The washing mistakes you might be making

Kristine Tarbert
·Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

If you’re someone who generally does the washing in your household - have you ever really taken note of all the different cycles and settings on your washing machine?

Or do you normally revert to the general ‘all fabrics’ wash cycle to get it all over and done with? If that’s you, you’re definitely not alone. But there are some laundry mistakes we should probably try to avoid as it will make many of our clothes last much longer.

Putting Jeans into the washing machine
Do you know what type of wash your clothes need? Photo: Getty

If you’re not sure when you need a hot or cold wash, what setting to use for activewear, or how long to wash your delicates for, we’ve gathered the answers for you.

Brad Reed, Senior Marketing Manager for Home Appliances at LG Australia, has put together these top tips for Yahoo Lifestyle, and explained some of the common mistakes people make in the laundry.

Active wear requires a hot wash, longer period of time to break down sweat enzymes

Of course, this all depends on how active you are in your active wear. If you are not that active, you can get away with a general wash using a mix cycle or a cotton cycle.

If you are getting sweaty in your active wear, you need to look at a different type of wash cycle. This is because the proteins in your sweat get caught in the fabric, and you need a hotter and longer wash to ensure the detergent breaks down the enzymes and removes the smell of sweat and sweat marks.

You’ll find that therefore, washing machines have a specific cycle for active wear, which is typically a cycle where the water is over 60 degrees, washing for about 20 minutes.

If you’re active wear doesn’t have that level of heavy staining, you can put it on a wash for less time at a lower temperature. The benefit of this is that the fabrics won’t undergo the same stress and intensity in the wash, meaning the clothing will stay looking better for longer.

Sweat-Soaked Woman Finishes Indoor Cycling Session
If your activewear gets a good use it needs a long hot wash. Photo: Getty

Delicates need a cooler wash over shorter period of time to ensure material doesn’t break down

Delicate fabrics tend to be less dirty so you don’t want to wash too vigorously because the fabric is less likely to withstand the intensity and less likely to need it.

A sportswear cycle for example will be more intense for both the chemical (detergent) and the physical (drum movement) aspects of the wash. Compared to a delicate cycle will rely on the chemical aspect of the wash.

But it doesn’t have to be a shorter cycle.

Delicate cycles move the clothes around in the machine gently. This way, there is less friction on the clothes. It may go for a longer period, in which case the washing machine relies on the chemical component of the wash rather than the physical, abrasive action of the washing machine.

When to use specific wash cycles like ‘Cotton’

The mixed fabric cycle is basically the default cycle for a general wash, they tend to be 40 degrees and wash for two hours. It is designed to be a very general wash.

If you know you’re going to be washing all cottons, you should use the cotton wash.

It will mean those garments will have a longer lifespan than if you were just doing a mixed load wash.

hands of a young girl put clothes in the washing machine drum
Using a specific wash will mean those garments will have a longer lifespan. Photo: Getty

Use the right detergent

Buy detergent that is specifically designed for that particular type of machine.

If you’ve got a front loader, buy detergent for a front load washing machine. Front load washers tend to use detergent that doesn’t foam and sudd up too much, as this can cause issues in front load washing machine.

People often mistake the lack of soap for the detergent not working, but that is the purpose of that type of detergent.

Cropped Image Of Woman Using Washing Machine At Home
Use the right detergent for your washing machine and don't overdo it. Photo: Getty

Don’t use too much detergent

Another mistake people tend to make is adding additional detergent to their wash load because they think this will clean their clothes more thoroughly, however this can do more harm than good and you should always use the recommended amount on the bottle/box.

The machine is designed to operate for a period of time that maximises the effect of the washing.

Based on the type of clothing that’s in the machine, the cycle selected, and the type of detergent used, it’s designed to deliver a high-quality wash.

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