5 common laundry mistakes you might be making

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Shrunken woollens and rainbow-dyed white sheets, suds all over the floor and broken bra wires…most of us learn the basic rules of laundry the hard way. But what of the things you think you’re doing right which are actually detrimental to clothes?

There are more sins happening in the laundry than you think. Are you guilty of any of these?

1. Too much detergent

Counter-intuitive though it may be, more soap does not equal cleaner clothes. Instead, it can make them grimier as soap residue fades colour and attracts more dirt. It can also lead to bacteria build-up in the machine and on clothes, especially in areas where excess soap holds dirt and doesn’t get washed away, like seams, pleats or collars.

Believe it or not, detergent build up can even make your clothes smell, due to bacteria. Yuk!

Use only the recommended amount, and perhaps a little less, especially if the scoop seems quite generous.

2. Leaving wet clothes in the machine

Tsk, tsk tsk. Got distracted? Went away for the weekend after you put the machine on?

Don’t worry – we’ve all been there.

But wet clothes left in the machine (especially if they’ve been there more than 24 hours) not only become smelly but can start forming mildew, which can trigger an asthma or allergy attack in sensitive individuals.

Remove wet clothes as soon as possible, even if you don’t have time to hang them out – they’re better off in a basket than in the closed machine. If you’ve got a particularly stinky load, run the machine again, with a few capfuls of Bosisto’s Tea Tree Solution* included to leave everything smelling fresh again. (When you’re not using it for washing, keep this handy product in your first aid kit – it’s a natural antiseptic for minor cuts!).

3. Overloading your machine

It’s tempting to pack those last few items in, and get all the laundry done at once. But don’t cramp your washing machine’s style: you could regret it!

Your machine needs room to agitate clothes and swoosh water and detergent around them in order to thoroughly clean; clothes need to be able to move freely around inside the drum.

Apart from this, a too-full load can strain your machine’s bearings and suspension, causing an expensive repair bill. A good rule of thumb is three quarter’s full.

4. Vigorously rubbing stains

Rub it hard, it’ll come out, right? Wrong. This is one area where results don’t happen in proportion to the efforts you put in. With stain removal, vigorous rubbing can make the stain worse and even damage the fabric.

Easy does it: treat quickly to avoid the stain setting, and use an emulsifying stain remover with a gentle base, such as Bosisto’s Pre-Wash Stain Remover. Dab, rather than rub and work from the outside in to avoid making a ‘ring’ effect.

Next, wash with a performance formula like Bosisto’s Power Plus Laundry Liquid. With this little beauty, you don’t have to rely on harsh chemicals for results – the formula is plant based with 5 x natural enzymes that is powerful enough to blitz all the stains in your wash.

5. Putting delicates in a normal load

If it’s expensive or delicate, don’t risk it! Natural fibres like wool, some linens and silks, hosiery and evening wear can usually be hand washed with a gentle product such as Bosisto’s Wool & Delicates Wash (it helps protect from fading, too).

Before you do, check that the piece is colourfast by dabbing part of the garment that can’t be seen with a wet cotton bud or ball.

Never attempt to wash leader, suede, anything with embellishments, structured pieces (like jackets), or anything that says “dry clean only” without the manufacturer’s permission.

*Always read the label and follow the directions for use. Antiseptic for minor cuts.