NEW YORK — We all have to do laundry at some point, and chances are we’ve been doing it the same way our whole lives.
We could be making a few simple mistakes that are hurting our clothes, towels and other items.
Senior Associate Home Editor of “Real Simple” Leslie Corona shared some advice on how to correct our laundry mistakes:
Don’t rub stains furiously
- This can make the stain worse and possibly wear away the fabric. Instead, be gentle. Treat the stain as soon as you can. Always use a white cloth so that
Avoid using too much detergent and bleach
- Excess suds can hold dirt pulled from clothes and get caught in areas that won’t always rinse clean, leading to bacteria buildup.
- The remedy: Use only half the amount of detergent you normally do, then gradually increase that amount if your clothes are not coming out as clean as you’d like.
- Exception: If you have hard water, you may need more soap than you’re actually using.
- Think twice before reaching for the bleach: You don’t need it to get rid of stains. Instead, toss stained socks, tees and undies into a big pot of water with a few lemon slices and bring it to a boil for a few minutes.
Fill the washing machine the right way
- When washing in a top-loader with liquid detergent: Clothes, water then soap. (Unless you’re using bleach)
- Don’t pack clothes in: They need to float freely or else they’ll wrinkle.
- Sock-saving tips: Place socks in washer tub first or use a mesh wash bag (but avoid overfilling the bag)
- Zip zippers all the way – metal teeth can snag delicate and woven clothing
- Delicate pieces: Consider washing them inside a mesh laundry bag
- Unbutton shirts completely: Keeping them buttoned up can lead to premature button poppage.
- Running back-to-back dryer loads is smart and efficient
- To lower your energy bill, check peak hours listed by your energy company. Usually, running them at night will save you money in the long run.
- Folding clothes while still hot or right out the dryer can eliminate creases and wrinkles.
- No time? Shake out pieces and lay them flat in the laundry basket, one on top of the other.