Caring for our laundry is a weekly (and sometimes daily) part of running a household. But there are common laundry mistakes many people make that can affect your loads. Today, we’ve partnered with Tide to share some of those common mistakes in your laundry care routine, and offered simple fixes can help you better care for your laundry.
1. How You Sort – It makes more sense to sort your clothing by the wash temperature when tossing them into the laundry baskets. You can check the tags just before they go into your hamper and make a decision then. When it’s time to head to the laundry room, it’s easy to sort your warm wash load by lights and darks in seconds.
2. Those Zippers & Buttons – Take a few seconds to look over your clothing items before you toss them into the wash. Zip any loose zippers to keep them from snagging clothing. Unbutton any button up shirts to avoid putting extra stress on the fabric and protect your buttons from becoming weak.
3. Ignoring Clothing Labels – Your clothing labels are the key to preserving your fabrics and keeping your clothes in great condition for a long time to come. They will tell you the wash temperature that’s best suited to your clothing and what temperature to dry your clothing. It can even warn you if you should dry clean your items instead of a traditional wash cycle.
4. Using Too Little or Too Much Detergent – Using too much detergent can waste money and resources and produce an excess of suds in the wash. Not enough detergent can keep your clothes from getting a deep clean.
5. Overloading the Drum – Overfilling your washer or dryer can make it harder for the clothes to get an effective clean. Pay attention to max limits. You’ll also want to put in your clothing items one at a time, rather than dumping in the basket of clothing all at once, to ensure the clothing isn’t packed into the machine or tangled before the load even starts.
6. Waiting Between Cycles – Your dryer is built to tackle back-to-back cycles. There is no need to wait for your dryer to cool down or rest between loads. By switching the loads right away, you’ll save energy as your dryer is already to temperature.
7. Adding Detergents Incorrectly – Different detergents have different directions. It’s important to know how to use your detergent so make sure you read the packaging! Some detergents go into the soap dispenser, others go right into the drum. Some detergents should go in before your clothing, others after.
8. Scrubbing Stains – It’s tempting to want to scrub and scrub at stains to remove any evidence. But that can damage clothing! Instead, try dabbing at the stain with a clean cloth and treat stains as soon as you can. Need to remove ink? Try rubbing alcohol and blot to help dry out the ink stain. To help with lipstick stains, start by gently scraping off any excess residue from the lipstick before blotting.
9. Ignoring the Lint Trap – Most people know you should empty the lint trap before you start a new dryer cycle. But something you may not think to do is giving that lint catcher a good clean. Plan to give your lint trap a good clean about twice a year. You can use a small amount of washing detergent and a toothbrush to clean it, then let it air dry before using your dryer cycle again. You should also check the dryer air vent behind your machine and clear it out, when necessary.
10. Storing Detergents Too Low – Laundry detergent can be big, heavy, and bulky. It’s tempting to leave it right on top of the dryer or a counter to keep it easy to reach and accessible. However, accidents can happen quickly, so to ensure everyone in your household is as safe as possible, always make sure to keep your laundry products stored up, closed out of reach, and secure.