Top 7 laundry mistakes that damage clothes

Top 7 laundry mistakes that damage clothes

Doing laundry is a tedious chore as it involves the process of washing, drying, and folding clothes. However, one little mistake is required to ruin an entire load of your garments. While some of the damage can be undone, most of it is almost permanent. These mistakes ruin your clothes and cause problems in your washer and dryer. To avoid this, note these common laundry mistakes and ways to fix them.

Using too much detergent
It is easy to assume that adding more laundry detergent to your washer would help in better cleaning. On the contrary, too much detergent will damage your clothes. This happens because extra soapy suds come from all the additional detergent. These do not rinse out of the clothes leaving behind sticky residues. These residues will attract more dust, dirt, and germs. So your clothes will become dirty quickly.

What you can do
Always check how much detergent is required according to the laundry load size. You can find this measure printed on the detergent box or in the user manual of your washer. Use a cup or scoop to measure the correct amount of detergent.

Not sorting laundry based on fabric materials
You are most likely washing your light-colored clothes separately from your dark-colored ones. But if you wash your clothes of different fabric materials together, you risk damaging your delicate clothes. The clothes of heavier fabrics will have an abrasive effect and cause tears on the clothes of softer fabrics. Also, if you wash clothes that shed lint together with others, there is the risk of a lot of fuzz collecting on your other clothes, such as dress pants.

What you can do
Different heavier fabrics, such as sweaters and jeans, from lightweight clothes, such as silk blouses and dress shirts. Also, wash bulky stuff such as bedding and towels separately from your clothes. Sorting laundry based on fabrics will also help in balanced drying since heavier fabrics take longer.

Not reading wash instructions on the garment’s label
All clothes come attached with labels with instructions on cleaning them. Not reading them means setting up your laundry load for a potential disaster. For example, some clothes must be air-dried, while others can be dried in the dryer. Or some clothes should only be dry cleaned, while some need to be hand washed.

What you can do
Always read the washing and drying instructions on the label of your clothes. You must pay attention to specific fabrics such as silk dupioni, leather, suede, embellishments, and structured pieces.

Not checking for color fastness
The color fastness of a fabric means whether it transfers its colors to other materials. So even if you wash darks and lights separately, there might be a color transfer from light-colored clothing to other light-colored clothing. Or one piece of dark-colored clothing may leave its colored marks on another dark-colored clothing.

What you can do
Before the first wash of any clothing, check for color fastness. You can do this using a moist cotton swab dipped in mild detergent. Dab the swab on any of the hidden seams of the clothing. Check whether any dye has come off. If not, soak the clothing in soaping water for a couple of minutes, rinse it, and roll it in a thick towel to absorb all the excess water.

Not zipping up jeans or dresses before loading them in the washer
If your clothes often have tears and holes, blame the open zippers of your jeans or dresses. This happens because the metal teeth of the zippers snag at the threads of delicate fabrics and woven clothing in the same washing load.

What you can do
Before putting any clothes with zippers in the washer, ensure you are zipping them up. Putting delicate and woven clothing in a mesh laundry bag is an excellent way to ensure that it does not get damaged.

Overfilling the washing machine
This mistake mostly happens when you get back home from a long vacation or are doing spring cleaning. At such times, your laundry load may be pretty huge. So you may stuff your washer to tick off this chore in one go. However, overfilling your washing machine, all the clothes will not have enough space to move around. They will not be adequately cleaned, and you may see white streak marks all over them.

What you can do
If you have a considerable load, wash it in batches. A good rule of thumb to know if the size of your laundry load is safe enough is to put two fists, one above the other, on top of the load. If you can do this without any difficulty, then it means you are not overstuffing your washer.

Overfilling the dryer with a large pile of washed clothes
Similar to your washer, the clothes in your dryer need enough space to float around freely. Otherwise, they will crease or wrinkle very easily. Also, packing in too many clothes in a single load will strain your dryer, causing it to malfunction. This may even cause damage to the parts of the dryer.

What you can do
If you have a massive load of laundry that needs to be dry, make smaller batches that can easily fit in the dryer. Also, if you have huge bed sheets and bedding, put them in the dryer separately to reduce the load.

Apart from following the tips mentioned above, investing in a good quality washer and dryer is essential. Failing to do so will ruin your clothes and make them look dull and worn out within a few washes. Moreover, it is also advisable to use a good-quality detergent and fabric softener if necessary. But ensure optimum usage of both to avoid ruining your clothes.