Doing the laundry requires more than just throwing some clothes into the washer and turning it on. It requires prep work, measuring, and know-how of fabrics, water temp, and more.
Without realizing it, many of us do our laundry incorrectly, potentially damaging our clothes, washing machines, or dryers in the process. Below, we discuss several laundry mistakes and how to avoid them, so your clothes get as clean as possible, and they and your machines last a long, long time.
You Use Too Much Detergent
It makes sense that more soap equals cleaner, but when it comes to laundry, the opposite is true. If you put too much detergent in the washing machine, it creates excess suds that don’t rinse out completely. The residue that’s left behind can attract dust, dirt, bacteria, and pet hair like a magnet.
Follow the instructions on the detergent bottle for the size load you have and don’t add extra. It won’t get your clothes any cleaner.
You Only Sort According To Color
Most of us know to wash lights and darks separately, but did you know that not separating loads by fabric can damage your clothes?
It’s true. Washing heavy fabrics like denim with lightweight fabrics can stretch and fray the lighter-weight clothes. Another reason to separate your laundry by fabric type is so that it dries evenly. Heavy fabrics take longer to dry than lighter ones, causing the more delicate fabrics to shrink excessively.
You Don’t Zip Zippers Before Washing
The jagged teeth of zippers can be very damaging to other pieces of laundry, so it’s a good idea to take the time to zip all zippers before placing the clothing items in the washer.
You Close Your Washer After Use
If you’re in the habit of closing the lid/door of your washer after you’re done using it, stop. A closed, damp washer is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. When you’re done washing clothes for the day, leave your washer open so it can dry completely before closing it.
You Don’t Clean The Lint Trap In Your Dryer
A build-up of dryer lint can be a major fire hazard, so it’s vital that you clean the lint trap after each load. Furthermore, you should use a long-handled brush to clean out the cavity that the lint trap goes into. Finally, at least twice a year, check the hose on the back of your dryer for excess lint buildup and clean it out. Remove the hose from the back of your dryer and use an air compressor to blow the lint out.
You Don’t Clean Your Washing Machine
It may seem silly, but your washing machine needs a good cleaning from time to time to keep doing its job efficiently. If your washer has a self-wash cycle, run it occasionally, or if not, run a cycle with hot water and vinegar to clean the unit. Be sure to clean around the lid and rubber gasket that seals the machine to remove any mold or bacteria that’s present there.
Doing the laundry is a science, and if you don’t do it correctly, you could be damaging your clothes or your machines. Follow the tips above to avoid making these common laundry mistakes.