Laundry mishaps are extremely common and can occur at the expense of your favorite clothing items. Luckily, the mistakes that can cost you your favorite blouse are easily avoidable with a few tips and tricks. Here are the 10 most common laundry mistakes and how to avoid them.
Over Scrubbing Stains
When our clothes get covered in red wine or mud we often think that aggressively scrubbing the stain out will solve the problem. However, over scrubbing stains can actually cause them to spread and can wear away at the fabric. Instead, try gently dabbing the stain with a cloth and get it into the washing machine as soon as possible so that the stain doesn’t set in.
Leaving Your Shirts Buttoned Up in the Wash
While leaving button-up shirts buttoned in the washing machine may seem like a good way to preserve the shirt’s shape, it’s actually the opposite. Leaving clothes buttoned can loosen the threads around the buttonholes and stretch them out. Always take the time to unbutton your shirts before putting them in the washer.
Leaving Zippers Unzipped
The metal teeth of zippers have been known to snag on other items and damage them. To prevent this, don’t forget to go through and make sure that all of your zippers are completely zipped before throwing them in the wash.
While separating darks and lights is probably already a part of your laundry routine, you should also be sorting based on material as well. Separate heavier clothes (like jeans) from lighter clothes (like sheer blouses) in order to get the best clean.
It’d be logical to assume that adding extra detergent to your laundry load will make your clothes extra clean. In reality, excess laundry detergent can cause the extra suds to hold more dirt and bacteria, which prevents areas like collars from rinsing completely clean. Instead, use a small amount of detergent and slowly add more if your clothes aren’t getting as clean as you’d like.
Ignoring the “Dry-Clean Only” Label
Although modern washing machines have made doing laundry much easier, they were not built for cleaning delicate materials. Throwing a garment in the washing machine that has a “dry-clean only” label can completely ruin the item of clothing. Suede, silk, leather, and anything with embellishments should always be dry-cleaned.
Using Too Much Bleach
Bleach can be a secret weapon when it comes to trying to get out stains or keeping your whites bright, but excessive bleach use can irritate your skin and make you sick. A safe alternative to bleach is throwing stained items into a boiling pot of water with a few lemon slices to remove stains. If you do need to use bleach, Clorox recommends using only a ½ cup of bleach for a large load of laundry.
Not Using the Permanent Press Button
Wrinkly clothes are one of the most common laundry mistakes. It’s been proven that the medium-heat cycle with a cool-down period after helps prevent creases. The permanent press button on your dryer is calibrated to go through this exact cycle and leave you with wrinkle-free clothes, so don’t ignore this handy feature.
Not Cleaning Your Dryer
We all know that we’re supposed to clean our lint filter after every use to prevent dryer fires, but dryer ducts are often neglected and can be even bigger fire hazards. If your laundry takes over an hour to dry then your duct is most likely clogged. Annually, you should be detaching the hose from the back of your dryer and removing any excess lint or build-up. Doing so will increase your dryer’s efficiency and keep you safe on laundry day.
Over Drying Your Clothes
It’s a pain to air dry your clothes, we know. While some drying isn’t harmful to your garments, over-drying can cause your clothes to become more wrinkly, staticy, and can even cause the fibers to break down faster. Refrain from over-drying and from overloading your dryer to protect your clothes.
By avoiding these common laundry mistakes you can protect your clothes and your wallet. On your next laundry day, Stop by the Laundry Basket to test out these tips and tricks with any of our state of the art, high-capacity machines.