There are few things less glamorous to discuss than doing the laundry. It's not exciting, it's not eye-catching – but it is something we all have to do. Unless we have embraced wearing dirty clothes all the time, but thankfully, few of us are at that point.
At least doing laundry is simple. You grab the dirty clothes, you throw them in the washing machine and they come out clean. Your family may barely notice, until things are wrong, when they do.
Washing clothes and not seeing them clean is disconcerting. That bit makes a boring task morph into something that is incredibly frustrating – and it's not an uncommon problem. Why do you think advertising continues to focus on the new and improved formulas? Because some people are still having problems with the old formulas.
If you've got some laundry woes, life is too short to worry about this. Bust the problem by finding one of the possible causes listed below, fix it, and move on with your life.
Laundry Sin #1 – Too much detergent
It's easy to see why this becomes an issue. Detergent makes things clean. Clothes are dirty. Ergo, lots of detergent equals very clean laundry. Right…?
Wrong. Even the recommendations on the side of the packet are wrong; it's in manufacturers interests to make you have to buy more often. Most people use far too much and then wonder why their clothes are dull and sticky.
Halve the amount that you usually use. That should fix the problems excess detergent is causing. Still got stain problems? Maybe the next sin will determine the cause.
Laundry Sin #2: You're not spot-treating
If you have a specific stain, don't just throw it in with a normal load and expect it to come out. Sure, ads will claim this is possible, but – and this is unlikely to be news to you – ads lie. You need to spot treat anything particularly ingrained so it has a focused cleaning power. This doesn't need to be with an expensive added product; soap flakes, baking soda and vinegar will do the job. As a bonus tip, greasy stains are best busted with dish soap, as it has extra cleansing power.
Laundry Sin #3: You're not considering your water
It's all well and good to do the above, but what if your water is actually the problem? Hard water is a major issue in the US. It's a little better in coastal areas and at its worst in the mid-west towards the Rockies. Check out some of the best water softener reviews as hard water can create mineral deposits on your washing, leading to them feeling stiff and sticky.
Laundry Sin #4: Not using enzyme detergents
It's genuinely good if you have made a switch to a more environmentally friendly laundry detergent. There are countless reasons to do so and it should be applauded. However, the lack of enzymes can mean clothes don't get quite as clean as you would like. Once a month, run a very hot cycle along with an enzyme detergent, just to pick up the leftovers from the usual washing process.