Most of us use our washing machines a few times a week to keep our clothes smelling fresh and clean, but are we using these machines properly? A washing machine is usually quite an investment- the kind of expense that most people have to save up for, so what happens if we don’t use the machine properly? We can damage that investment, or at the very least not get our clothes very clean. Let’s take a look at some washing machine practices that you should be doing but may not be.
One of the most common mistakes people make with the washing machine is overfilling it. Now, just because there is space for the clothes in the machine, that does not mean that the clothes need to be packed in there to fill that space. It is usually a bad idea to fill the machine completely, and a little bit of space is preferable. This gives the clothes room to absorb soap and water and be more thoroughly cleaned. If the clothes are packed tightly together, then the soapy water cannot cleanse them thoroughly. This also hurts the cleaning process during the rinse cycle, as soapy residue is less likely to be completely, washed out in a packed washer.
Of course, packing your washer full can also damage the washer itself, overburdening it with too much work and causing it to need repairs sooner.
Most people know to separate the clothes by color to prevent color running. If you mix reds and whites together, then the red dye can stain the white clothes to turn them pink. If you mix dark and light colored clothes, then those can discolor one another as well. Whites should always get their own load especially if you are easing bleach with them to make a whiter white. The bleach can be harmful to anything with dye in it, fading out the color and creating white patches in the clothing.
You also want to separate by clothing type. Heavy clothes like jeans and towels should usually not be mixed with lighter clothes like lingerie or sheets. If they are, then they can stick together and prevent one another from being washed thoroughly.
Delicate clothing should be sorted into mesh bags to ensure that they don’t become tangled up with the other clothes. If they are not, then they can tear and wear out quickly. Anything that is very light and thin, as well as most dress clothes, should be sorted into mesh bags to protect it. Don’t overstuff the mesh bag, though, as you want to keep them light enough that the clothes have enough space to get clean inside the bags.
Some other lower quality, cheap detergents can be tough on your clothes. That may be okay for tough clothes like jeans or coats, but the softer, more delicate clothes can be damaged by poor quality detergent. Finding the right detergent may take some trial and error, but you are generally safe with brand name detergents. The price can be a lot higher than the generic stuff, but the quality of the finished laundry and how clean it is can be well worth the extra cost.
A lot of people use a cleaning service to take care of their laundry. The same company they hire to clean their home will often take out the trash, do the laundry and do other chores to help ease the domestic workload. Consumers should be careful about how their clothes are being cleaned and ensure that anyone they hire to do that will use the proper techniques and use the appropriate detergent, taking their time to do an excellent job.
Be sure to read about our previous article on finding health conscious gifts including a cleaning gift card.