Ways You’re Washing Your Clothes Wrong
You spent a lot of time picking out your precious clothes. You’ve put a tremendous amount of energy into curating your wardrobe, haven’t you? You have waited in lines for changing rooms, found disappointment when the jeans at this store didn’t fit, and trudged onto the next one, tolerating the nuisance that is a clothing store, and the next one until finally finding the right pants. When you find those beloved pieces that flatter you and make you happy, you should do what you can to preserve them for as long as possible. Washing them correctly can help with that, though many of us wash our clothes the wrong way. In fact, many of us wash all of our clothes the same way. It’s so easy to just toss everything in the washing machine, and then move it onto the dryer. Everything gets done quick and easy, but if you ruin your clothes, then you didn’t accomplish much. Here are ways you’re probably washing your clothes wrong.
Machine-washing lacy underwear
Never put your sexy, lacy delicates in any sort of machine. They can’t handle being tossed around like that. If they are lace, then that means they contain small holes. The zipper or button of something else in the machine can easily snag these and rip them apart. Hand-wash lacy panties and lay them out in the sun to dry.
Turning up the heat
When it comes to the dryer, hotter is not always better. But the settings on many dryers are all out of whack. If the “regular” setting can be so hot that you burn your hands when taking out the laundry, set your dryer to a lower setting. You just need your clothes dry—not hot. If they’re piping hot, their fibers have probably been worn out in that machine.
Washing jeans after each wear
There’s really no need to wash your jeans after every single wear. They aren’t delicate and super porous like a white tank top. They’re thick and durable. They don’t retain odors as much as blouses. If you want a trick for just refreshing them without washing them, put them in the freezer for a few hours and then defrost them. It works!
Always using hot water
Only do so if specified. So many of us have hot, hot water as our default setting for all clothes, but hot water makes colors bleed and wastes energy. Most garments do fine in cold water. Cold water plus detergent will get rid of most common stains and odors.
Not lying things truly flat
If you do need to lay something flat to dry, really flatten it out. Smooth out those creases. If you don’t, the sun will essentially dry those wrinkles right into place. That’s why you wind up with super wrinkly clothes that have been tossed on a table outside to dry.
Don’t hang-dry your knits. Those lovely crochet tops, for example, shouldn’t be flung over the back of a chair. Their fabric is heavy, and the weight of it when hung to dry can stretch out the garment. Lay these flat on a table.
Washing too many at once
I know, I know: doing multiple loads is a nuisance. But if you stuff everything in your machine, filling it to the brim, the detergent won’t be able to spread out, and you won’t sufficiently wash everything. So, you’ll have to do another load anyways.
Leaving zippers unzipped
Have you ever listened to a dryer and heard a repetitive clanking sound? That’s probably a loose zipper. If you put something in the dryer that has a zipper, like a hoodie, be sure to zip it up and turn it inside out. You don’t want the zipper repeatedly hitting the walls of the dryer—that’s how it can break off.
Leaving drawstrings untied
What are you to do when you pull your sweatpants out of the dryer to find that the drawstring has come out? It can happen, and it’s a huge pain in the butt. In order to prevent this, make sure to tie drawstrings in a tight bow before putting them in the dryer.
Machine-drying workout clothes
The synthetic fabrics in these can lose their shape fast in the dryer. That’s why your once tight-fitting, shape-lifting workout pants are now loose and baggy. You can machine-wash these, but hang them up to dry.
Never, ever machine-wash wool. It’s a very particular fabric that will be destroyed in the wash. Simply put your wools in a sink full of water with a small spoon or two of delicates detergent. Swish them around, let them soak for 10 minutes, rinse, and lay flat to dry.
You don’t have to machine-dry your denim. Doing so regularly will cause it to lose its shape and elasticity. And jeans can be too expensive to take that risk. You can lay these outside flat to dry—they’ll stay softer and stretchy longer.
Never machine-wash your swimsuits. These are some of the most delicate items of all. Really, just a thorough rinse in the sink will remove the harmful elements of chlorine or salt water.
Sun-drying dark clothes
Don’t put your darks outside to dry. The sun will fade them. That’s how many of your once-black tops become grey and your pinks become peach.
Machine-drying your bras
Never, ever machine-dry your bras. Lay these out in the sun. Remember that these have things like underwire and plastic elements in the straps that can be destroyed by the heat of the dyer.