Are you doing your laundry incorrectly? While new machines and the latest technology have made it easier for us to wash our clothes, it’s also gotten so advanced that traditional laundry methods might not work with these advancements.
What You’re Doing Wrong
Doing the laundry wrong isn’t just affecting the quality of your clothes; it might also be costing you money. Be aware of the following pitfalls.
You’re Not Sorting Your Clothes Properly.
Are you still sorting by color? Experts advise that it’s better to sort by fabric type first. Heavier fabrics like jeans can take aggressive washing, while lighter materials, light silk, and spandex need a more delicate touch. By grouping your clothes based on their fabric, not just colors, you can be more energy-efficient in your washing machine and dryer use.
You Haven’t Mastered Your Machine’s Settings.
It’s essential to take the time to understand your machine because even though most of the newer models are plug-and-go, they are also mostly customizable. In general, there are three particular settings that you need to pay attention too. Mastering these cycles on your machine will save you time and money.
- Cycle length – Sometimes referred to as the “timer” in some models, this function tells you the length of time it would take to clean your clothes. If your clothes are not too soiled, shortening the cycle length will save water and energy.
- Cycle speed – Refers to how slow or forceful the machine must work to remove any stains and dirt from your clothes. Some machines have this listed as “normal,” “delicate,” or “permanent press.”
- Water temperature – As the name suggests, this refers to how hot or cold your water needs to be, which leads to our next pitfall.
You’re Using the Wrong Water Temperature.
It’s time to rethink old-school thinking that warm or hot water is best for laundry. Advancements in washing machine technology and detergent formulations mean that most clothes can now be washed in cold water. This breakthrough means you save money on electricity (it takes more energy to wash in warm water) and you extend the lifespan on your clothes because cold water is not as harsh.
You’re Not Taking Care of Your Machines.
Think about it. You clean and update your computer now and then. You take your car in for regular maintenance to ensure it runs smoothly. Why won’t you do the same thing for your washing machine and dryer? That smell of mildew might not be coming from your clothes; it could be because you haven’t cleaned your washing machine.
Experts recommend running an empty load every six months with hot water and white vinegar to rinse your washing machine’s tub. If you have a front-loading washer, wipe down the rubber ring around the opening to remove any mildew. Similarly, you need to be diligent in removing lint from your dryer’s filter after every use. Your dryer exhaust vent also needs cleaning every few months, depending on how often you use it. Lint can also build up there, and if you’re not careful, you could cause a dryer fire.
You Don’t Air Dry Often Enough.
Remember what we said about not using warm water to wash your clothes? The same can be said about your dryer. Most of us crank up the heat on the dryer because we want to have warm, toasty clothes or blankets to wrap around ourselves, but using it indiscriminately damages the environment and fabrics. If you’re a fitness enthusiast, it is also recommended that you air dry your workout clothes instead of drying it to ensure it retains its sweat-wicking features.