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Stop These 7 Laundry Habits to Keep Your Clothes Fresh & New

by Ann Ferguson

We might all dread doing the laundry every week, but there's no denying the joy from the scent and feel of freshly cleaned clothes. So, all that sorting and pre-soaking is definitely worth it! But did you know that it's possible to do laundry wrong?

Since National Laundry Day is in two days (Apr. 15), we thought it'd be best to go over some of the worst laundry habits people make — you might be surprised by which ones you're guilty of!

1. Using the Same Temperature for Every Load

Closeup image of washer machine temperature settings

One bad habit many people make is washing every load with the same temperature settings. Sure, using the same settings every time might be easier, but using the same temperature can harm your clothes! Every material requires different care!

For instance, you should always wash your towels and bedding in warm or hot water, but cotton and wool require colder temperatures.

Pro Tip: Always double-check the laundry care tag before washing your clothes.

2. Overloading the Machine

Another habit many of us are guilty of is overloading the washing machine. You might think stuffing all your clothes at once is the fastest way to clean all your clothes, but you'd be wrong. When you overstuff the machine, less laundry detergent can circulate and move through the clothes, so not every item gets cleaned.

Not to mention, smaller items can get jumbled, stretched, or ripped when stuffed into an oversized load, especially if there are bulky items as well.

Pro Tip: An evenly sized laundry load is one where the clothes are evenly and loosely distributed inside the machine—not even a large load should fill the washer more than three-quarters full!

3. Too Much Detergent

Closeup of clothes in washer machine as woman contemplates amount of detergent

Soap cleans, so it makes sense that the more soap there is, the more clean things get, right? Wrong! When washing clothes, too much detergent leaves residue on your clothes, making them look dull and attracting more dirt.

The excessive detergent will also lead to more suds that can damage the pump and drain in your washing machine. So, following the recommended amounts labeled on your detergents is best because each kind dissolves differently. And if you have a high-efficiency machine, the amount you detergent you need is even less than you think!

Pro Tip: For extra dirty and smelly clothes, try adding a bit of baking soda or vinegar to the wash to help them get clean.

4. Not Zipping Zippers

This one might seem weird, but not zipping up items with zippers before washing them is bad for your clothes. If left unzipped, the metallic teeth can snag and hurt delicate items. So, always zip up your jackets before putting them in the washer!

Pro Tip: The opposite is true for buttons, always leave those unfastened, or they could pop off in the wash.

5. Letting Wet Clothes Linger

Wet clothes sitting in the washer for a while

This bad laundry habit is something we've all been guilty of more than once: leaving your wet clothes in the washer too long! We know it's easy to get busy and forget about the load of clothes you started but leaving them in the washer too long will make your just-clean clothes dirty all over again!

In eight to twelve hours, mildew and mold can develop on your clothes and cause that yucky damp smell that is hard to eliminate! So, be sure to remove your clean clothes from the washer as soon as the cycle is done!

Pro Tip: If you do have to rewash damp, smelly clothes, add a cup of white vinegar to the load with your regular detergent.

6. Not Emptying Pockets

Not emptying the pockets in your clothes is usually a sad lesson to learn, especially if it's your phone or wallet you find at the bottom of the washer (been there!). But not only does forgetting to empty your clothes pockets bad for your items, but it's also bad for your washer and dryer!

Sharp metal items can scratch and ruin the drum of your washer or dryer. Meanwhile, other small items can clog your washer drain and keep it from functioning well. In either case, always double-check those pockets, especially for kids' clothes!

7. Not Putting Away Clean Clothes

Folded towels in a basket as more clothes are taken out to fold

It's often said that doing the laundry and putting away your clothes are separate chores, but they shouldn't be! Tossing your clothes into a laundry basket and letting them sit will give you more work in the long run, as they'll wrinkle and need ironing.

When you fold and hang your clothes right after they're still warm from the dryer, it'll help prevent wrinkles and be much easier to fold!

Pro Tip: Some dryers have a permanent press cycle, de-wrinkle settings, or extra tumble options to help prevent wrinkled clothing!

New Habits

You've undoubtedly done at least one of these bad laundry habits, but that's okay — we've all been there. But by following good habits, your clothes come out fresher, and your laundry appliances last longer! However, if your current washer and dryer have seen better days, it's better to start fresh at ! We have plenty of in-stock appliances we can ship to you quickly!

Have any questions? Give us a call or stop by — your fresh laundry awaits you!