this important instruction! They may seem fine, but a rough spin cycle can eventually damage certain materials, including leather, suede, silk, and items with embellishments.
5. Forgetting to clean your dryer
It’s common practice to clean out the lint filter after each dry, but when is the last time you cleaned out your dryer duct? Like the filter, lack of cleaning can be a serious fire hazard in your home. At least once a year, tackle your dryer duct by detaching the hose from the back and clearing out any lint or build-up. Here are step-by-step instructions to help you with this chore.
6. Over drying your clothes
You might be shocked to learn just how damaging over-drying your clothing can be! If possible, air-dry your clothes to preserve the materials that are often worn down as they’re dried over and over again and help keep their shape.
7. Incorrectly sorting
How do you sort your laundry loads? Many opt for a simple light and dark clothing split, but the truth is, it’s best to go a few steps further. Sort by materials as well to get the best clean on all of your clothes. For example, make one load for heavy items like denim, one for lighter items like blouses and delicates, and one for bulky bedding and towels.
8. Leaving your clothes in the machines
Laundry is a great “set it and forget it” chore but forgetting for too long can have consequences for your clothing. Leaving a load in the washing machine will eventually cause it to smell or even accumulate mold! As for the dryer, though mold isn’t an issue, the longer clothes are left, the wrinklier they’ll be when you finally take them out.