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Stop Making these 7 Mistakes When Doing Laundry

Laundry is unavoidable and a never-ending chore!  No matter how much you do, there is always more.


via GIPHY You may have some bad habits when it comes to getting through this chore quickly, but these can be a big mistake when it comes to the care of your clothing and household linens.  Clothing and linens are costly, properly caring for these items will ensure they last and save you money in the long-run. Stop making these 7 mistakes:

1.    Using Too Much Detergent You may think using extra laundry detergent means your clothes will get extra clean, this is not the case.  Too much laundry detergent can get trapped in the folds of clothing/linens (under collars, in pockets, etc.) and can lead to bacteria build-up. Use the recommended measurement on the detergent label based on your load size and/or washer.

2.    Using Too Much Bleach Bleach is a fantastic disinfectant, if you bleach it, you KNOW it is clean.  Bleach also is a great way to get out certain stains.  However, bleach is not very good at removing “protein” stains, such as blood or sweat.  White socks, underwear, and those t-shirts with the nasty yellow underarms may seem like excellent candidates to get bleached, but bleach is not the best option. Instead, toss the garments into some hot water with lemon slices.  Lemon will help keep whites their whitest.

3.    Using Fabric Softener When You Shouldn’t Fabric softener is not recommended for certain types of clothing, it can cause a build-up or even inhibit the garments intent.  Towels, undergarments/lingerie, workout clothing, children’s pajamas are a few items that use fabrics that should not be exposed to fabric softener (see our blog When to Skip the Fabric Softener for more details.) Use a bit of vinegar to soften clothes/towels.  A wad of aluminum foil tossed into the drying cycle will stop static cling.  Delicates or workout wear should be line-dried.

4.    Not Zipping Zippers Not zipping up zippers on jeans/pants/shorts/etc. will not prohibit the clothing from getting cleaned, it is just a smart way to avoid harming your other clothing and linens in the same cycle.  Zipper teeth can snag other items in the load, ruining them.  Best to close those zipper teeth.

5.    Washing Shirts Buttoned Up It may seem smart to button up shirts before you toss them into the wash, technically buttoned or unbuttoned the shirt will get clean either way.  However, a washing cycle can put undue stress on buttons and buttonholes, which can lead to buttons falling off or buttonholes becoming stretched and ineffective. Just be sure to unbutton garments before tossing them in the hamper.

6.    Tossing Socks in Randomly It is almost inevitable that a sock will go missing with a load of laundry.  This is because socks like to attach themselves to other items in the load.  The best way to avoid socks going off on their own and abandoning their partner is to place socks into the washer first on their own.  Then place the rest of the load on top of the socks.

7.    Ignoring the Recommendation on Clothing Labels Clothing labels contain important information regarding the care of the garment.  If the label states “permanent press” it should be washed in this cycle. Garments indicating “dry clean only” should be washed dry clean only.  Often these materials can not be placed in water and must be cleaned a certain way (i.e. leather, suede, sequined tops, etc.) However, there are a few dry clean only items (linen, silk, natural fibers) that can be hand-washed.  Just make sure there are not a lot of embellishments or it is not an overly structured item (suit coat, pleated skirt, etc.) and check to make sure the colors won’t bleed.  Then proceed to hand-wash the item with a mild detergent and air dry. We all have our favorite pieces of clothing we want to last forever and clothing, linens, towels, blankets aren’t cheap.  When you care for these items properly they will last for a long, long time to come.

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