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5 Common Laundry Mistakes

November 23, 2021
Eloise Webb

As much as we would love for laundry to be a quick and easy job, the reality is it takes time to get right. From prep work, to gaging the right amount of detergent, to knowing the perfect temperature for your precious garments, there is a lot to know. Act too carelessly and you might find yourself with clothes just as dirty as you started, or worse, damaged.

Interesting fact! - 70% of dirt is invisible! So even though it might appear that you have lifted the dirt from your garment, sweat, dead skin and skin oil may still remain.

In order to have the best results every time make sure to avoid these common laundry mistakes.

1. Washing stains into clothing

Wondering how to remove coffee from your favourite jeans, or the best way to lift a bloodstain off your silk blouse? Don’t just throw them in the wash and hope for the best. Tackle the problem head-on with an immediate pre-treatment.

With a soft brush, a toothbrush will work, and some washing detergent you can brush the stain away. If it looks to be a more resilient stain, resist the urge to overwork the area and instead try a bleach/chlorine free stain remover such as Vanish. This will slowly break down the dirt before it goes through the cycle. Should the stain remain after this, all is not lost, you should then soak the item with a stain removal solution for a couple of hours before washing it again.

Bloodstains - Coldwater will lift the stain out, hot water will set forever! For a very stubborn bloodstain, try soaking overnight with a mild soap.

2. Using Fabric softener in every wash

Did you know that when you use fabric softener it leaves behind a coating that makes clothing less absorbent? At first this might seem like a small sacrifice for fragrant and soft clothes, however, when you look closer you will realise you’re making certain garments less effective.

Items to avoid when using fabric softener include Gym wear, Underwear, and Towels. Why? These fabrics are designed to absorb moisture from the skin to the outside of the garment where it can then evaporate. However, when encased in a waxy coating produced from fabric softener the sweat remains trapped in the clothing, therefore creating a smell sooner than necessary, that lasts longer.

3. Using a high-temperatur wash for everything

Have you ever had the thought ‘why are my clothes fading or turning dull?’ or ‘are my clothes shrinking in the wash?’ It’s likely the temperature is too high. High temperature washes are only necessary for heavily soiled clothes or for when a high level of disinfection is needed. Washing on an eco-wash is perfectly fine for the majority of weekly washing, it can even make life easier! When you wash on 20° or 30° you don’t need to separate colours as it won’t be hot enough for the colours to run, this means you can save time, water and energy.

Oxwash use ozone generation technology to achieve medical grade washing at tap water temperatures, proving 20°can be just as effective as 40°.

4. Using too much detergent

Whoever said ‘you can never have too much’ clearly never heard of detergent. Too much detergent can make a wash less effective as the excess soap traps the dirt and push it back into your clothing leading to a build-up of bacteria.

So how much detergent should you use? You might be surprised to know that the standard detergent cap is 10 times bigger than the amount you need for a standard load. You only need 1 to 2 tablespoons per wash. Not only is this better for your bank balance but it’s also better for the environment too.

5. Forgetting to clean the filter

We often can forget about the places we can’t see on a day to day, nonetheless, they are still there and still in need of a clean occasionally. A clogged filter happens through the build-up of lint and other residuals, this leads to poor drainage. To clean your filter, simply run some hot water through the drum to remove the debris.

Becoming a laundry pro is no easy feat, especially when common laundry mistakes are so often made! However, you are in good company. Oxwash has laundry experts on call to help provide the answers to all your laundry problems.

For more information on the perfect wash temperature, checks out our blog on what temperatures you should be washing at.

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Together we can wash our way to a cleaner, eco-friendly future.