Are you guilty of using excess detergent? Do you not have enough time to separate your darks from your lights? Or maybe that one t-shirt from college turned everything pink? We get it. Laundry comes with its own precarious challenges. Depending on water pressure, brand of washing machine, detergent brand, volume of laundry, and water temperature -– laundry can be a deceptively complicated and time-consuming endeavor when not thought through.
Complications from laundry can disrupt the functionality and serenity of a home and prevent you from feeling your best. Medium notes that the main issue is that many homeowners are busy trying to do too many things at once to effectively complete their laundry without any problems. But have no fear; we are here with solutions to help you combat some of the more common problems that homeowners face when managing their laundry. So let’s pause the folding, turn off the TV, and dive in!
Using the wrong amount of detergent
A laundry repair technician that comes by will likely tell you that you are using too much detergent. Fun fact: the doses that laundry detergent caps recommend are often excessive and shouldn’t always be taken at face value (according to Organized Interiors). First of all, it can cause excess suds, build up, leaking, and potentially damage your home’s flooring. If your washing machine is in the garage, this is a concern of which to always be mindful.
Leaking suds in a garage could potentially damage electrical wiring around the washing machine, as well as other functions within the garage, and even present a fire hazard. Excess soap can also affect the quality of the clean. Extra bacteria and residue can often be found on overly washed clothing. This is due to the fact that excess soap will not allow the washing machine to drain as effectively as it could. Next time you wash your clothing, perhaps experiment with using 75% of the detergent you would normally use.
Using wrong temps and over-washing
The gut instinct of most people is that a hot wash and hot dry are the best combo for stain removal and an optimal clean. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Fabric fibers tear more easily, and most stains actually worsen under hot water (according to Blanc Living). Instead, wash your clothing as cold as possible. Not only will they last longer, but they will look newer longer. In an ideal circumstance, avoid machine drying your clothes. Though time-consuming, drying laundry on a clothesline is the surefire way to keep your clothes looking fresh and unwrinkled for a long time. But if that setup is not an option, always dry your clothes on low heat.
And as it pertains to washing, you are likely washing your clothes a bit more frequently than necessary. Thicker items like jeans and heavier shirts often do not warrant a full machine wash after one use. Blanc Living suggests using a scented antibacterial spray to keep them smelling and feeling fresh instead.
Treating all stains the same
Every stain is its own unique problem with individual cleaning requirements. We are going to break down the easy solutions for removing various types of stains. For coffee, a combination of heated water, dish wash, and white vinegar will do. Spot clean, don’t scrub. Wine, on the other hand, warrants a completely different solution. Combine a half-and-half mixture of hydrogen peroxide and blue dish soap, and you should be able to remove that pesky red splotch. However, oil and grease stains come with their own rules. Time is of the essence. You want to use a solid substance like baking soda or cornstarch and spot treat right away (as noted by Reader’s Digest).
With all of these stain treatments, they are typically best treated without the use of a washing machine. Spot treatment is best-utilized immediately and before the stain dries. Always use cold water. Never scrub, as that can strain the clothing fibers. The stain may also require multiple rounds of treatment, so patience is key here.
Not taking time for preparations
Plenty of homeowners set aside time for folding and storing laundry after the rinse and dry cycles. But the preparation before the wash is equally important, and a step that too many people neglect. This can have disastrous effects on clothing. When preparing laundry for a wash, make sure that all zippers are closed. The teeth can slice up and cause unnecessary damage to the other clothes. Contrarily, it is also important to unbutton all clothing prior to washing. Keeping them buttoned can lead to the buttons breaking off earlier than they should. In the interest of your clothes’ longevity, this is of vital importance.
Aside from preparing your main pieces, it is also important to make sure socks are accounted for. We tend to chuck them in last as an afterthought. But actually, there is a hack to making this process less stressful. Real Simple suggests using a large laundry bag for all of your socks so that you can keep track of them without any issue. This is an excellent organizational tool for your laundry, and almost a second hamper that will streamline this process with ease.