The first electric washing machine was created in 1907. Ever since that day, the machines available have improved to reach the standards we expect from a modern machine.
Despite the technological advancements, washing your clothes and other garments is still a difficult process and one that many of us make mistakes while doing! Fortunately, you can discover and rectify the 12 most common laundry mistakes here.
12 Laundry Mistakes You're Probably Making
Laundry is one of my least favorite household chores. Actually, the washing and drying isn't what gets me – it's the folding! I. Hate. Folding. Clothes. The only thing I enjoy folding is towels. And don't get me started on folks who fold them in a square. Just don't! Here are some laundry “mistakes” you may be making while doing this lovely chore every day – wait, who am I kidding? Every week-ish…
Using the Wrong Detergent
There are many different types of detergent available, you choose the one you like the most and that seems most effective. There isn’t a right or wrong detergent but there are plenty that are better in tune with the environment and promote fabric care.
More important is the amount of detergent you use. Excess suds get caught in clothes and not rinsed, leaving them dirty in places! Follow the instructions on the package to get this right. With front loaders, it's even more important to use the right amount of laundry detergent.
Bonus: add some essential oils to your wash cycle and your clothes will smell even better!
The Way You Fill Your Washer
Always fill your washing machines with clothes before you add the detergent, this helps it spread evenly. If you have a top loader, you should do clothes, water, then detergent.
Overloading Your Washer
It stands to reason that an overloaded dryer will cause an erratic spin cycle, diminishing the effects of the water and detergent. This means your machine will be unable to wash your clothes effectively. Keep the load size medium rather than extra large. It may seem like you'll spend more time doing laundry this way, but medium-sized loads wash (and dry!) faster, so you aren't saving much time at all by stuffing your machine full.
If the label says dry-clean only then don’t put it in your washing machine, no matter how tempting it is. Don't do it!
Zip It Up
Failing to zip up jeans and other garments increases the chances of garments getting caught in the zips and damaged. Zip everything up before you wash it.
It’s easy to think that the harder you scrub a stain the more of it you’ll get out. But the opposite is true! In fact, you’ll be pushing the dirt deeper into the fabric and potentially damaging the top layer of your clothes. Just dab the stain and let the machine do its job.
While zips should be up buttons should always be undone. This is to stop them getting stressed and increasing the likelihood of them coming off. Put bras in garment bags.
An uneven washing machine will vibrate, potentially damaging your floor and unbalancing the load. This will prevent the machine from doing its job properly. Make sure your washing machine is on an even surface. Uneven loads cause your machine parts to wear out faster, shortening the life of your washer.
Sock It To Them
Socks should be put into the machine first. Doing so decreases the chances of them getting caught up in your other items, which prevents them from being washed effectively.
Keep it Clean
The machine is being used to clean your clothes, so you need to keep it clean. You might be surprised at what items and dirt can collect at your filter. The more often you remove it and clean it, the better. This prevents this dirt from getting back on your clothes and allows the filter to work efficiently. If you have a front loader, you also want to clean the rubber seal or it will smell like mildew. Run vinegar through the wash cycle a few times once a month, and wipe the rubber seal down with paper towels and non-bleach cleaner.
Keep your dryer clean by emptying the lent trap after every load. Yes, every load. I know, I know. Sometimes there is residue left behind so I used this tip to clean my dryer lent trap in 5 minutes.
Rest Time Between Loads
A common belief is that it’s good to let your machines rest between loads. It’s a machine, it doesn’t need to! Plus, not allowing it to rest will make it more efficient as the residual heat will still be present.
Bleach can seriously damage any item in your machine. It is best not to use it at all; stains can be removed with a pan of boiling water, some lemon slices, and 5 minutes of your time while they simmer.