We get it, no one’s perfect. If you’ve gotten stuck with the repetitive and dull task of doing the laundry in your household, the odd washing machine disaster is bound to happen sooner or later. However, because sharing is caring, we’d like to share some laundry pearls of wisdom, so that you can learn from the mistakes we’ve made. We’ve listed typical laundry mishaps and their probable causes below.
Buttons on a shirt feel loose and stretched out – This can happen if the shirt is regularly washed while still buttoned-up. Take the time to unbutton all dress shirts and flannel shirts before washing.
Unusual rips or tears on socks, t-shirts, or other garments – While it’s hard to know for sure, rips on clothing after being washed can happen if they’ve been in the machine with jeans containing a zipper, for example. Always zip up jeans and jacket zippers to prevent them snagging on more delicate clothing.
Sweater has shrunk – If it was made from wool, then this likely happened because you washed it on a high temperature. Most wool sweaters are better washed cold or at least below 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius). Make sure you use the wool/delicates cycle that comes on all modern washing machines. To be on the safe side, you can wash all of your laundry on a cold setting, which also helps to conserve energy.
White t-shirt has turned a bright pink – Separate your clothing into white and colored piles before washing! If a white shirt has turned pink, it’s probably because dye has bled from a red pair of socks or even a red t-shirt.
Unusual streaks or marks after washing – This could have been caused by pouring detergent directly onto your clothing before washing, which doesn’t allow for the liquid or powder to rinse out properly. However, this usually isn’t a problem with modern washing machines that have compartments for detergent and fabric softener. You could also avoid this laundry mishap by using laundry discs or pods and then placing the garments on top, as these will only dissolve once the wash cycle begins.
Stains not removed after washing – This can be for many reasons, but one common explanation is that you really scrubbed hard at a stain with a brush or cloth before washing it. This can spread the stain and make it set in. It could also be that you didn’t pre-treat the stain properly with a stain fighter or that you washed it on a high temperature. See here for stain removal techniques for different foods and liquids spilled on clothing.
Garment is stretched completely out of shape – This can happen if you wash an item that has “Dry Clean Only” written on the label. Some of these notes can be easy to miss, but this info is crucial to know. This is usually the case for silk, wool, and other delicate fabrics.
Clothes are wrinkled after drying – Many garments need to be dried in a certain way, such as hung on a line, out of the sun, or even laid flat. The care label will always inform you of the correct way to dry.
So tell us, which laundry mishaps have YOU made?!!