The Quick Report

Dry Cleaners Share the Worst Laundry Mistakes You’re Making

Clothing is a major investment that can last years with proper care. But a lot of common cleaning mistakes people make shorten the lifespan of their clothing. Dry cleaners say never do any of these 10 things to your clothes!

10. Leaving Stained Clothes in the Hamper for Too Long

woman holding hamper of clothes

The sooner you get stained clothes into the washer or dry cleaner, the better. The longer you wait, the more it embeds in the fibers, making it difficult to extract. If you’re unsure of how to remove a stain, it’s always best to take the garment to a professional to fix it.

9. Waiting Too Long Between Cleanings

woman doing laundry at laundromat-1

They may be invisible to the eye, but body oils and dirt get in between clothing fibers. Any clothing that touches the skin directly should be cleaned after each wearing. This covers most tops and underwear. Pants and sweaters should be washed after a couple of wares. Jeans are the exception, requiring washing every 6-10 wears.

8. Putting Stained Clothes in the Dryer

woman pulling clothes out of dryer

What happens when you put stained clothes in the dryer? The stain gets baked in. From there, the stain becomes even more difficult to remove. After washing a stained garment, if the stain is still there, do not put it in the dryer. Either wash it again or take it to a professional.

7. Ignoring Care Labels on Garments

garment label

It should be obvious care labels are attached to clothing for a reason. Most people ignore them, but you can seriously damage your clothing when cleaning by not following the care labels. Washing or drying at too high a temperature can cause irreparable harm. Read the label and clean the garment as instructed!

6. Using Too Much Detergent

laundry detergent

While a little extra detergent seems harmless, it causes several problems. It causes more suds, making clothes harder to rinse. It can leave detergent residue on clothes. More suds can harbor excess dirt and bacteria. If using a high-efficiency washer, make sure to use high-efficiency detergent, which you’ll use less of too. Start with three-quarters of what’s recommended.

5. Using a Lint Roller Instead of a Lint Brush

lint roller

Lint rollers typically have a masking tape-like substance you roll over clothes so that the lint sticks to it. However, the tape always leaves a bit of residue behind which can cause discoloration. This is especially bad for wool clothing. Instead, use a lint brush, which typically has a velvet-type surface that attracts and picks up lint, dust, and fur.

4. Taking Leather or Suede to Someone Who Doesn’t Specialize in Them

leather jacket

All dry cleaners are not the same. If you are cleaning suede and leather, which are difficult materials to clean, make sure the company has the necessary tools and expertise. Suede is extremely porous. Lengthy exposure to heat or water can cause damage such as shriveling, shrinking, or cracking in these materials.


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3. Rubbing Club Soda into a Stain

club soda

The idea that the carbonation in club soda lifts stains is a myth. Club soda contains sugar which oxidizes. Therefore, it pulls color from the fabric. Although it seems to disappear, all it’s doing is oxidizing over the stain. That’s why it disappeared. But when you get it dry-cleaned, the oxidation will be removed and the stain will reappear.

Read More: Dermatologists Say We Don’t Wash These Body Parts Enough

2. Rubbing a Stain with Anything

stain removal

When you rub a stain, what you’re doing is rubbing it deeper into the fibers of the fabric, making it harder to remove. Also, avoid hot water. Dampen a cloth with cold water and blot the stain. Spray on stain remover and wash it in cold water. If the stain persists, repeat the process, or take it to a professional.

Read More: Scientists Say Your Makeup Brushes are Dirtier Than Toilet Seats

1. Washing Jeans the Wrong Way

jeans in dryer

Jeans are a rugged fabric, but washing and drying them the wrong way can shorten their lifespan. Avoid using the washer’s heavy-duty setting unless the label requires it. Unless your jeans are really dirty, they should only be washed every 6-10 wears. Turn jeans inside-out when washing and drying to slow down outer material wear and fading.

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