Clothes keep their shape and color better if you wash them at lower temperatures. Besides, if you have a decent washing machine and detergent, warm water does just a good a job at cleaning your clothes as hot water. You should only wash linen and towels at high temperatures – everything else can make do with lower temperatures.
2. Loading the Machine with Heavily Stained Clothes
Heavily soiled clothes should be pre-soaked, and stained items should be carefully washed by hand or treated with a stain remover before putting them into the washing machine. Otherwise, the dirt might not come off completely.
Instead of a stain remover, you can use alternative means. Lemon juice is a great cleansing agent for sweat stains. Alternatively, a mixture of vinegar and liquid detergent can remove traces of grass, while wine stains will vanish after applying a mixture of water and baking soda (a 3:1 Ratio).
3. Too Much Detergent or Softener
Too much detergent can clog the detergent container and cause an unpleasant smell, while too much softener makes clothes less easy to rinse. Make sure to read the dosages indicated on the packaging, and don’t forget to use the measuring cup. If your things are really dirty, use the pre-wash mode or run two cycles.
Besides making the fabric more velvety, linen softener facilitates ironing. However, over time, it reduces fabric absorbency, so it’s a good idea not to use it when washing towels, sportswear, or any other items made from microfiber, spandex, or elastane.
5. Machine Washing Lingerie
With automatic washing, bras quickly stretch and lose their shape, so it’s better to wash them by hand. The same applies to lace lingerie and swimsuits. Conversely, nylon tights can be washed in the washing machine if several simple rules are followed:
• Use a special detergent for delicate washing.
• Wash at 90F and at a low speed.
• Put the tights into a special washing bag.
• Turn the tights inside out.
6. Using Bleach for Elastane, Lycra, or Spandex
Bleach is an aggressive agent that weakens fibers, so it shouldn’t be overused with any materials. This is especially true for elastane, lycra, and spandex, which will lose their elasticity quickly if washed with bleach. Below are some more tips on how to take care of these things:
• Wash them only in cool water.
• Don’t use fabric softener.
• Don’t dry them in an automatic dryer.
• Don’t iron them.
7. Drying it Wrong
Incorrect drying affects your clothes as adversely as incorrect washing. Here are some tips that’ll help you avoid mistakes:
• Don’t use automatic drying too often as this will make your things wear out and lose color faster. Don’t use it to dry thin and delicate fabrics.
• Don’t over dry the laundry as this makes it harder to iron.
• Don’t hang knitted and woolen items as they’ll lose their shape. Spread them out on a towel on a horizontal surface.
• Before hanging the laundry, shake it up to prevent creasing.
Denim producers advise against washing their products in order to preserve the color for longer. If you’re not quite ready to follow this recommendation, the optimal interval between 2 washes is a period of 2 to 6 months depending on how often you wear your jeans.
9. Bad Washing Machine Care
Dirt, residue from detergent, and everything else that accumulates inside a washing machine over time will get onto your clothes sooner rather than later, leading to bad smells and white stains. To prevent this, follow a few simple maintenance rules:
• Air the machine after every washing.
• Remove the residual detergent from the rubber gasket on the door after every washing.
• Rinse the detergent container manually.
• Once a month, run an empty machine with detergent and vinegar for disinfection.