In theory, putting dirty laundry in the washing machine sounds simple enough, but in practice? Lots can go wrong. Your favorite shirts can be ruined or stains not properly removed, leaving you wondering if you should rather simply buy new clothes instead of washing them! But fear not – we’ll go over some laundry blunders that people around the world regularly make, so that you can learn from their mistakes. Avoid these and your laundry game will be on point.
Throwing colors and lights into the washing machine together
Particularly when brand new, colored items, like red t-shirts, blue jumpers, or green socks are much more susceptible to “color bleeding.” This is when the dyes loosen from the fibers just a tiny bit and bleed into the water in the wash. You won’t really notice this when all the items in the washing machine are dark or colored, but if there’s a white t-shirt or pale dress shirt in the mix, then it can happen that these lighter items turn a rather unpleasant color after the wash. This is why it’s recommended to do separate washes for light and dark/colored items. Read up on why it’s important to learn how to separate laundry and wash things correctly.
Not using the recommended amount of detergent
When our laundry is very dirty, it’s tempting to pour in double the amount of detergent in the hope that it will make our clothes and other items shiny and smelling great again. But the truth is that you only need to follow the directions on the laundry packet, as more detergent can be harder to wash out and you could end up with irritants on your skin when you wear the clothing again. It can also sometimes happen that you’ll get detergent stains on your laundry where the suds couldn’t be washed out. It’s better to wash things twice if they didn’t come out like you wanted, and to pre-treat stains so that they can be washed better.
Still using a dryer
Just like with trying to save water, it’s important to conserve energy and reduce the use of gadgets we don’t really need. Hanging up your wet laundry on a clothing rack or outside on a line is much kinder to your clothing and better for the environment, as dryers require a ton of electricity to function. Sun and wind are also good ways to treat smelly or stained items, too.
Forgetting zippers and buttons
Before you wash anything, make sure to have a look at anything with zippers or buttons. Zippers can snag onto items and damage them, so look at your hoodies, jackets, and jeans and zip them all up. For clothing with any buttons, ensure you unbutton everything because the threads surrounding the buttonholes can be weakened otherwise.
If you’ve spilled food or drink onto your shirt, the worst thing to do is to grab a cloth and rub the stain because you might force it deeper into the fabric. It’s better to remove as much excess of the stain as possible, using a spoon, for example, and then to dab it gently with a wet cloth or to run a cold tap and place the item underneath to flush out the stain. Ideally, pre-treat the stain with a commercial stain remover and wash as usual.
Ignoring your laundry labels
All clothing items come with care instructions, which will tell you how to wash them or whether they need to be dry cleaned. It’s important to actually follow these instructions, especially with regard to the wash temperature. Because cotton, for example, needs to be washed at a different temperature to silk or wool, these items should be separated so that nothing is ruined.