Personal Growth

15 Ways You May Be Doing Your Laundry Wrong

From using too much detergent to leaving your zippers unzipped, you're most likely doing your laundry completely wrong. Don't worry — we'll figure this out together. Time to get smarter about the wash.

Related Video: Here's How You Should Be Doing Your Laundry

Smart Laundry Strategy

Laundry day means dancing around in your sweats to Beyonce while throwing your overflowing laundry "to the left, to the left" into your washing machine. Just us? Cool. As it turns out, there are tricks to getting laundry right that most people are completely oblivious to. They'll improve the lifespan of your clothing, increase your laundry's cleanliness, and, perhaps most importantly, help the environment. Keep reading for a laundry list of washing tricks.

Here's What You're Doing Wrong

Let's get this laundry party started. Here are 15 things you're probably doing wrong, plus tips you can start incorporating into your weekly (hopefully) routine:

1. Stop washing clothes after every use. Unless you sweat a lot or smell terrible, you're better off saving energy and water by repeating outfits. Bonus: your clothes won't wear out as quickly.

2. You're bad at sorting things. You probably know not to mix darks and whites, but you also shouldn't mix towels with synthetic clothing, or fleece with anything else.

3. Don't overload your machine. Your clothes won't be as clean, and you're also increasing your chances of creasing. No one wants creasing.

4. Slow down on the detergent. Using too much detergent can actually leave your clothes dirtier. Experts recommend ¼ of a cap per load.

5. Re-think fabric softener. You shouldn't use fabric softeners with towels, or overdo fabric softener in general. Tip: use white vinegar instead.

6. Pretreat those oil-based stains. If you treat an oily spot with a dab of liquid dishwashing detergent, it should be ready for the machine.

7. Wash down feather items at the laundromat. Down jackets, comforters, and pillows need to go through the wash cycle twice so the detergent doesn't get stuck in the feathers. Use a laundromat's high-capacity machines, and you're golden.

8. Don't machine wash your bathing suits. Either rinse them with water after use or wash your suit in cold water by hand with mild soap.

9. Jeans aren't one wash fits all. Some people choose not to wash their jeans very often to avoid fading. If you do wash them, however, turn them inside out, wash cold, and hang to dry.

10. Keep zippers zipped, and unbutton those buttons. Open zippers can destroy your clothes, and buttoned buttons will weaken the threads that hold them.

11. Don't let dark clothes fade — let them hang. You should wash dark clothes inside out and in cold water. Then, opt to hang dry to avoid further fading.

12. Dryer balls > dryer sheets. Dryer sheets are wasteful, but dryer balls are reusable!

13. When in doubt, air dry it out. When you do use your dryer, utilize all of the heat cycles — permanent Press is typically your safest bet.

14. Stop letting your damp clothes sit. Your wet clothes are building up bacteria as they sit in your machine. Not to mention, they smell.

15. For the love of clothes, keep your machine clean. Gunk can build up, meaning your clothes will stay dirty.

Ready, set, go wash a load of clothes! Mom will be proud.

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For more cleaning tips, check out "My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag ... and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha" by "Ask a Clean Person" Jolie Kerr. We handpick reading recommendations we think you may like. If you choose to make a purchase, Curiosity will get a share of the sale.

Written by Anna Todd December 17, 2016

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