Let’s be honest. Laundry is a pain and we hate doing it. Unfortunately, unless we can afford hired help, it’s also unavoidable. Doing it right is tricky, though, and even the best of us all too often end up with pink towels, lost socks and shrunken sweaters. Read up, because you’re about to learn what not to do when washing your clothes and linens to make the most of all the time you spend on this tedious task.
How many times have you started up a load of laundry, then gotten sidetracked and forgotten to take it out of the washer? By the time you remember hours or even days later, your damp clothes reek of mildew. Leaving clothes in the machine is definitely not good for them, since the damp conditions of the washing machine are an ideal breeding grown for fungus. Set an alert on your smartphone so you’ll be sure to pull them out promptly!
How many of us have accumulated a stockpile of mismatched socks that lost their pair something between washing and drying? Even if they’re not gone for good, hunting down a stray sock when you’re running late for work is incredibly frustrating, isn’t it. Keep them together by pairing socks before you put them in the washer, and wash socks in their own laundry bag to separate them from the rest of the laundry.
We’ve all been there. We pull out a load of whites and everything has turned a pale shade of pink. The culprit? A red shirt or sock slipped into the laundry by mistake. Avoid tye-dyed whites by carefully sorting colored clothes and whites from each other—and make sure to check your labels, removing any items for which the colors are likely to run, washing them separately. Wash colors in cold water to protect their colors from running and fading. You can even try special detergent made for cold water.
There’s nothing worse than getting a new sweater that’s loose and comfy, then washing it the first time only for it to shrinks to a petite version of its former self. Heat causes some fabrics to shrink, and the shrinking can happen in either the washer or dryer. Maintain the size of your clothes by washing in cold water and hanging them dry. If an article does happen to shrink, try restoring it with warm water and hair conditioner, then stretch it out.
Don’t you just love it when a piece of tissue got stuck in someone’s pocket, only to disintegrate into what seems like hundreds of shredded pieces in the washer? You open the lid, only to see soggy confetti covering the whole load of laundry. Always check all pockets before clothes go into the washer—it might also save you from washing a credit card or even a mobile phone. If it’s too late, you can more-easily remove the tissue debris by tossing the clothes into the dryer with some dryer sheets, making sure to clean the filter beforehand. Not only will the lint filter catch much of the tatters, but the dryer sheets will reduce static clean, further preventing the tissue pieces from sticking to your clothes.