This is the most common thing that a lot of us are guilty of doing. There’s a belief that the more detergent we add to the washing machine, the cleaner clothes we will get. The fact, however, is that using too much detergent leads to the creation of excessive suds which in turn redeposits soil onto our clothing. Also, adding more soap regularly can impact how your washer runs.
These days, most washers are calibrated by cycle for a particular amount of detergent. Adding the extra amount may cause the detergent to rest inside the clothes since the final rinse cycle hasn’t done the job. You may not think much of the detergent stuck on your clothes but, over time, they may cause them to dull faster. Moreover, this may even generate odors in your washer.
Hence, there’s no real need to add any extra detergent. Simply following the instructions on the detergent would be enough.
Laundry Myth 2: Hot water kills all laundry germs
Yes, it is true that hot water does help in eliminating germs. However, for that, the temperature has to be at least 100 degrees Celsius (212 °F). Most water heaters, however, are set at around 49 degrees Celsius (120 °F). Thus, washing your clothes in hot water won’t get them cleaned the way you think it will.
Also, using hot water alone for laundry does not kill all germs and bacteria. For instance, if you are washing the clothes or linens of someone who is ill, then the germs could spread throughout the washer irrespective of the fact whether you used hot or cold water.
The cold water cycles of most washers today are just as effective as hot and also save energy. In fact, many washing machines today also have a sanitize option through which the washer can eliminate most of the microorganisms during the wash cycle. Just check the labels of your clothes to ensure that they can be placed in the hot cycle.
Laundry Myth 3: Adding bleach with detergent will increase the detergent’s effectiveness
Adding chlorine bleach to a load can help in whitening and brightening whites. However, adding undiluted bleach directly with the detergent may lead the two to cancel each other out. Also, your clothes will emerge from the dryer duller and are likely to be more stained.
You can add bleach to a load, of course. But make sure that it’s done about five minutes after the cycle begins. The bleach should also be diluted in some way that the detergent can still perform its job. Another good option is to add baking soda with the diluted bleach to aid the stain removal process.
Laundry Myth 4: High dryer heat causes shrinking
Our clothes shrink for many reasons but dryer heat is not one of them. Leading fabric technologists say that a hot iron does not shrink clothes. In fact, the heat and pressure of the iron cause the clothes to stretch. Shrinkage is generally caused by the tumbling action when the clothes hit the sides of the dryer. Some fabric shrinkage is also a result of the lack of moisture in fibers that comes from overdrying.
If you are really concerned about your clothes shrinking, then remove the clothes from the dryer while they are still a little damp and allow them to get some air.
Laundry Myth 5: Add coffee to rinse water to keep clothes black
There’s this weird myth that adding two cups of coffee or tea to rinse water will help keep your clothes dark. Coffee can color fabric; in fact, coffee and tea are effective dyes. That being said, adding ground coffee to your cycle would probably lead to odd odors and grounds stuck in your washer rather than darkened clothes. Another thing to remember here is that a standard top load washer uses 16 gallons of water. A front load washer, too, uses five to seven gallons of water. Thus, adding one cup of coffee will not keep your black clothes from fading and will barely cause any dying.
Laundry Myth 6: You can clean your jeans by putting them in the freezer
This myth has been around for a while but doesn’t really hold much weight. Freezing your jeans may get rid of some of the weaker bacteria but it certainly won’t kill off all the germs in them. The simple truth is that cold temperatures aren’t enough to kill off any bacteria on your clothing. Thus, when you are adding the jeans to your freezer you are simply allowing the bacteria in them to spread to the freezer. Health experts recommend washing our jeans after two or three wears to ensure that it is rid of all the germs.
Laundry Myth 7: Dry cleaning is the best option for all garments
Clothes that are labeled with “dry clean only” should certainly be taken to the dry cleaner in your neighborhood. However, you don’t need to do the same for all your clothes. It is likely that you can give your clothes a better wash yourself than just blindly believing that dry cleaning is the best option for all your garments. This is simply because cleaners use chemical solvents such as perchloroethylene and other solvents to wash the clothes. In fact, even the green dry cleaners use silicone fluids and liquid carbon dioxide in their processes. Thus, for your normal clothes, your washing machine is more than good enough for the job.
Laundry Myth 8: Dryer balls work just as well as traditional products
Dryer balls have become really popular in recent times due to various social media posts and are being touted to work just as well as traditional products. Dryer balls are made from natural wool and are meant to replace dryer sheets. They can also be made of plastic or rubber and help prevent laundry from clumping together in the dryer by rolling between layers and separating fabric. However, they also tend to coat your newly-cleaned clothes in an unnecessary layer of film. Experts say that these dryer balls do not reduce drying time or wrinkles and hence it would be imprudent to expect them to live up to their claims. Don’t give up on your dryer sheets just yet.
Laundry Myth 9: Aspirin tablets help in whitening clothes
This myth became popular a while back thanks to soical media. It was being claimed on various blogs that dissolving five aspirin tablets in the hot water used to soak your clothing will help make them super-white. There is no science to back this claim, however. The chemical compound of aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid which breaks down when exposed to moisture and becomes salicylic acid. Salicylic acid has no known bleaching effect on fabrics. Thus, this myth really doesn’t work.
You might be aware that pre-soaking whites in hot water does make them appear whiter. This happens because the hot water helps to lift off some dirt during the soaking process. Someone is likely to have mistakenly linked this to aspirin and this is how this weird myth might have spread.
See Also: 10 Useful Guides to Help You With Your Clothes
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