The washing machine has come a long way in making doing laundry a lot less stressful. Compared to the days when washing machines never existed, people had to engage in hand scrubbing, using washboards and clothes wringers all in a bid to get their clothes washed.
This was a much more time-consuming, physically demanding task.
However, despite how demanding manually washing clothes was, we just have to admit that it is of a little more advantage to our clothes.
Manually washing clothes is a lot gentler than machine washing. This, therefore, helps to preserve fibers and detail-work on our garments, thus increasing the lifespan of our clothes.
While using the washing machine, if we are cautious enough to adhere to the washing precautions from manufacturers sitting on our clothing labels, we will find that the damages from using the washing machine to do our laundry will be minimal.
But let’s face it, even with the conveniences and efficiency of doing laundry using washing machines, doing laundry is still one of our least favorite home chores.
Remember those times when instead of taking time out to properly sort your laundry, you just gather them together and toss them into the washing machine?
In those moments, you don’t seem to remember that there is any such thing as washing precautions (and even if you do, you’re too reluctant to care).
These seemingly insignificant acts can result in damage to your clothes, add extra time to the laundry process, and even go as far as posing a potential threat to your safety at home.
The following are some common laundry mistakes that you need to avoid to have a seamless laundry process:
1. Using the wrong washer and dryer settings
Whenever you get a new washing machine, you must learn the built-in settings of this new washing machine.
This allows you room to make necessary customizations for different clothing textures. One of the mistakes that people make is assuming that the washer and dryer settings are the same for all washing machines.
Making this assumption is bad for the durability of your clothes. You would want to avoid that.
Modern washers and dryers offer more settings and washing options than older models. Therefore, chances are, with the new washing machine that you got, you’ll need to make some sort of adjustments that probably differ from the old one you’re used to using.
While it is true that most of our clothing can be washed on normal typesetting and come out perfect, there are, however, some clothes with special instructions.
It helps to wash these separately, following the manufacturer’s instructions to preserve the life of the clothing as well as the washing machine.
2. Using hot water too frequently
Except you are doing laundry that typically harbors more bacteria like dishtowels, underwear, linen, and sweaty clothing, it would be a lot better to stick to cold water.
This is because cold water is a lot easier on fabrics compared to hot water.
Clothes have more room to keep their shape and color better and wear out a lot more slowly when washed with cold water (or at the very least, in warm water).
More so, using cold water is a lot more energy efficient (cheaper), since heating water accounts for as much as 90% of a washer’s energy consumption.
Use hot water only when you’re aiming for disinfection or coping bacteria.
3. Leaving buttons buttoned and zippers unzipped
This is a very common laundry mistake. Unzipping zippers and leaving buttons buttoned while washing them can put a lot of stress on the buttons and zips, consequently damaging them.
Even when washing clothes manually, we usually do not unzip zippers nor leave buttons buttoned. It is only reasonable that we do the same while using the washing machine.
The tumbling of the clothes from side to side, while they’re being washed in the washing machine, can cause threads to loosen and buttons to fall off.
An open zipper is a delicate fabric’s ultimate enemy.
The metal teeth or sharp edges can accidentally tear into other garments while tossing around in your washer or dryer, consequently damaging your clothes.
This is why before tossing clothes into the washer or dryer, it is important to always check that the buttons are buttoned and the zippers are unzipped.
This applies not just only to jeans and pants but to anything with a hook or fastener, like a blouse or bra. These metal pieces can scratch against other clothing as well.
4. Washing jeans the wrong way
People commonly wash their jeans using their washer’s heavy-duty setting because they think denim requires it.
However, this may not be the case. Unless the care label from the manufacturer on the jeans says so, then doing this is unnecessary. It only puts more stress on the pants.
Also, while the frequency at which you wash your jeans is a personal choice, washing them too regularly can make them lose their color.
Turning jeans inside out while washing reduces the pressure on the outer fibers of the pants and slows down the fading process.
5. Using too much detergent
We most times get tempted to think that since our clothes are very dirty, they would require a lot more detergent to get clean. This can be a lot detrimental to the laundry process.
A surplus of detergent can clog the detergent container and cause an unpleasant smell. This is because many of the newer washing machines are designed to be energy and water-efficient.
Therefore, the extra detergent will not rinse away properly with the amount of water released. Instead, the water will remain in your clothing or wind up deposited on the interior of your washing machine which can gunk up the components of the unit.
If your clothes are very dirty, consider washing using the pre-wash setting or loading twice in a row with a normal amount of detergent.
6. Loading the machine with heavily stained clothes
Tossing heavily stained clothes into the washing machine does little or nothing to make them clean to the point where you can confidently wear them out again.
Instead, it helps to presoak heavily stained clothes first in bleach or any other stain removing substance; carefully wash them manually, before proceeding to use the washing machine.
7. Doing partial laundry loads or loads that are too big
Doing partial loads of laundry is an energy-inefficient process. This is because a partial washer load with a lower water level will use up almost as much electricity as a full load, too.
Washing machines account for approximately a fifth of the water usage in the average home.
Therefore, even though you use a washing machine that has a setting that lets you adjust the washer’s water level, ensure that, at the very least, the washer is more than half-full.
It also helps to avoid packing the washer too tightly as the clothes won’t have enough room to tumble and wash or properly.
What’s more, overloading your washing machine can cause them to wear out too quickly.
8. Not regularly cleaning the dryer lint trap and vent
Lint buildup in your dryer is one of the major causes of fire incidents. This is mainly because lint buildup is very easy to ignore.
To prevent this, it is important you occasionally disconnect your dryer vent hose and vacuum inside of it (at least twice a year) and also clean the lint trap after every load.
Every couple of years, bring in a technician to thoroughly have your dryer duct cleaned up.
Eventually, you’ll see that this not only prevents fire incidents but saves up energy and allows your appliance to run more efficiently, as lint buildup in the dryer and its ductwork and vents can extend your drying times.
9. Not cleaning your washing machine
In the same light as cleaning the dryer lint trap and vent, your washer needs cleaning too.
You may be tempted to think that since there’s always detergent in there and it’s always spinning and washing stuff, it ought to be clean. This is, however, not so.
The appliance that gets your clothes clean occasionally needs to be cleaned itself.
This is because not all of the bacteria from the loads of dirty clothes and linens that you wash just disappear with the drained laundry water.
Cleaning the washer is particularly important if you have an old washing machine or wash in cold water 100% of the time.
An easy way to tell that there is a bacteria buildup in your washer is that it will begin to have an unpleasant odor.
Running a cleaning cycle with no clothes in the machine using hot water and bleach (or a bleach alternative) monthly is an effective way to clean your washer.
Look out for these common mistakes the next time you’re doing your laundry and as much as you can, avoid them. If you’re looking for top quality washing machines, then consider taking a look at the premium ones we have here.