Home Lifestyle 11 Biggest Laundry Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes

11 Biggest Laundry Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes

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If you want to keep your clothes cleaner, your home greener, you need to avoid these 10 mistakes. We also collected some expert laundry tips that can help you laundry your clothes the right way.

1. You overuse bleach

Instead of using chlorine bleach, disinfect your clothes by line-drying. Sunlight’s ultraviolet rays are effective at killing bacteria in fabrics. Bonus: they’re free.

2. You overuse detergent

Using more detergent won’t make clothes cleaner. Over time, excess detergent can build up and cause smelly residue inside your machine. Use the least amount of detergent possible—start with half the recommended amount, and if your clothes still come out clean, you can try reducing even further.

3. You use fragranced laundry detergent and fabric softener

A 2011 study found that fragranced products cause dryer vents to emit seven compounds that contain hazardous air pollutants and two that are carcinogenic.

4. You use essential oils

Don’t scent homemade detergent with essential oils. Some dryers heat up to about 57° C, which is above the flashpoint for some essential oils.

5. You fall for greenwashing tactics

Even “unscented” brands may not be what they purport to be. “Unscented detergents can still contain fragrances to mask chemical smells,” says Lindsay Coulter, the David Suzuki Foundation’s green-living expert.

6. You avoid the do-it-yourself route

If you want to avoid mystery ingredients, make your own detergent. The David Suzuki Foundation recommends using ½ cup per load of a mixture of two teaspoons of salt, two tablespoons of baking soda, two tablespoons of liquid Castile soap and one litre of hot water.

7. You leave wet towels in the washer

If your towels are musty, add a cup of white vinegar or a cup of baking soda to your wash load (but not both at once).

8. You’re machine-washing microfiber garments

Your fleece jacket made from recycled bottles likely contains microfibres—pollutants that account for 35 per cent of microplastics in the world’s oceans. “With every wash, your garments are shedding microfibres that end up in waterways and eventually in the food chain,” says Coulter. Special fibre-trapping bags can help keep them out of the drain.

9. You don’t empty your dryer lint tray

Lint buildup in the filter and vents is a primary cause of the dozens of fires started by dryers every year in Toronto, says Papeo. “Empty your lint tray before every load and vacuum the filter and inside the trap from time to time.”

10. You don’t wash your jeans

There’s no getting around washing jeans. Some people swear that storing their denim in the freezer kills germs, but that’s a myth—the bacteria only go dormant.

11. You wash everything in warm water

Up to 75 per cent of the energy used for washing clothes goes toward heating the water. Your clothes will get just as clean in a cold-water wash and they’ll last longer—lower temperatures preserve dyes and reduce shrinkage.

Source: readersdigest.ca