If you’re a full-grown adult, there’s a big chance you’ve been doing laundry for at least half of your life. There’s also a good chance, based on a very informal office poll, that you’ve been doing it wrong. Sure, the clothes are clean and the lint trap is bare, but you might be making a few small common mistakes. While some of these mistakes can merely slow you down, others might have long-term effects on your clothes—or your pricey appliances.
Ahead, five laundry mistakes to stop making ASAP.
Waiting To Transfer Clothes
We have no idea how nobody has invented the one-piece washer-dryer, where clothes can transfer themselves from one machine to another. But until that magical time comes, make sure you move your clothes from the washer to the dryer as quickly as possible, lest they hang out and develop mould, mildew, or other funky smells.
Sure, in a perfect world, our hard-working laundry detergent would be able to miraculously get out even the toughest of spaghetti stains, but that’s not always the case—especially if the stain has had ample time to set in. For any accidental spots or spills, be sure to pre-treat your clothes before tossing them in the wash with a stain-fighting formula, like Garment Groom. (The botanical scent of just-cut greens and herbs is a bonus.)
Shrinking Your Clothes
It’s been decades and you’re still guilty of the shrink. It’s okay, we’ve all been there—but if you've become accustomed to washing your clothes on the hottest setting possible to kill bacteria, it’s time to retrain your brain. Instead, only wash heavily soiled items that might otherwise become breeding grounds for bacteria or germs—everything else should be on cold or warm. Additionally, you may reduce your energy costs with every load by not using the hottest temperature available.
Not Cleaning Your Machine
Logically, you know you should be cleaning your washing machine at least once a year—but do you actually ever get around to it? Probably not. Take a peek at our guide to washing all the machines in your house, and then actually make time to do it.
Not Upgrading Your Experience
Who says you can’t add a few small design-forward pieces—like a minimalist, sleek brass oil burner or a chic porcelain cup—to your designated laundry area? If you have shelves, place a succulent next to stain-fighting essentials like Leather Cleaner and Garment Groom, then replace that unsightly bulk container of laundry pods with a chic bottle of liquid detergent. If you’re going to be stuck with laundry duty, you might as well enjoy it!
A few small changes like these could end up saving you lots of money in the long run!