7 Ways You Didn’t Know You’re Doing Your Laundry Wrong

dad and young children sorting laundry

Are you doing your laundry right? | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

We’ve all been taught how to do laundry a little differently, but it’s safe to say that most of the basics are the same. Unfortunately, a surprising amount of people haven’t been taught some of the key tricks of the trade. Are you committing any of these serious laundry no-nos?

1. You’ve been washing your down items wrong

Have you found that even after a couple washes your down comforters and jackets are losing their fluff? You’re washing them incorrectly. The problem is that when you wash down items in a normal-sized washer and don’t dry them the right way, the weight doesn’t distribute evenly, making it hard for your machine to rinse and spin effectively. Tip Hero suggests washing your down items in extra-large washers (like those at a laundromat), and drying them along with a clean tennis ball.

2. Using fabric softener when washing towels

towels in basket with washing machine in background

Fabric softener could reduce towels’ absorbancy. | humonia/iStock/Getty Images

According to Huffington Post writer Joe McGauley, using fabric softener when washing your towels can actually reduce their absorbency, which would not be ideal for a towel. The same thing happens when you wash your wicking active wear along with your towels as well. It’s important to keep your towels away from anything that might make them less absorbent in the long run.

3. Failing to ever wash your washing machine

man doing laundry

Your washing machine needs to be washed, too. | iStock/Getty Images

Yes, even washing machines need cleaning. Apartment Therapy advises cleaning your machine at least once a year. But, don’t worry, the process is relatively easy. All you have to do is run your machine on a hot rinse cycle along with some vinegar and baking soda. Then, give the inside of your machine a light scrub.

4. Washing your swim suits

women in swimsuits on beach

It’s not good for your swimsuit to throw it in the washing machine. | STR/AFP/Getty Images

Washing your bathing suits in the washing machine at all will harm them and severely cut their life expectancy. Even skipping the dryer, washing on a gentle cycle, or washing them in a mesh bag won’t do you any good. “Skip the washer and the detergent, and simply rinse your suit with water after each dip in the pool. If a salt-water or chlorine smell still lingers, soak it in water mixed with a teaspoon of vinegar,” advises the Huffington Post.

5. You can’t bleach most of your white jeans

whites coming out of washing machine

Bleach works on most white items, but it could turn white jeans yellow. | iStock/Getty Images

It used to be that we kept our white jeans white by simply bleaching them — unfortunately, that’s not the case anymore. “White jeans that are a cotton/spandex blend (and that’s pretty much every pair these days) present a challenge because they can’t be washed with that go-to stain remover for whites,” says Huffington Post writer Erika Rasmusson Janes. Why? Because you can’t bleach spandex — it’ll turn your garments yellow. Instead, it’s important to use color-safe bleach, even for your white jeans.

6. Not making sure your buttoned items are unbuttoned

blue shirt

The buttons’ thread might weaken if they’re fastened in the wash. | tombaky/iStock/Getty Images

“Unbutton your buttons. Whether it’s an Oxford or a pair of chinos, make sure buttons aren’t secured before beginning a load,” advises Thrillist. “Otherwise you risk prematurely weakening their threading as they’re tossed to and fro in the machine.”

7. Keeping your zippers unzipped

jeans zipper unzipped

An unzipped zipper could damage your clothes. | matka_Wariatka/iStock/Getty Images

Zip up your zippers when doing laundry! Washing and/or drying a garment with an unzipped zipper can do some serious damage to your other fabrics tossed in the same load. “While you’re checking your pants pockets before doing the wash, also remember to zip your pants up,” says Life Hacker.

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