There’s no university degree or qualification needed to put on a load of washing is there?
It goes without saying then that we all carry out our laundry duties in our own unique way. Yes, we attempt to follow instructions on detergent bottles, sort clothes into lights and darks (well sometimes) and remember to read clothing tags (some of them are very funny)!
Regardless of how careful we are, we’ve all got a laundry story to tell. A white shirt that came out pink. A shrunken woollen knit. A machine that overdosed on suds. Need I go on.
There are simple mistakes that even some of the cleanest among us make. Here are 8 of the most common. Which one can you relate to most?
1. Stuffing your machine with too much
So you’ve done your sorting and you think you’ll be extra efficient by getting as much washed at once. Wrong! Overloading your washing machine won’t do you any favors.
With a drum jam-packed, items cannot move around freely, therefore, water and detergent cannot distribute evenly. What you’re left with are stains and dirt. Worse still overloading your machine can also strain its suspension and cause it to overwork.
2. Being too liberal with the washing detergent
Detergent bottles and boxes come with instructions. They also come with a guide to the correct dose. Don’t think that throwing in an extra scoop is going to make your clothes cleaner. Not only can you find that your clothes don’t get the chance to be rinsed enough but the extra soap can build up in your machine resulting in ineffective washing. Apparently, detergent build-up even encourages odour. Yuck!
3. Using the wrong washing detergent
Don’t think that you can interchange front loader washing detergent for that designed for a top loader. Big no. Top loader detergents produce more foam. Use the wrong soap in your front loader, which generally uses less water, and you’ll end up overflowing with foam and possibly damage the machine. Tip: If you’ve accidentally bought top loader washing detergent and you have a front loader machine, try using half the recommended amount.
4. Forget to take wet clothes out of the machine
I’d take a guess that everyone has done this at least once. Unfortunately, I have done thing more than once and I clearly have not learnt. Wet clothes smell! It’s that simple. This means that you need to wash them over again (another waste of water and detergent) and if you leave them too long you may just find bacteria growing. Double Yuck!
5. Throwing Hand Wash or Dry Clean Only clothes in with the wash
Clothing tags are there for a reason. They are designed to give you the best chance to extend the life of your garment. Whilst sometimes these ‘rules’ are guidelines, there are instances where it’s never ok to ignore them.
Leather, suede and linen should not go in a machine, nor should anything with embellishments, beads or jewels.
6. Leaving zips undone and clasps open
Zips and clasps are magnets for getting caught on clothes. Over the duration of a washing cycle, they can cause all sorts of trouble and even get caught in the drum of the machine. Where possible place delicate garments, including bras, inside washing bags, and zip garments all the way up and buttons all the way down before you wash.
7. Always using cold water
We are let to believe that using cold water in every wash will save us money and on be a less risky choice. Cold water may help to avoid shrinking clothes but it is not always the best option when you need to remove hard stains or stubborn odours. In general, you are going to get clothes cleaner in warmer water. The one major exception: blood stains, which you should wash only in cold water.
8. Bleaching everything that is white
Did you know that bleach eats elastic? So when you whiten your socks or soak your bra and underwear in bleach you are actually causing it more harm than good. Switch to a detergent with pre-added bleach alternative or whitener. And remember to always address stains as soon as they occur. Waiting until the last minute to deal with stains has consequences.
Hopefully by ‘learning from someone else’s mistake’ you can avoid making it yourself.