9 Ways You’re Ruining Your Clothes Because You’re Washing Them Wrong

We all have to grow up at some point, right? That means a lot of things obviously, but above all else, it means taking on bigger responsibilities. It’s about not relying on your parents to make your doctor’s appointments. It’s about dealing with the consequences of being crap with saving money. It’s about learning about something the hard way, without a safety net to catch you when you screw up.

Okay, I know, the thought can get a little overwhelming. So let’s get a little less scary and start small: You need to start doing your own laundry…properly.

Emphasis on the properly, because I’m sure plenty of you now how to load the washing machine and throw in your gross P.E. outfit or that smelly blouse you want to wear tomorrow. But do you really know how to wash your clothes the right way? Are you putting your bras in the dryer? Are you ignoring that dry clean only tag on that dress? Are you washing your jeans every single time you wear them?

Here are nine ways you’re ruining your clothes because you’re washing them wrong. We’ve all dealt with laundry disasters, so let’s prevent more of them from happening, shall we?

You're Using Too Much Detergent

Most of us think that the more soap we use, the cleaner our clothes will be. Well, if you’ve ever dealt with your clothes reeking of laundry detergent after putting too much in, you know this isn’t true. That leftover residue doesn’t make anything cleaner! Don’t use too much detergent, dude. The instructions on the bottle aren't lying to you.


You're Washing Your Jeans

Some say that you shouldn’t even wash your jeans, just put them in the freezer to reduce odor so that the colors won’t fade and the fit won’t get all wonky. But let’s be real, jeans can get really funky really fast (thanks, vagina). So if you’re going to wash your jeans, make sure you turn them inside out in the washing machine and air dry them. If you do put them in the dryer, make sure the setting is on low.


You're Putting Your Bras In The Washer/Dryer

DON’T PUT YOUR BRAS IN THE WASHING MACHINE OR THE DRYER. Hand wash them with a delicate detergent, maybe even one that is especially made for bras, and hang dry them. Trust me on this one, your bras will absolute warp and the elastic will wear out a lot faster if you don’t wash them properly. That's money in the garbage!


You're Chucking Your Bathing Suit In With The Rest Of Your Laundry

Like your bras, wash these by hand. Never put them in a washing machine or dryer. The material will get all wonky and the colors will fade.


You're Not Washing Blood With Cold Water

DON’T. USE. WARM. WATER. ON. BLOOD. If you experience a leak during your period, for example, just take your undies to the sink and wash with some cold water. Hot water will set the stain.


You're Neglecting Your Dark Colored Clothing

You probably worry more about your light colored clothes getting dark dye on them, right? But what about the safety of your dark clothes? Sure, you can use detergent that is especially made for dark clothes...or you can just make sure that your dark clothes are washed very delicately--inside out--and hung to dry. The dryer is brutal on dark colors. Those jet black jeans will become a murky gray before you know it!

Addams Family Values

You're Using Too Much Hot Water

You don’t need to use hot water. Unless you’re washing heavily soiled clothes, cold water will suffice. Plus, it’ll be more energy efficient. Yes, even underwear is okay to clean in cold water.


You're Relying On The Dryer Too Much

Dryers are great…to a point. They honestly do more harm than good, because the heat can warp your clothes, shrink cotton, and wear out elastic. Also, your clothes will be a wrinkly mess in a way that they just aren’t when you air dry.


You're Not Hand Washing/Air Drying Your Clothes Enough

Those dry clean only clothes? That chiffon? That polyester? Yeah, a lot of the more delicate clothes can definitely just be washed by hand and air dried. Honestly, you should wash more of your clothes that way whether they’re delicate or not. Towels and blankets can stand some heavy duty washing and drying. Your favorite band tee or mini skirt? Not so much.

American Apparel

Are you guilty of washing any of these items incorrectly? Do you have any other laundry tips that make life a lot easier? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!


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  • amauer25

    Hydrogen peroxide. A little splash on blood and the stain will come out, hot water or no.

    That said, you shouldn’t be washing anything in hot water. Cold saves energy and is gentler on clothes. Your detergent well get them clean just fine.