Wouldn’t it be grand if you could blame all your mistakes on machines? Unfortunately, that’s typically not the case for unexpected laundry outcomes. Most of the time, it’s the person doing the laundry. We compiled a list of laundry problems, their possible causes, and what you can do to fix the problem and prevent it from happening again. Of course, bringing your Wash & Fold Laundry to Flair is the easiest and safest solution. You’ll probably agree after reading this description of common issues, their causes, and their solutions!
What’s Behind Dingy Clothes?
- The wrong detergent. Home laundry solutions don’t contain enough cleaning ingredients, such as surfactants and enzymes, to remove stains, sweat, and dirt. If the soil is not lifted off the fabric, suspended in the wash water, and then flushed away, it will redeposit on clothes leaving all the items in your load looking dull and grey.
- Improper sorting or washing everything together eventually turns everything a bit grey. Even with the “best” laundry solutions, colors bleed and settle on other fabrics. Sorting correctly to keep whites white and colors bright. And, if you aren’t sure, e.g., prints, wash them separately. Unfortunately, this means more loads, most time, and higher household expenses.
- Dingy and dull-looking clothes often result from overloaded machines. Crowding clothes in the washer prevents the detergent from reaching every surface, picking up the dirt, and flushing it away with the water. Sadly, there are no shortcuts to doing laundry properly.
- Using the wrong temperature can impact the vibrancy of your colors. Manufacturers advertise that their detergents work in cold water for every type of soil and stain. Unless you read the fine print (if lucky), you won’t know these detergents need warm or hot water to remove ground-in dirt.
- Finally, poor water quality, especially hard water laden with minerals, dulls clothes. If this is the case, installing a purifier or conditioner for your laundry water source may help.
Are Your Whites Yellow?
- If body soil is not entirely removed during washing, it can yellow your white garments. Body soil is hard to remove with home detergents and cold water.
- Yellowing also results when too much chlorine bleach is added. While it can whiten white clothes, too much can damage the fabric and cause the fibers to turn yellow.
- Whites also turn yellow when the water supply has too much iron. Iron bacteria in your water supply settle on clothes and cause them to yellow or eventually turn brown. Preventing this requires a water filter at the source of your laundry water.
- Mystery holes in clothes often appear when chlorine bleach is inadvertently splashed on dry fabrics. Even a minuscule droplet of bleach is enough to create a hole.
- Leaving zippers open or hooks unlatched can cause snags leading to holes in thin or soft fabrics, especially knits.
- Forgetting to check the pockets can lead to holes especially if sharp objects (pencils, paperclips, etc.) are overlooked.
- Improper sorting is the culprit here. Some fabrics are “shedders,” and some “attractors” – attract lint. Proper sorting makes a big difference in the amount of lint that clings to garments. For example, knits and permanent press fabrics are attractors, while terry cloth, cotton, and natural fibers are shedders. These fabrics should not co-mingle. It’s better to do two loads of lights if you want to avoid lint.
- Again, this comes down to sorting and the number of loads you are willing to do! Mixing heavy items such as jeans with lighter-weight shirts will cause many wrinkles.
- Using the wrong wash cycle and water temperature also causes wrinkling. Know your fabrics and the proper cycle each needs for washing, rinsing, and spinning.