Load up on these washer, dryer tips

By Joanne Loos Posted in: The Fix is In

Part of adding good habits to your life also includes breaking bad ones. I am making hard efforts to cut down on unhealthy food choices, and I have resisted the urge to stay up too late watching mindless television.

When it comes to chores around the home, there are bad habits to break, too. Many of them lie in what has become a daily activity for me: doing the laundry. It turns out that many of these bad habits do not just waste time, but they also waste energy and can lead to damaging your items. Rethink your laundry habits and break these mistakes.

Overloading

Stuffing as much as possible into the washer causes your clothing to compress in order to make room. Compressed clothing creates folds and wrinkles. These mean that your items will not get as clean as they would if they could flow freely. Separate your items into two loads if you are cutting it close.

Adding soap

When I do laundry, I use the same amount of detergent no matter the size of the load. It turns out I’ve been doing it wrong all along. Doing this can actually cause buildup on your clothing and prevent it from rinsing clean. Check your detergent packaging for instructions on how they advise. Experts say that cutting this recommendation in half will actually yield better results. Do some experimenting to figure out what works best. Keep in mind that top-loading machines often require more detergent than front-loaders.

Using fabric softener

I’ve never used fabric softener because I’ve always had too sensitive of skin for it. However, when a relative came to visit last year, she purchased a “gentle” version that wouldn’t irritate my skin. It worked. However, it also seemed to flatten our previously fluffy towels. It turns out that fabric softener can actually reduce a towel’s ability to absorb water and decrease its fluffiness. It also can create oil stains on clothing. Use a cup of white vinegar in the wash instead. Or, use dryer balls in the dryer.

Skipping the zip

Zippers have teeth — metal teeth. These can snap other items in your load, potentially damaging them during the cycle. Avoid this mishap by zipping them up before loading them in.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisin@gmail.com.