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‘Detrimental effects’: How to avoid ‘irreversible damage’ when doing your laundry

Life & Style‘Detrimental effects’: How to avoid ‘irreversible damage’ when doing your laundry


Doing laundry involves more than simply tossing clothes into the washing machine and pulling them out when they’re clean. It requires correct prep work, detergent measuring, and cleanup to keep fabrics in top shape. If you’re not careful, certain laundry mistakes can damage your clothing and impact the effectiveness of your washer. To avoid these issues, laundry experts at Blanc have shared several laundry mistakes and how to fix them.

The experts said: “With 11 million items of clothing going to landfill every week in the UK and 70 percent of clothes we throw away showing irreversible damage, it’s pretty clear that laundry mistakes can cost the Earth a lot more than we imagine.” 

They shared that washing and drying clothes at too high a temperature can often be a counter-intuitive decision. 

Washing and drying at a too high temperature can cause melting fibres, shrinking and increased wear and tear on your clothes – due to increased friction from high heat.

The laundry experts said: “In the long term, this will decrease the lifespan of your clothes, as your garments will get damaged and then potentially thrown out more rapidly. This, sadly, has detrimental effects on both the planet and your wallet.”

Instead, wash on a cold cycle as most garments can happily be washed at 30 degrees, which consumes less energy and is more gentle on clothing fibres.

READ MORE: Laundry: How to ‘correctly’ load washing machines for ‘better results’

We’ve all done it, but stains that have been allowed to penetrate the garment’s fibres for a long period of time are much harder to remove and there can be traces left after cleaning.

If possible, soak or pre-spot the stain immediately as this helps to fade the stain on the garment and gives it the best chance of removal.

After pre-treating the stain, leave it for a few minutes (or a couple of hours for particularly persistent stains) before washing the garment on your usual laundry cycle.

Rubbing a stain too vigorously can also damage clothing.

When you rub a stain too much to try and get it to fade, you’re actually at risk of creating lasting damage to the fabric or causing the colour to fade – which will then be impossible to recover.

Instead soak the garment first to ease the stain, then rub or pat gently with cold water and a stain remover.

Those nervous or unsure, testing this on a small part of the fabric that is not visible is wise.

Another mistake is using too much detergent and pouring it directly onto garments.

It may be tempting to pour detergent with a heavy hand, but more detergent does not equal fresher clothes. 

The experts explained: “Excess detergent can actually build-up in the fabric and provides the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow. 

“Similarly, pouring concentrated detergent directly onto the fabric won’t provide you with better results, if anything, the opposite – this can stain, bleach or fade your clothes.”

Instead, only use the amount advised on the detergent bottle along with only using as much as is advised – non-bio detergents are recommended.

Overfilling the washing machine is easily done when thinking that we are saving time and energy.

However, this can lead to clothes that won’t get properly cleaned and potentially a broken washing machine.

Simply, leave a gap between the clothes and the top of the machine and don’t fill right to the top.



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