While laundry is an essential part of our daily lives, it's a skill we pick up over time. For some of us, that means learning the bad habits of cleaning our garments, whether we realise it or not.
This article looks at five common mistakes we make when sending our garments to the laundromat, and explains the right way to go about washing our clothes.
1. Wash clothes inside out
The washing process in a washing machine is generally an abrasive process, as all sorts of fabrics and colours rub against each other. To protect against colour loss and damage to zippers, buttons and pockets, turn your clothes inside out before throwing them into the washing machine.
2. Overloading your washing machine
Stuffing your washing machine too full will increase the wear and tear of your fabrics, and cause rivets, zips and stitches to break. Instead, you garments should be free to move around during the washing cycle, and shouldn't come out of the washing machine in a tangled knot.
3. Choosing the wrong cycle
Not all fabrics can endure a warm wash in your washing machine. For new clothes and fabrics, you can reduce the wear and tear by machine washing them in cold water with a gentle spin. After that, dry them separately with other gentle fabrics in a dryer at low temperature.
4. Use a single type of detergent for everything
While general purpose detergents are able to clean most clothes, they do not work optimally with certain types of fabrics. For instance, some detergents are formulated to preserve dark colours, and likewise for whitening detergents. Using the right detergent in your washing cycle can keep your clothes looking new for a long time.
5. Leaving clothes in the dryer for too long
If you leave your clothes in the dryer for too long, fabrics shrink and get over-dried. To reduce damage to them, take them out slightly damp and stretch them out to dry naturally on a hangar. If, even after tumbling on a low temperature and gentle cycle, you still see a lot of lint on the fabric, you may want to switch to line drying to preserve your clothes.
By correcting these five bad laundry habits, you're taking the first step to fresher and better looking clothes. It's well worth the effort, especially since the washing machine is already saving you a lot of time anyway!
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