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Whether we like it or not, laundry is one of those chores that has to get done (unless you want to be that person. But let’s not go there 😉 ). But most of us don’t want to spend all of our time doing the laundry, either. That means that doing the laundry right the first time is critical for staying on top of it. That said, you may want to make sure you are not making these laundry mistakes that cost time and frustration:
1-) Overstuffing the machine
When the laundry piles up, it’s easy to want to stuff as many clothes into the washer as you can. But unfortunately, overloading the washer will prevent your clothes from getting properly cleaned (and as a result you may have to re-wash clothes…not fun!). Instead, only fill the machine to the recommended capacity with the most important (or your favorite) articles of clothing. Then if you don’t have time to do another load later at least the important laundry is finished.
2-) Using too much detergent
If some detergent makes your clothes clean then more detergent must make your clothes cleaner, right?
Actually, not so much…
Laundry detergent is super concentrated, and washers are designed to only use a certain amount of water. As a result, excess detergent won’t get washed out of your clothes. Your clothes are left dirtier than if you used less detergent, and for some people the excess detergent can irritate skin.
So, let’s stick to the manufacturer’s directions for detergent…mmmkayy?
3-) Not handling stains immediately
Do a quick search on google or pinterest for laundry stain removal tips and you’ll find thousands of tricks to get those stubborn stains out of your clothes (including my all-purpose two-ingredient stain remover).
But at the end of the day none of these tips are necessary if you follow the golden rule of laundry stain removal:
Deal with stains immediately.
That’s it! Prevent stains from setting in the first place and all your laundry stain problems will be gone forever! Poof!
All you have to do is soak the stain in soapy water until you’re ready to wash. If you’re out and wearing the clothes at the time of staining you can either gently rub the stained spot with soap and water until you get home or use one of those tide pens to help you out. Either of these options will help the stain from setting permanently and make doing the laundry much easier!
4-) Using the wrong wash temperature
I am allergic to our cats, so for a while I washed everything on the allergen cycle (a hot cycle) in our washer to destroy dander. Let’s just say, it wasn’t long before a lot of our clothes started falling apart.
For most of my clothes I didn’t particularly care (I work from home, so I live in pj’s most of the time anyway). But Ted has a few expensive button-down shirts for work that deserved more TLC than I was giving them!
So if you have nice clothes that you want to really last, it’s time to start paying attention to your wash temperatures. You can read the labels of all your clothes and separate them up based on wash temperature. Alternatively, you could simply wash your clothes in the lowest temperature cycle that still gets them clean.
P.S. If you have allergies I now use this detergent and have been happy with it! It destroys allergens even at lower wash temperatures and does a good job of getting clothes clean.
5-) Skipping the pocket check
I know, I know…no one wants to take the time to check all the pockets when doing laundry. Especially if we’ve confirmed with others in the house that they already checked them.
But y’all…not much makes doing laundry worse than a pen or lipstick explosion ALL over the clothes in the wash. And the amount of time you spend fixing that problem will likely be way more than the amount of time you would have spent actually checking the pockets.
Remember: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
6-) Exposing hooks, zippers, velcro
Anything that can snag-such as bra hooks, open zippers, and velcro- should be contained in the wash. Otherwise they catch (or worse…tangle with) other clothing. Simple steps such as closing zippers and velcro or washing bras separately will save you a lot of frustration (and money!) when you do your laundry.
7-) Not sorting
I’ve already alluded to this a few times so far, but if you just haphazardly throw your laundry in the wash it’s time to stop!
Here’s the thing: if you have a family, at the end of the day you’re likely to have to do multiple loads of laundry anyway. So why not properly sort them (by color and/or wash temperature) and preserve their life?
8- ) Misplacing detergents and additives
When you do your laundry, it’s extremely important to know where you should put the detergent and additives (things like fabric softener, washing soda, etc). Improperly using these chemicals can not only make your laundry less fresh, but it can cause problems for your washer. It only takes a few minutes to read the labels, and at the end of the day it can save you the headache of having to buy a new washer!
Those are my top laundry mistakes that cost you time and frustration. What laundry mistakes have you made that cost you time and frustration that you wish you knew before? Let us know in the comments!
For more laundry and cleaning tips check out these posts: