10 Laundry Mistakes That Are Wasting Your Time and Money

Are you washing your clothes correctly? We wash our clothes, but are you doing it correctly? Laundry mistakes are more common than you think! Here is an expert’s take on how to keep your laundry fresh and clean all year!

Piles and Piles of Laundry

Happy Woman View From Inside The Washer
Image Credit: AndreyPopov via DepositPhotos.com.

Get your laundry piles under control with these great tips!

“Most people think they’ve been washing their clothes for years without a problem, but there are still some common mistakes people make while doing laundry,” said Peter Stern, Managing Director of Mr. Jeff in the U.S. “With our global reach and laundry expertise, we’ve compiled this list of tips to ensure everyone gets laundry done right.”

Don’t Just Sort by Light and Dark

Woman doing laundry
Image Credit: lightpoet via DepositPhotos.com.

The more you sort your clothes, the fresher they will be. Separate heavily soiled or muddy items from lightly soiled items and heavy or abrasive fabrics such as denim from the most delicate.

For denim, flip each item inside out, wash in cold water on a gentle cycle, and dry on low heat to prevent fading. To prevent the sheets from twisting, wash each set separately rather than the whole family’s at once and include smaller items in the load. These items help prevent twisting because they have different drape patterns.

Don’t Put Detergent Directly on Your Clothes

Young couple doing laundry View from the inside of washing machine
Image Credit: emprise via DepositPhotos.com.

Believe it or not, there is a right and wrong way to load the washing machine. According to Mr. Jeff, for a better distribution of the detergent, put clothes in the washer first, add water, and, lastly, the soap.

If you use hydrogen peroxide, add water first, then your clothes and soap. It is advisable to use liquid detergent, which is friendlier to the environment, even with washing machines.

Powdered detergents, as they are not diluted 100%, solidify and end up embedded in various areas of the equipment.

Use a laundry detergent that is safe for your health and free of phosphates and petrochemicals, chemicals that are not biodegradable and pollute natural water bodies. Make sure to check the labels on your clothes and follow the directions of each of those mysterious laundry symbols.

Related: 5 Cheapest Laundry Detergents Revealed

Don’t Overuse the Dryer

ecstatic woman in dress standing inside wardrobe rack
Image Credit: Vadymvdrobot via DepositPhotos.com.

If you have time to air dry, do so. You save energy by not running the dryer but also helping care for delicate items. The dryer damages garments with elastane (elastic) in their composition, losing its shape, and the garment can become thin – this is because the heat from the dryer bursts the elastane threads.

When using the dryer, do not overload it or over-dry the fabrics. Fold or hang the garments after they are dry, but if you can’t fold them right away, spread them out on a flat surface to avoid marking or wrinkling.

Don’t Mix Socks With Clothes

Overview image of feet in black socks with holes on yellow
Image Credit: costasz via DepositPhotos.com.

Are you tired of losing a sock every time you wash your clothes? Instead, try putting your socks in the washing machine first, then add everything else. This makes them less likely to stick to other garments, often causing them to get lost. A good alternative is to buy mesh bags for delicate garments and underwear.

Don’t Leave the Zippers Open

Asian Woman trying clothes in shop mirror
Image Credit: Kzenon via DepositPhotos.com.

Open zippers can snag delicate clothing and scratch front-loading washer doors. Make sure they are up before starting the wash cycle. Unbuttoned fasteners can also pull fabrics or damage the drum if they come loose. Invest in mesh bags or an old pillowcase as a solution.

Don’t Leave Dress Shirts Buttoned

man buttoning cufflinks
Image Credit: @name-hd92 via Canva Pro.

Yes, the zippers should be closed, but the buttons should not be. Washing a button-down shirt with fastened buttons can damage the buttons and tear the buttonholes. Don’t forget the buttons on the cuffs and collar, either!

Don’t Forget a Quick Anti-Stain Test

crying woman surrounded by laundry
Image Credit: ufabizphoto via DepositPhotos.com.

If you’re worried about washing that new red shirt for the first time, take this easy quiz to find out before disaster strikes. First, subtly dampen a part of the garment, then dry it with a white cloth to see if the dye stains. If so, wash the item only until the color stops fading. You can also include an old white sock in the wash to check.

Don’t Skip the Filter and Hose When Cleaning the Lint Trap

Woman doing laundry
Image Credit: lightpoet via DepositPhotos.com.

Empty the lint filter after each cycle because lint buildup can clog the duct and become a fire hazard. It is also important to clean the filter about once a year.

First, scrub with a detergent-moistened toothbrush, then rinse and air dry. You’ll also want to disconnect the hose from the back of the dryer about once a year. It’s time to clean the lint trap when it takes more than an hour to dry a load.

Don’t Rub the Stains

Kids with their palms and clothing painted
Image Credit: anatols via DepositPhotos.com.

You may think the best way to treat a stain is by scrubbing it vigorously with detergent. But that’s not the best course of action, and it could even cause the stain to spread.

Instead, gently rub the stain from the outside in. And, of course, the sooner you treat it, the more likely it is to go away. If you have a stain on your white shirt, some alternatives, such as hydrogen peroxide or sodium hydrosulfite, maybe even better to get your clothes clean again. It’s important to remember that conventional bleaches damage clothes.

Don’t Wash Items That Need To Be Dry Cleaned

beautiful and elegant old influencer woman
oneinchpunch via Depositphotos.com

If your clothing has a “dry clean” label, proceed cautiously. Some items do not actually need to be dry cleaned.

If these are natural fibers like wool, it is probably safe to hand wash them and let them air dry. But you’ll want to obey that label for items like leather, suede, and “structured pieces” (like blazers and suits).

20 Legal Things That Will Probably (Hopefully) Be Illegal In The Next 20 Years

Judge reading in court
Image Credit: londondeposit via DepositPhotos.com.

In today’s modern world of legalities and regulations for everything, there are certain things that people are eager to see illegalized in the next two decades, despite the complex legal landscape or things people think will become illegal in America.

20 Legal Things That Will Probably (Hopefully) Be Illegal in the Next 20 Years

15 Things That Are Really A Scam But Have Been Normalized By Society

American singer Taylor Swift performs at her '1989' World Tour concert
Image Credit: ChinaImages via DepositPhotos.com.

Have you ever seen something that is so crazy and ridiculous that you are sure it’s a scam but is actually normalized by society? Do you know that society is being scammed, but everyone is just acting like it’s normal?

15 Things That Are Really a Scam but Have Been Normalized by Society

10 Crazy Myths About Women Men Actually Believe

The beautiful girl at a car wheel
Image Credit: belarry via DepositPhotos.com.

In our society, many myths and stereotypes exist about women. Unfortunately, some men still believe in these myths, even though they have been debunked time and time again. Here are some of the crazy myths that men believe about women.

10 Crazy Myths About Women Men Actually Believe

20 Things We Thought Were Awesome As Kids But Actually Are Pretty Terrible Now

Young woman portrait: woman looking disappointed.
Image Credit: chaoss via DepositPhotos.com.

As children, we experienced many things that seemed magical and exciting. However, as we grow up, we realize that some of those things aren’t as great as we remember them to be. They are just not as fun as adults.

20 Things We Thought Were Awesome As Kids but Actually Are Pretty Terrible Now

10 Things Everyone Takes For Granted That Could Disappear Tomorrow

Bearded man concentrated with suitcase in water
Image Credit: serniukphoto via DepositPhotos.com.

In our bustling lives filled with routines and daily distractions, we often overlook the precious aspects of our existence that we consider permanent fixtures. We take for granted the comforts and conveniences that surround us, failing to recognize they might disappear.

10 Things Everyone Takes for Granted That Could Disappear Tomorrow


This post originally appeared on A Dime Saved. 

Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.