Like it or not, laundry is a necessary part of your routine (or at least we hope it is). For such an essential chore, there are a lot of things many of us get wrong about washing our clothes and there are a few things we could be doing to save a buck on our weekly laundry loads. To help clear up some of the misconceptions out there and make some savings, the experts over at OMO Laundry and Westinghouse have given us some guidance.
Laundry habits you need to break
Don’t use too much detergent
While it might seem like the more soap, the cleaner something will get, this is not true.
“Adding too much detergent to a wash will leave a sticky residue that will only collect more dirt and bacteria,” an OMO expert told us via email.
Instead, they recommended using laundry capsules in your washing machine.
Over-use of laundry detergent will also cause your supply to run out quicker, marking an extra cost as you’ll have to buy detergent more regularly. The folks at CHOICE say that you can get away with half the recommended dose of detergent with most variants and still get the same cleanliness from a wash.
Keep the door open on a front loader after a cycle
Closing the door of your machine after a laundry cycle can trap moisture and bacteria within the machine, which can lead to mould and bad odours, according to OMO’s experts.
Once your machine cycle is finished, leave the door open for a few hours and then close it once the interior has dried out.
How to properly wash jeans
When putting your jeans into the wash, it’s tempting to just chuck them in there with the rest of your clothes. However, a little bit of extra prep can help with getting them extra clean, which avoids potentially having to do extra loads of washing.
OMO’s experts recommend you turn them inside out, empty your pockets of any materials, and have the zippers zipped up to avoid any snags in your jeans.
How to deal with stains
If you’ve spilled something on your clothes, there are a few ways to deal with stains, but one of those ways is not vigorously rubbing the stain. Doing this can further embed the stain in your clothing.
Instead, you’ll want to treat the stain as quickly as possible by dabbing it and using a good stain remover when doing your laundry.
You should iron garments while they’re still slightly damp
Contrary to popular opinion, OMO’s experts recommend you iron your clothes while they’re still slightly damp, as dry clothes make it much harder to remove wrinkles. If your clothes have dried out, you should return some moisture to them with a spray bottle or use the mist setting on your iron.
Washing too frequently
It’s been instilled into a lot of us that clothes need to be washed after every wear, but actually washing clothes frequently can damage them. Westinghouse’s team told us that the process of washing breaks down the fibres in your clothes and causes them to look worn and lose their shape and colour faster.
While items like underwear and workout clothes need to be washed regularly, for other items it’s worth checking whether they really need that wash before throwing them into the machine (the sniff test is a good way to determine this), therefore saving you both time and money.
Additionally, be sure to do a completely full load of washing where you can, as it is more energy-efficient and saves water.
We’ve done a deep dive on the whole debate into the pros and cons of washing with hot vs cold water, but the consensus seems to be that cold water is more cost-effective and gentler on your clothes, but hot water is efficient for cleaning and killing germs.
Don’t forget to clean your filters
Appliances don’t clean themselves and it’s important to remember to empty your washing machine’s filter to ensure it’s cleaning efficiently. Check your machine’s manual for the exact location of the filter, but it’s typically found on the inside of top loaders and the bottom corner of front loaders.
Did you learn anything about your bad laundry habits from this list? I have certainly been called out.
While you’re on a roll, go ahead and bust a few dishwasher myths by reading our guide.
Lead Image Credit: iStock/Canva
This article has been updated with additional information.
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