We recently started a conversation about laundry hacks we should stop following; with many of these "hacks" becoming popular as we all were surviving the pandemic. Whether we got bored while trying to flatten the curve or were forced into a 2-week quarantine that made us go a little nuts, some of these trends are downright wacko. As such, now that vaccines are widespread and life is returning to some level of normal, today we'll discuss 5 more laundry hacks you should stop following right away!
Laundry Hacks You Should Stop Following #1: Adding Chlorine Bleach to Your Detergent
While we were home during the pandemic, some people started to question why we do things the way we do - such as why we don't add a little bleach to our laundry loads at the same time, particularly white loads. If you don't understand the science behind bleach and laundry detergent, we can see how you might consider this combination. Unfortunately, the two cancel each other out and can leave your clothes looking dull and stained, which is the exact opposite of what you were hoping to accomplish.
With that said, the concept is actually pretty good, but the delivery needs an adjustment. If you're going to add bleach to your wash load, you need to give the enzymes in your laundry detergent a chance to work first. So, give them 5 minutes or so of washing before you add in your diluted chlorine bleach and see if that makes a difference!
#2 Dryer Lint? No Problem.
Somewhere along the way, people forgot that dryer lint can actually be a big problem for homeowners and commercial laundromat business owners alike. Not removing it after every load can increase the time it takes for clothes to dry, leave excessive lint on your clothes, waste money on your energy bill and potentially cause a fire.
As such, if you've been ignoring your dryer's lint catcher, now is the time to wake up! Simply empty the trap on the dryer every time you use the dryer and your laundry will instantly be better and safer.
Laundry Hacks You Should Stop Following #3: Using High Heat
Have you ever purchased something that is a little big? Rather than return for a smaller size, you decide to use a high heat setting to shrink your clothes. And this is all fine and good, except that this process has a tendency to overdry your clothes by overly squeezing out the moisture in the fabric fibers. These same fibers can later become stretched out.
Going into 2022, we're going to stop using high heat to shrink anything. Instead clothing should be removed from your dryer while it's still slightly damp and then allowed to air dry, especially when you're concerned about shrinkage. Furthermore, reconsider using high heat to dry your clothes. We find that low heat is usually acceptable.
#4 Let's Talk about Dry Cleaning
Okay, so we actually don't want you to stop dry cleaning your clothes, but as it relates to laundry hacks to avoid or stop doing, we need to set the record straight. Dry cleaning isn't actually "dry." At least not 100%. While water isn't used, other fluids definitely are. So if you ever send your clothing, comforter, coats, etc to the dry cleaner for professional cleaning, recognize that your garment is likely going to get a little wet.
In fact, traditional dry cleaners are likely going to use some combination of perchloroethylene and other solvents to clean your garments. Even "green" dry cleaners tend to use some silicone fluids and/or liquid carbon dioxide in their cycle. While either of these processes are safe, you should know what goes into the process.
#5 We've Found the Sock Monster!
In addition to trying to unlock secret laundry hacks that were never worth their weight in gold, we also managed to find the sock monster during the pandemic; and unfortunately, it's not what you might expect. In fact, our missing socks were never eaten by our dryer. Chances are that they may not have ever gone in the hamper at all. So let's stop blaming the dryer. Check inside your pants, behind the hamper, in between the mattress and food board of your bed, etc. Socks can have get trapped and disappear for weeks at time, but they often turn back up. So, keep a basket or hang area for those extra socks so they can be later reunited. Or just buy all of one color so you never have a problem matching socks.
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