Washing, we either hate it or we hate it but it’s just one of those things that needs to be done on a regular basis. Generally speaking, most of us just bundle our clothes into the washer, fill the detergent drawer and press the start button. Wasting any more mental energy on this boring chore seems pointless for many.
However, did you know there are actually many things that you could be doing better to improve this tedious task and making it easier and more effective? Whether you have given this any thought in the past or not, here are the top debunked myths about washing that you must know if you want to improve your washes as well as save money at the same time.
Myth #1: Expensive Detergent Cleans Better
This is not true because most detergents available in supermarkets today are capable of washing the majority of our laundry items. The motion of water spinning inside the drum is the way in which it is dispersed around the clothes. This process provides the required friction and rubbing needed to break down dirt particles embedded within the fabric and ultimately aid the cleaning process. The detergent diluted into the water therefore hits all areas of the clothing possible and ultimately cleans the clothes; an expensive detergent will not change this process.
Myth #2: No Fabric Softener, No Soft Clothes
One of the most useful purposes of fabric softener is to add a fragrance to clean clothes, however the common misconception is that this product is required to keep clothes soft. In fact, the amount of moisture you can maintain in your towels is actually the best route to a softer feel. If you use a dryer you should check on the drying progress at regular intervals because fabrics tend to dry at different rates.
Taking the towels out of the dryer before they are too dry will prevent the harder course feeling that you have probably felt before. If you would like to save money on fabric softeners, simply take your clothes out a little earlier from the dryer, because essentially it’s the amount of moisture within clothes which keeps them soft, and not so much the addition of a fabric softener.
Myth #3: Sensitive Skin Deserves Sensitive Detergent
There are a combination of facts behind this statement. Certain detergents need to be used at higher temperatures in order to fully break down their particles and if not done so, remains of the soap will be left behind in the fabric of washed items. This is one of the main causes of irritation for those with sensitive skins. To ensure you always break down all the particles of your detergent make sure you always wash at 35 degrees or above.
Myth #4: Dust Allergies Prevented by 60-Degree Washes
Dust mites can trigger conditions such as asthma and for those who suffer from it, it is recommended that you wash your clothes at 60 degrees to remove those little critters from your clothes. But, whilst washing at a higher temperature might increase the chance of killing them, the cycle needs to be at 60 degrees or higher for at least 10 minutes consistently in order to successfully do the job.
Myth #5: 30 Degrees is Better for the Environment
A colder wash certainly uses less energy but you need to know more about which clothes should be washed at 30 degrees if you plan to use this temperature more regularly. White clothes are the least suited to colder washes. This is because anything under 40 degrees struggles to break down sweat particles in fabric, a.k.a. ‘protein stains’. This results in some people having to wash the same pieces of clothing more than once to get them clean, which ultimately pushes up electricity and water costs.
Myth #6: Why Would I need to clean a Washing Machine?
If you prefer to wash your clothes with cooler water then it’s more important to ensure that you clean your washing machine regularly, even inside the drum, not simply emptying the filter. This is because the remnants have a tendency to stay within the drum because the lack of hot water has not fully broken them down. If you use fabric softener more often then this will only add to the problem and cause a large build up. If you have a ‘tub clean’ function on your machine, try to use it to keep the inner and outer tubs as clean as possible.
Myth #7: Avoiding Lint is Not Possible
Apparently there is nothing we can do to avoid the build up of lint, which isn’t necessarily true. If you are tired of having to de-fluff your clothing with a lint brush after they have been for a spin then you may not have to. Lint is a by-product of washing that can’t be avoided, but with the correct clothing care you can reduce its problem. Lint is a result of friction on your clothing as they spin around the drum. If you want to avoid items that are more prone to producing lint such as towels and fleecy fabrics then wash these in a separate softer wash at a higher temperature. It is also advisable to separate these items from ones that attract lint such as corduroy and synthetics.
Myth #8: A Heavy Load requires More Detergent
This simply isn’t true, because the amount of water entering the machine is the same, so too much detergent can cause the solution to not be fully dissolved and therefore leave soap remnants on your clothing. If your machine is a high energy efficient model then its likely to use less water and ultimately leave more detergent un-dissolved if you add too much. This can also be the reason clothes cause irritation to the skin as mentioned above.
A good clean is dependent on a combination of factors, e.g. the size of the load and how dirty the clothes are and how hard the water is (level of mineral content) which will ultimately determine how much detergent is required. The amount recommended by the manufacturer is generally close enough to the right amount and shouldn’t be deviated from too much. The most important thing to remember is to not over load the drum, which is the primary cause of clothes not washing correctly.