Do your soft towels end up feeling harsh? Do your whites come out grey? Have you seen your favourite cotton garments grow thin and bobbly?
Top tips for dealing with all your laundry day dilemmas.
You’re not alone. The Good Housekeeping Institute (GHI) recently compiled a list of the most common washing woes we all face, based on letters and emails they’ve received over the years from readers seeking help and advice.
The nice folk that they are, the testing team at the GHI then got to work to try and solve eight of the most common complaints. Hurrah!
From shrinking knits to greying whites, here are their top tips for dealing with all your laundry day dilemmas.
Bobbles on Cotton
The problem: Cotton and synthetic blends often turn thin and bobbly following a wash, thanks to wear and tear of the fabric.
The solution: Wash your garments inside out on a delicate wash cycle, and use fabric conditioner every time. If it’s already too late, try using sticky tape or a lint roller to remove the bobbles.
The problem: Wool garments often shrink in the wash, or become matted, due to a too high temperature.
The solution: Never tumble dry woollen items, and if the washing instructions on the label aren’t clear, hand wash the garment to be safe. If it’s too late, you can try re-wetting the wool and stretching it out.
The problem: Bright whites often come out of the wash dull and grey due to dirt removed during the cycle being redeposited on clothes.
The solution: Use extra washing detergent and wash your whites on a high temperature. Keep them separate to colours, and if they’ve already turned grey, try soaking in a bleach solution before rinsing.
The problem: Soft towels and robes can turn harsh as a result of being over-dried, not rinsed properly or a lack of detergent.
The solution: Before washing your towels run your machine on a empty cycle using a decalcifying agent. Use more washing detergent than you normally would, and if it’s already too late for your fabrics, try soaking them in a water softener.
The problem: Darker coloured garments run onto lights in the same cycle as a result of being washed at too high a temperature.
The solution: It’s always best to keep dark and whites separate, while some colours are less likely to run if washed at a cooler temperature. For whites that have already been caught out, try soaking in a weak bleach solution for 15 minutes, rinse and repeat (check garment labels do not have a ‘no bleach’ symbol first).
The problem: Garments come out of the machine creased and crumpled due to overloading or the wrong temperature setting.
The solution: It’s likely you’re washing at too high a temperature, so check garment labels for guidance or use the ‘synthetics’ setting. Filling the drum with smaller loads may also help.
The problem: Shirts and blouses come out of the machine with mis-shapen or collapsed collars due to fabric inserts designed to keep collars stiff shrinking in the wash.
The solution: You may be able to steam iron the collar back into shape, but in future, either get shirts dry cleaned or wash in cool water.
Grey specks and streaks
The problem: White or grey streaks and specks appear on clothes as a result of hard water deposits.
The solution: If your local area has a hard water source, run occasional empty cycles using white vinegar or machine cleaning solution to remove limescale buildup. Soak clothes already affected in water softener, then rewash using a higher dosage of detergent.