3 mistakes that ruin your clothes in the washing machine: discover the secret to proper laundry care

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Washing clothes is time-consuming, and it can be incredibly frustrating if something goes wrong.

  1. Not separating colours

Emma Rostron, Managing Director at One Less Thing, said: ‘It may seem like a chore, but you should always separate your clothes into whites, light colours, dark colours and delicate pieces.’ She continued: ‘This will help you avoid colour transfer and ensure your clothes are washed at the right temperature, as the wrong temperature can cause them to shrink or fade and even cause the clothes to no longer be the colour you want.’ She added: ‘For example, washing red clothes with white in a hot wash can turn everything pink.’ This can also help keep colours vibrant and bright, including white clothes, which often look dull over time.

  1. Overloading the washing machine

It can be tempting to overload your washing machine, especially when energy bills are high. However, this can lead to poor performance and even damage the washing machine. This is because the drum becomes unbalanced, too heavy, and difficult to spin. Emma added: ‘A good rule of thumb is to fill the drum about three-quarters full, so there’s enough room to put the side of your hand between the edge of the drum and your clothes.’ She continued: ‘Overloading the machine can also cause clothes to rub together, which wears them out faster and creates those annoying pills that make clothes look worn and old.’ Instead, consider splitting them into two smaller loads rather than overloading the machine.

  1. Using too much detergent

According to the expert, too much detergent can lead to excessive suds and poor rinsing, leaving clothes with a sticky film. Always check the back of the label to determine how much you should use, as there are usually instructions. The dirtier the clothes are, the more detergent they usually need to remove stains.

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