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Laundry myths

Laundry myths
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Doing laundry is always a learning experience. Should you wash your clothes in warm water? Do all-purpose cleaners work for all stains? Read on to hear from laundry experts on what you should (and shouldn’t) be doing to your clothes.

More detergent means cleaner clothes

More detergent means cleaner clothes
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One popular myth you’ve probably heard is that using more detergent means cleaner clothes. However, the truth may be a bit different. “Using more detergent doesn’t make it work extra hard. Instead, it can leave residue on your clothes,” Brian Sansoni, from the American Cleaning Institute, tells Reader’s Digest. “You’ll probably just need to wash them again and over time these extra washings can make them wear out faster. Check the detergent label for how much detergent to use for your size load and washing machine, especially since many detergents these days are concentrated.”

The hotter the water, the better the cleaning power

The hotter the water, the better the cleaning power

Surely, the temperature of the water would have a profound effect. However, hot water may not have as much of an impact as you might think. “Hot water won’t necessarily get clothes cleaner. In fact, it can damage some fabrics or cause some stains to become permanent instead of being removed,” Sansoni says. “This is the case of a myth that may have been true in the past but detergents these days have been designed to work just as well, if not better, in cold water. Always follow the fabric care label.”

The more dryer sheets, the better

The more dryer sheets, the better
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Too much of a good thing can actually, well, sometimes be a bad thing. “There is such thing as too many dryer sheets,” Laura Johnson, Research and Development at LG Electronics, tells Reader’s Digest. “Overuse of dryer sheets can reduce the efficiency of your machine by leaving behind a sweet-smelling residue and congesting your lint screen.”

Here are some other cleaning ‘hacks’ that you should ignore and what you should do instead.

Wash clothes after every wear

Wash clothes after every wear
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Sometimes, you may not need to wash your clothes every single time you wear them. “If you throw clothes in the washing basket to be washed after every wear, you may be over-washing some items and causing them to wear out prematurely,” Sansoni says. Unless it’s underwear or there’s a stain, it may not need to be washed.

Overloading your washer with too many bulky items can damage your machine

Overloading your washer with too many bulky items can damage your machine
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“Any larger items must be placed in the washer in a balanced manner to prevent laundry casualties,” explains Johnson.

Now discover 9 cooking mistakes that experts say may make your food more toxic.

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You can ignore the fabric care label

You can ignore the fabric care label
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As with everything, always read the instructions – and that includes the fabric care label. “There are times when it’s tempting to throw all the clothes in the washer and be done with it,” Sansoni says. “However, every piece of commercial clothing has a tag with care instructions from the manufacturer designed to keep the item looking its best. Learn what the symbols mean and follow those instructions to extend the life of your favourite clothes.”

All stains are created equal

All stains are created equal
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If you think you can use the same laundry detergent for blood stains as grease, you might need to rethink that plan. The stain’s type actually determines how you can remove it. According to household cleaning expert Shannon Lush, blood stains should be removed with cold water and common bathroom soap, while to get rid of grease stains, simple squeeze a few drops of dishwashing liquid on your fingertips without water and rub the spot until it has changed to a jelly texture, then rinse with cold water.

You can use body wash to thoroughly wash clothes

You can use body wash to thoroughly wash clothes
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It’s happened to the best of us. You put in a load of laundry and then realise that you’re out of laundry detergent. As a last resort, would body wash do the job? While hand/body wash will clean your clothes, it will not do as an effective job as a laundry detergent, since body wash has more gentle chemicals. “It is best to use items that have the right amount of stronger chemicals to provide a deep clean,” Leanne Stapf, of The Cleaning Authority, tells Reader’s Digest.

You can only hand wash your bras

You can only hand wash your bras
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Who here has hand washed their bras and then found out there’s an easier way to wash them? “There is a myth that you can only hand wash your bras which is not true,” Jené Luciani Sena, intimate apparel and lifestyle influencer, tells Reader’s Digest. “You can put them in a mesh garment bag zip it up, and put on a cool water gentle cycle with a gentle detergent in the washing machine.”

Sometimes cleaning plans just fall through the cracks. Here are 20 things everyone forgets to clean but shouldn’t.

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