If you're a full-grown adult, there's a big chance you've been doing laundry for a while. You know how to do laundry, but you might have fallen into bad habits that slow you down, ruin your clothing and make your machines less efficient. By avoiding the most common laundry mistakes below, you'll get the most out of your appliances and extend the life cycle of your precious clothing and linens.
THE 5 MOST COMMON LAUNDRY MISTAKES TO AVOID:
- Not sorting your laundry. This is by far the most common laundry blunder people make. Sure, it's tempting to shove all your dirty laundry into the machine, shut the door and hope for the best. But light and dark colours, natural and synthetic fabrics, and heavier things (like towels) vs. delicate items (like underwear) require different temperature and cycle settings. Get yourself a good laundry hamper with dividers, sort it out and save yourself the pain of pink everything.
- Leaving your laundry in the machine. Letting your laundry linger in the tumble dryer seems harmless enough, but if you allow it to stay there too long, you'll face more wrinkles (which means more ironing). Ugh. Use dryer balls to cut down on dry time. This will also allow you to scent your laundry and spin again. Set your phone on a timer and fold warm clothing directly out of the dryer, and you can mostly avoid ironing altogether. Use a fabric-safe ironing water for the few things that need a little press
- The only thing worse is letting your wet laundry hang out in the washing machine, a surefire way to develop mildew or other funky smells (which means rewashing them). Too boring.
- Not Pre-Treating. In a perfect world, you could chuck your clothing straight into the machine which would miraculously get out even the toughest stains. But that's unrealistic, especially if the stain has had time to set in. Take the time to check your laundry for any spots or stains and give them the pro-treatment with Garment Groom and a Laundry Brush. The Pros know that it’s a LOT faster and easier to pre-treat a stain before it goes into the wash than to try and shift it afterwards. Now you do, too.
- Not reading the Care labels. Shrinking happens to everyone at least once. I can't bear itchy tags and rip them out before I even wear anything new, so I've had to learn from hard-won experience what can be washed safely on a hot setting and what can't. If your default setting is hotter water, it's time to retrain your brain. Instead, only wash heavily soiled items that can take the heat. Everything else should be cold or warm. By washing most things in warm (or even cold) water, you'll save your clothing from damage and save money on your energy bill!
- Not Cleaning Your Machine. Appliance TLC is Key. You know you should be cleaning your machine periodically—but few of us do it because we're unsure how, and it seems daunting. You can find our handy guide to cleaning appliances here.
Lifting your laundry game is as easy as getting the right tools for the job and taking the time to treat and sort your laundry before you wash it. You’ll be saving time, money, and your precious clothing.