Whether it’s been passed down in your family for generations, or you read it on some obscure blog on the internet, it’s important to know that most laundry advice is nothing but hogwash. If anything, you might end up doing more harm than good to your clothes. You may have already been doing some of the things on our list, or at the very least, contemplating it. Either way, we’re here to break down some of the craziest myths about laundry that you need to get over.
1. Adding Aspirin Can Whiten Your Clothes
No one’s sure how it started, but there was a time when certain blogs insisted that aspirin could remove stains. All you had to do was soak your clothes in a mixture of hot water and five dissolved aspirin tablets. Then you brighten them by washing in a hot cycle. The only truth to this is that the hot water causes some of the dirt to lift off during the soaking process, causing the clothes to appear whiter than before. The aspirin plays zero part in removing stains.
2. Adding Salt to the Washer Prevents Dye from Bleeding
One of the most frustrating things about dark clothing is that they tend to bleed out during the first few washes. Some people suggest that soaking them in salt water and then rinsing out with more salt will help to preserve the dyes. Sorry to break it to you, but the clothes are going to bleed out anyway and there’s the possibility that the salt can damage your washing machine. One way to prevent this is by using detergent specifically made for dark clothes or color-catching sheets to trap the dyes.
3. Adding Ground Coffee Will Keep Your Black Clothes Dark
While we’re on the topic of washing dark clothes, here’s another crazy way of preserving its vibrancy and color. Just reach into your kitchen, get some ground coffee, and add it to your wash cycle. Instead of preventing your clothes from fading, they’re going to be left with a funkier odor than it had before. Furthermore, the grounds can get stuck in the machine. A simple and effective way to keep your clothes dark is by turning them inside out, then washing them in cold water on a gentle or permanent press cycle.
4. Only A Hot Water Cycle Will Kill Germs
While it’s true that hot water is effective at eliminating germs, the temperature has to be around 100 °C or 212°F. However, because most hot water heaters are set at nearly 49 °C or 120 °F, it seems that you won’t get the deep clean that you want. Luckily, many washers today are created so that the cold water cycles are just as effective as the hot ones. You can also search for an NSF certification on your washer, meaning that it will kill up to 99.9% of microorganisms during the wash cycle.
5. Washers Don’t Need to Be Cleaned
Most washers do a great job at keeping our clothes clean, but ironically, they can become a hotspot for lots of nasty stuff like bacteria, mildew, odors and even salmonella. That’s why you need to clean your machine every now and then, especially every four to six weeks. Fortunately, you may not have to sanitize your washer manually and most machines have a self-cleaning cycle. If this isn’t an option for you, then you can pour some distilled white vinegar to a hot cycle and let it run for a few minutes before draining.
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