How to Wash Clothes? Avoid this 21 Mistakes | Laundry Basics

  21 Laundry Mistakes Needed to be Avoided 

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There are many laundry practices which are adopted by many of us, which may happen to be mistakes in the terms of laundry techniques. Here we will look at a few of them and try to avoid them in future practice.

      1.   Avoid Stains Scrubbing vigorously.

Never rub the stains instead of tabing it gently with the white cloth from outside in. Treating the stains instantly can help remove them easily. Scrubbing the stains can damage the fabric. 

      2.   Using Excessive Detergent.

It is an old belief that the more detergent is used, the cleaner are our clothes. It is a myth. The use of detergent depends on the type of water used to clean the clothes. The harder the water, the more detergent is required. 

Using an excess of detergent, the excess stud is produced which in turn holds the dirt pulled from the cloth and it gets caught in the area which is not rinsed clean. Excess use of detergent makes the machine difficult to rinse the garments and leaves greasy residue on the clothes, which may give bad odor and attract more dirt.  How much detergent to use depends on fabric to fabric.

      3.   Using the wrong kind of detergent.

If you have a highly efficient washer-extractor, you need to have high-quality detergent. Machines are designed in modern technology to use less water with a tumbling process and not merely an agitation in the washing cycle. Over sudsy due to the use of cheap quality detergent may sometimes lead to damaging the washer or clothes.

      4.   Incorrect filling of the washing machine.

In the olden times, it was the practice to fill the washer with water, then adding detergent, and then adding the load. This was the trick used by laundries to avoid the accumulation of residue of phosphate on the drum, which ultimately gets transferred to the clothes.

Today the washers are front-loaded to get the benefit of the “G” factor. Today filling the washers with water and then filling the clothes can lead to too small a load to wash, ultimately unbalancing the machine. Hence, the washers are used with an appropriate quantity of water as recommended by the equipment manufacturer.

How to Wash Clothes? Avoid this 21 Mistakes | Laundry Basics

      5.    Overlooking the “Dry Clean” tag. 

Most of the expensive garments carry a tag of “Dry Clean” or wash in cold water. Most people do not bother to see it and wash the garments in the normal wash. Whatever type of fabric has to be washed first is indicated in the tag. A bleed test of the new and expensive clothes has to be taken before putting them to wash. To do a bleed test normally, take a clean white piece of cloth, moist it with water, apply a little detergent, and tab it on the corner-hidden seam of the garment. If it does not bleed, then dump the clothes in a soapy water wash lightly, rinse and hang it to dry. However, you should go for dry cleaning or wet cleaning of those garments labeled as dry clean.

      6.    Zippers left unzipped before loading.

Delicate clothes washed in the same wash cycle as unzipped zippers possibly can damage those expensive or delicate clothes. To avoid this, you should always sort the garments before washing them. 

      7.    Washing Buttoned up shirts.

Unlike the zippers, the shirts are never washed buttoned up. There are chances that the buttons can get snatched out while washing as it is fixed into the slot provided in the shirt while washing. 

This button which comes out of the shirt can damage the washing machine, if it gets stuck into the perforated holes of the drum or it can scratch the drum, as it is loose and can get trapped below the load in that wash cycle.

   8.    Excess use of Bleach. 

To wash and disinfect the garments, it is first washed with the detergent and ample water, dried and treated with diluted bleach. No more than a cup per gallon quantity of bleach.

Bleach, though it whitens the clothes, has the property of fading the garments. Hence, excess use of bleach is avoided. 

  9.    Improper Installation of Washing machine.

Modern washing machines have a very high spin speed of the drum, to extract maximum moisture from the clothes. Which in turn produces tremendous vibration in the machine. If this washer is not mounted properly, it can damage the floor and produce noise of high decibels. 

A proper platform is made to mount the washer-extractors, using concrete. But if the washer is made for domestic use then a piece of plywood is placed on the floor and the machine is mounted on it.  

     10.  Allowing rest time for washers and dryers.

Modern washers are heavy-duty, and there is no need to keep a gap after a wash cycle is completed.

After the drying cycle in the dryer is completed, heat is retained inside the dryer. If the dryer is used immediately it can help to use this retained heat to save on energy. Immediate back to back use of the dryer is recommended. But in a domestic washer, taking a few minutes’ rest after 3-4 washes advisable. 

   11.  Use Proper programs in washers and dryers           

Proper use of the program while washing and drying is highly recommended. Wash cycles for different loads are predetermined.

Identifying the load, fabric, and setting the program accordingly is advisable to get good washing results and also to enhance the life of the garment.

Over-stuffing the washer-extractor can never give good results. Clothes need to float freely as they need to be freely rotated to get clean and wrinkle-free. They can exert more pressure on the motor operating it, which can cause early maintenance requirements.

Clothes coming out of the dryers should be shaken and folded immediately to avoid wrinkles from setting in. Or else shake the pieces and spread them in trolleys one upon another to fold them later as per the time permits. 

       12.     Putting Socks directly into washers.

Place the socks in pairs, into the washer to avoid misplacement by getting entangled with the other garments.

Try washing socks in flowing tap water before putting it in a washer to avoid the spread of the bad odor in the machine. 

        13.    Dryers not cleaned regularly.

After every wash, the lint accumulates in the lint filter of the dryers. If the lint filters are not washed regularly the efficiency of the dryer goes down and also it starts effecting the amount of moisture extraction from the clothes.

Lint accumulates and clogs the hose, which is fire hazardous. Hence, the hose has to be cleaned every six months, by removing it from the backside of the dryer by using a long brush and pushing the lint to get out from the other side. And then flush with clean water. 

      14.    Improper Sorting of Garments.

Sorting laundry clothes is the basics of laundry. Sorting clothes allows you to use different washing cycles efficiently as designed in the washers. The basic criteria on which the clothes are sorted are color and the material of fabric like whites, darks, lights, delicate jeans, and heavily soiled clothes.

Whites: White Shirts, Pajamas, Sarees, Undergarments, Socks - all this comes under this category. These sorted clothes are generally cotton, which is cleaned in a normal wash using hot and warm water cycles.

Darks: Dark blue, red, purple, dark green, etc. are sorted in this pile of the load.

Lights: Light yellow, light blue, peach color, beach color all this is sorted in this pile of the laundry load.

Jeans: All the denim manufactured material is sorted in this category.

Delicate: In this category comes silk, woolen, etc. comes under this category.

Soiled Clothes: Heavily soiled clothes are collected in this pile of load and this load is treated separately as per the stains by using different chemicals with different spotting methods. 

     15.     Pouring of liquid detergent over the clothes.

The normal method of washing clothes in a top-loaded washer is to fill it with warm water, then add detergent, stir to dissolve and then drop the clothes. 

Adding detergents whether it is powder or liquid on the loaded clothes is a wrong method of washing clothes. As it will leave undissolved soap sticking on the clothes, live a film of soap left unwashed on it. 

      16.    Regular Cleaning of the Washing Machine.

After every wash the washing machine has to be cleaned regularly. Generally, it is observed that after washing the load of clothes, we switch off the machine and keep it. But if after washing the last load of clothes if the machine is little filled with water and running, it helps remove the remaining of soil or detergent to come out and it is ready for direct use next time. 

      17.     Do not Over-dry clothes.

Over drying clothes in dryers may cause unnecessary shrinkage, warping elastics and tumble action is also very rough. The best way to use the dryers with low temperatures. 

      18.     Carry out a bleeding test.

Whenever washing a new garment, it is advisable to see the label attached, where the washing instructions are written. Follow the instructions accordingly. You can go for wet cleaning if it is written dry clean. 

Using the bleed test explained above, this is carried out to understand whether the garment releases color and gets faded. This result will help us to decide the procedure of washing this garment. 

      19.    Clean the hose while cleaning the lint filter.

Cleaning the lint filter regularly is always advisable. Also, clean the hose at a regular interval of time.

Collection of the excess lint in the lint filter or hose is hazardous to fire and also it will reduce the drying efficiency of the dryer.   

      20.    Over Heating the water in the washer.

Overheating of the water in the washer-extractors can be a disaster to the colored linens, woolen and cotton clothes. Each washing program is pre-designed as per the linen to be loaded. Delicate clothes should be washed gently in water not more than 40 degrees centigrade. If the control board signals or thermostat stops operating and can cause the water to overheat in the washers, the cycle has to be interrupted and those damaged elements need to be repaired immediately.   

 21.   Loading the washer with heavily stained clothes.

Washing machines are operated mechanically, but there are many manual operating factors affecting the result produced by the best of the available washing machines.

If the load contains heavy stains which are not pre-treated and loaded with the less stained clothes, definitely the results will not be produced as expected.

Adding an extra rinse cycle to the operation may result in getting better results.

Hope this article may have helped to avoid mistakes made while washing the clothes.