Style

The One Mistake You’re Making When Doing Laundry

October 12, 2016 by Justine Schwartz
shefinds | Style

I wouldn’t say that doing laundry is my favorite part of the weekend, but when you live on your own from age 13 (hello, boarding school!) you sort of have learn to love it–or at least, to not screw it up. And especially now that I do my husband’s and daughter’s laundry, too, it’s become somewhat second-nature for me to get through the whole process quickly and efficiently without shrinking anything or ruining my husband’s shirts or making my own black jeans fade in the wash.

Even though I’ve pretty much mastered it now, there was one huge mistake I was making for years–and that was over-using the hot water cycle. The truth is that very few items can actually handle the hottest temperature setting on your machine–hot water (130°F and above) is brutal on fabrics. It makes darks fade faster. It’s more likely to shrink clothes. It pull delicate fabrics apart. It’s also less energy efficient than warm or cold water, too.

READ MORE: How To Wash Your Jeans So They Last Forever

I know, I know, my inclination (like yours) was to use hot water for any white or light load that came down the line. I just assumed it was better at killing germs (it is) and I didn’t really understand what the Warm setting was for, if you had Cold for items that run and Hot for items that didn’t. The truth is that the Warm setting is where it’s at. Everything from mand-made fibers, to knits, and jeans, and light and medium-colored clothing is perfect for the Warm setting. At 90°F, you get a good thorough clean without shrinking or fading clothes.

READ MORE: The Millennial’s Guide To Laundry: Everything You Need To Know

And the truth is that the clothing labels will tell you that, too. If a piece of clothing can’t handle the heat, it will say “Wash cold” on the label. That’s another common mistake–not reading your clothing labels and following the cleaning instructions on them. Obviously, they were put there for a reason–and just like you would strictly follow the “Dry Clean Only” rule, you should follow the other clothing instructions, too. Garments that say “Cold” really should be washed on Cold. You’re just extending the life of your clothing–and isn’t that what we all really want?

READ MORE: 5 Reasons You Should Fold Clothes As Soon As You Take Them Out Of The Dryer

Author:

Editorial Director

Justine Schwartz is a veteran women's lifestyle editor; she's written extensively about style & beauty tips, health advice and wedding planning for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Huffington Post and New York Weddings. Justine has been with SheFinds since 2010; you can reach her via email at [email protected]

From Our Partners

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

From Our Partners

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

Fashion

The Super Comfortable Shoes Every Woman Is Already Buying For Spring

It doesn't even feel like you're wearing heels!

Fashion

Four Travel Outfits That Are Instagram Worthy *And* Comfortable

The inevitable part of traveling is having to spend hours ...

Fashion

Ban.do Just Launched An Inclusive Sizing Collection

More and more brands are finally embracing...

Fashion

Yes, Animal Print Is Still In For Spring--Here Are Our Top Picks For The Season

It's true, animal print has taken fashion by storm ...

Fashion

Anthropologie Just Launched Hundreds Of Cute New Spring Styles In Sizes 16-24

Here's some happy Friday news: Anthropologie just ...

Fashion

Every Woman Should Own This $29 Wrap Top--It Makes Your Waist Look Amazing

It's pretty common knowledge that wrap dresses are universally ...

Fashion

The Perfect Rain Jacket Just Went On Sale--Get It Before The Spring Showers Hit

While the weather is definitely getting warmer, let's remember ...

Fashion

I Finally Tried The Chunky Sneaker Trend And I'm Obsessed With This Pair

For a long time, I really couldn't decide how ...

LOAD MORE
+
LOAD MORE POSTS