Stop, laundry time! The smell of freshly laundered clothing is intoxicating, but it’s getting there that’s kind of the worst. There’s no way around it, unfortunately, but you can clean like a total champ with some really amazing tricks. With the help of cleaning expert and YouTube personality Melissa Maker, we’ve got some secret hacks for dealing with some seriously common – and annoying – problems.
Annoying Problem #1: Yellow Pit Stains
Ugh, right? Yellow pit stains are the worst! They’re unsightly, you worry that they smell and no amount of scrubbing has worked. But Melissa has a handy trick for getting rid of your pit problem. “First, soak the garment for 20 minutes in cold water to loosen fabric fibers, then apply a small amount of bleach alternative directly onto the affected area,” she tells us. “Let it sit for 20 minutes, then launder with the same detergent in warm water.” It takes a little work, but now you won’t chuck things because you’re so angry.
Annoying Problem #2: Soapy Residue
You’ve washed your clothes, and there are still suds! Either that, or there’s a film of white residue. According to Melissa, “Suds are the enemy here!” No, she’s not suggesting you ditch detergent, but she is suggesting to know your machine. “If you use too much detergent or the wrong kind of detergent, your machine will find it hard to rinse all of the suds away effectively,” she says. But it’s not just soapy residue you’re seeing. “Excess suds can also trap dirt that’s then deposited back on your clothes. That’s why I’m a fan of low-sudsing detergents like Tide HE Turbo, which ensure the suds collapse quickly and don’t linger around to be deposited back onto your clothes.”
Annoying Problem #3: Not Knowing When to Put In Your Detergent
Of course, Melissa has an answer for this one, too. “As a general rule, for non-High Efficiency machines, pour in detergent after your clothing has gone in and before you turn on the machine. For High Efficiency machines, add your detergent in to the detergent drawer before load begins – your machine knows exactly when to release it for best results.”
Annoying Problem #4: A Stinky Washing Machine
“Never leave your washing machine door closed when not in use,” Melissa stresses. “This creates a damp and dark environment which is perfect for mildew. Instead, wipe the inside of your machine after each use and leave the door ajar. It will never, ever smell!”
Annoying Problem #5: Pilling
“Never launder towels and linens with clothing” is one of Melissa’s laundry testaments. “The fabric weights are different and they also require different heat settings,” she notes. “This means, when heavier fabrics are washed with lighter fabrics (like your tank tops), you will start to notice pilling and wear on your garments – not to mention that heat may not be good for all of your clothing.”
Annoying Problem #6: Having too much stuff to dry and not enough time
Okay, this is something we’ve all encountered. You’re doing laundry, and you’re pressed for time. So, you throw everything in the dryer to save time. But Melissa says do not do that, because heat isn’t good for clothing. “In fact, using the least amount of heat to get your clothing dry and free of wrinkles is the way to go,” she tells us. “I recommend hanging nearly every garment, except for items like socks, certain underwear (nothing fancy), undershirts and loungewear.” She even has the scoop on the best way to hang dry: shake the item out a couple of times once you’ve grabbed it from the wash — this gets rid of most wrinkles and debris, and then hang it to dry. Doing this will save space in your dryer, allowing you to use a lower heat setting.
Annoying Problem #7: Cryptic Labels
You’ve probably got a label that says “do not wash,” and you’re probably thinking, well, what the heck are you supposed to do? Melissa says you can’t wash them! “A ‘do not wash’ label means the designer of the clothing has thought about the best way to preserve the life and shape of the garment, and if they don’t want you to wash it, you should take it to a dry cleaner and let them handle it.”
Annoying Problem #8: Knowing if it’s actually OK to not wash your jeans
There are a lot of people who will tell you that you don’t need to wash your jeans ever, but they’re wrong. “If you’re hiking or rooting around in the garage, wash your jeans since they are likely dirty. If you spilled something on them which can be spot cleaned, do that instead,” she says. “The less clothing is washed, the longer it lasts, but at the same time, if you wear something and it’s legitimately dirty, you’ll want to clean it.” With run-of-the-mill jean wear, Melissa recommends washing them every five to 10 wears, and she suggests washing them inside out to preserve colour, and hang drying to avoid shrinking.
And that’s that! Eight annoying laundry problems solved. And the beauty of all of these tricks is they’re easy and don’t require too much additional effort.