LAUNDRY whizzes have revealed how many times you should really be wearing clothes before washing them – and other major errors ruining your garments.
Doing your laundry seems like a relatively foolproof task – after all, it's just a bit of washing powder, fabric softener and separating the colours?
Well, according to experts, there's more to it – and yes, you are washing your knickers too often.
Over or under-washing
The gurus at Which? noted that one of the biggest mistakes people make with their clothes is throwing them in the washing machine too little – or too frequently.
Although you probably don't want to be walking around with stuffy clothes, there's no need to put them for a wash after wearing them just once.
Here's how often you should be cleaning the everyday essentials:
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- Underwear: 1 wear
- Bra: 2-3 wears
- T-shirt: 1-2 wears
- Whites: 1-2 wears
- Jeans: 6-10 wears
- Sweatshirt: 5-6 wears
- Dress: 1-3 wears
- Skirt: 5-7 wears
The industry pros insisted that washing your clothes less often has a number of perks.
Not only will it keep your clothes in good condition for longer, it also means you're saving energy, water and money – cha-ching.
Washing everything at the same temperature
According to research by Which?, most people clean their clothes on a 40°C cycle.
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However, the experts advised to adjust the temperature based on the type of load going into your washing machine.
For lightly soiled clothes, a 30°C or even 20°C wash should be enough to do the trick.
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They added that a cooler 30°C wash uses 38% less energy than a 40°C one. A 20°C wash will cut it down by 62%, the report revealed.
Meanwhile, for bedding, towels, and clothes with lots of stubborn stains, it's recommended to stick to a hotter cycle.
Using the same detergent for whites and darks
Sharing their insights, the experts said it's best to use washing powder for white garments and opt for liquid detergent for darks and bright colours.
This is because most washing powders contain bleaching agents.
So whilst this is a great way of keeping your white clothes extra bright, washing powder could make your dark clothes fade, especially when over-washing.
Meanwhile, liquid detergents – whether liquids, gels or capsules – don't use bleaching agents, which means they're perfect for keeping the colours vibrant.
Putting up with a smelly washing machine
It's pretty difficult avoiding nasty mould build-up in your washing machine – but there are a few cleaning tips.
To prevent mould, you can run a regular, hot service wash every few months.
Then gently clean the rubber seal with an anti-bacterial wipe, the experts instructed.
Whilst giving the washing machine a makeover, you will also want to wash the detergent drawer – this can be removed and cleaned in the sink.
The last step, the pros said, is cleaning put the lint filter behind the latch just beneath the washing machine door.
To prevent any humidity from building up, make sure you leave your washing machine door and drawer open after washes.
Chucking everything into the tumble dryer
Once the laundry's been washed, putting it all straight into the tumble dryer isn't necessarily the best idea.
However, if you must use it for speedy drying, ensure to fill it up, separate cottons from synthetics and regularly clean the lint filter and heat exchanger.
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There are also garments to never put in the tumble dryer:
- Bras: the heat could make them shapeless,
- Jeans: they can shrink in hot temperatures,
- Swimming costumes: the Lycra in them can distort and break,
- Tights: the delicate material tears easily,
- Embellished clothes: sequins could put tiny rips into other clothes, whereas stones or beads can melt in the heat,
- Shoes and trainers: the glue that attaches the sole to the rest of the shoe will melt in high temperatures.
Cleaning hacks and tips
Here are some tips to help you clean your home like a pro:
- How to clean your washing machine in a few easy steps
- Keep on top of cleaning your oven regularly
- Clean your shower to ensure it's always sparkling
- How to clean your microwave using cheap household items
- Here's how to get rid of that nasty limescale in your kettle
- You're cleaning your carpet all wrong – here's how to get it spotless again in no time
- Unblock a toilet without a plunger
- Clean your fabric or leather sofa in a few easy steps
- If you haven't cleaned your mattress in ages, here's how
- Steps to cleaning your dishwasher to leave it looking brand new
- This is how to clean mirrors and windows without streaking
- Keep your toilet clean in four easy steps
- Give your TV screen a once-over
- Did you know your Venetian, Roman, vertical, or roller blinds also need cleaning?
- Deep-clean your fridge in five simple steps
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