carrying laundry

10 Most Common Laundry Mistakes (And What to Do Instead)

Doing laundry can sound like a simple task, yet there are actually so many easy mistakes to make. Some are small and relatively harmless, but there are also some common errors that can cause severe damage to your laundry!

Here’s a list of things of some of the easiest laundry mistakes to make. Keep these in mind when you’re doing your laundry if you want to avoid any slip-ups or accidental damage.


1. Using Too Much Laundry Detergent

washing machine detergent

There is such a thing as too much laundry detergent! It’s an extremely easy mistake to make but if you don’t take the time to read the instructions on the packaging, and just use your initiative to pour detergent into the machine, you may be adding too much.

If you add too much detergent to your machine it can cause your clothes to come out with an unpleasant sticky residue left behind. This is because the machine did not manage to fully rinse out all of the product during the cycle time.


2. Not Reading the Label

reading care labels on clothes before wash

The labels on your clothing are there for a reason and the guidance displayed there should be followed carefully to ensure that no unnecessary damage takes place. The symbols on clothing labels all have different meanings and varying levels of importance.

These meanings are usually fairly straightforward but if you aren’t sure what they mean there are a number of guides online to help you understand what you can and cannot do with your item.

Following these guidelines is one of the simplest ways to make sure that you avoid the common mistakes that people make while doing their laundry!


3. Using Too High a Temperature

60 degree wash temperature

The option is applicable for both washing machines and tumble dryers. Too much heat can cause your clothes to shrink, or fade, and can create unnecessary wear and tear on the items.

Read the guidance on your items before putting them through certain wash and dry cycles because if they are not made for such temperatures then you are almost guaranteed to cause potentially permanent damage.


4. Neglecting Buttons and Zippers

buttons and zippers

When it comes to putting items with buttons or zippers into your machine, you need to do opposite actions for these items.

It’s very important to remember to close your zippers and other clasps before you add the item to your load of laundry. This is to stop them from catching on to other items in the machine during the cycle and causing rips and tears that could be irreparable.

For buttons, the opposite applies. Leaving items with buttons open during the wash cycle is the recommended course of action as if they remain buttoned up, they could rip open or tear during a particularly strong wash cycle. This applies to the buttons on sleeves and collars as well!

If you have a large number of delicate items that seem prone to damage in your machine you can consider investing in a mesh bag that will keep your items safe from any potential hazards throughout your wash cycle.


5. Overloading the Washing Machine

overloading the washing machine

If you put too many items into your machine at once and try to run it on your normal cycle, problems may arise!

Washing machines are designed to handle a specific weight and overdoing it could cause the machine to perform poorly, or even to break.

In addition, if overloading the machine doesn’t cause any breakages it’s still pretty much guaranteed that the quality of the washing cycle will be considerably lower as the machine will not be able to spread the detergent and fabric conditioner evenly across all the items.

You may be left with soapy residue on your items, or they will not look or feel as clean as they would with a normal-sized wash.


6. Over-Washing Clothes

This may seem like an obvious one but it’s important not to wash your clothes too often. Over-washing may not cause immediately visible damage to your clothes but it will cause them to wear and fade faster than they would otherwise.

Try not to throw things into the laundry hamper after just one use unless the item is properly soiled or was used for sweat-inducing physical activities.


7. Not Cleaning Your Machine

cleaning washing machine compartment

It’s important to clean out your washing machine on a regular basis! Try to leave the machine door open for a few hours after each cycle so that the machine and the rubber seals all dry properly and don’t retain water or dampness, which could lead to mould.

Every now and then you can clean your machine by running it on an empty hot water cycle or setting it to its self-clean option if your machine has one.

You can also wipe down the areas around the door and any of the rubber parts with a clean cloth.

For a tumble dryer, it’s key to make sure that you regularly clean out your lint drawer. Letting the lint build-up for too long can be a serious fire hazard!


8. Rubbing Instead of Blotting Stains

blotting stain

Stains can be incredibly hard to get out of, especially if you make a wrong move right at the beginning. The worst thing that you can do with a fresh stain is to rub it instead of blotting it.

Rubbing the stain can cause the stain to spread drastically and can make it set more into your garment. If you blot the area carefully you are much more likely to be able to successfully lift the stain without leaving any visible marks behind.


9. Leaving a Stain Too Long

soaking Fresh Bolognese Sauce Stains in cold water

The longer that you leave a stain, the harder it is going to be to remove! The best thing to do when you spill something that you think will stain is to get it into cold water immediately and allow it to soak for at least 15 minutes. 

Next, if the stain is still visible you can add some bicarbonate of soda and allow it to sink into the stain for between 30-45 minutes. If you think the stain is going to be a stubborn one you can even add some dishwashing liquid to the stain as well. 

Finally, it’s time to add the garment to your washing machine and set it to your normal wash cycle with your favourite detergent. It should come out of the machine stain-free. 


10. Tumble Drying Stains

do not tumble dry care label

The final mistake that is often made when it comes to stains is tumble drying a garment that may or may not have a stain. 

If you’ve just gone through the stain removal process mentioned above but are not yet 100% sure that the stain is fully gone, make sure to air dry your garment. 

Using excessive amounts of heat on a fresh stain will cause it to permanently set into the item and it will be almost impossible to remove from that point onwards. 



There are so many easy mistakes to make when it comes to doing your laundry, but if you keep this list in mind then you’re much more likely to have a smooth and hassle-free washing process!