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Here Are the 10 Most Common Laundry Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

mother daughter enjoying fresh laundry

Here Are the 10 Most Common Laundry Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Laundry might seem like a simple enough task. But the first time you ruin a treasured piece of clothing, you’ll realize there’s a lot that can go wrong. Not to mention the fact that washers and dryers aren’t’ cheap, so you want them to perform their best and last as long as possible. 

Are your clothes even getting clean? Are you missing a vital step or committing some grave error? Maybe you’re making a simple mistake with your washer/dryer that could damage your clothes or shorten the life of your machines. 

Here are 10 of the most common laundry mistakes and how you can avoid them. 

1. Using Too Much Detergent or Bleach

It might seem like using more laundry detergent or bleach will help you get cleaner clothes. But the opposite is true. Too much detergent will create too many suds that can’t get completely rinsed out. Pay close attention to your measurements. 

You probably don’t even need bleach to get rid of stains or whiten your whites. Instead of using this harsh chemical on your clothes, choose something like baking soda, distilled white vinegar, or even lemon juice.

2. Overtreating Your Stains

When your clothes get covered with mud, red wine, blood, or other stubborn stains, it’s natural to want to scrub the area as vigorously as possible. But over scrubbing a stain can wear away at your fabric and even cause the stain to spread. 

Instead, gently dab or blot the stain from the outside in. And, it’s best to treat it as quickly as possible to get the stain while it’s still fresh.

3. Ignoring the “Dry-Clean” Only Label

Designers and manufacturers don’t put those care labels on your clothing for entertainment purposes. If you want your clothing to last the longest and look its best, you should pay particular attention to anything that says, “dry-clean only.”

That said, you may be able to get away with hand washing a few dry-clean items, such as silks and linens, and air drying them. But, it’s still not a good idea to put them in a washing machine. And, avoid washing anything made of suede, leather, or items with sequins unless you’re done wearing them forever.

4. Leaving Zippers “Unzipped” or Buttons “Buttoned”

If your clothing ever comes out of the wash with snags, it might be from exposed zippers. You can avoid this by zipping up all items with zippers and clasping anything with a clasp, like a bra. 

Likewise, buttons that pop off in the wash are often due to strain during the cycle. All items with buttons, including collars and shirt sleeves, should be unbuttoned when placed in the washer.

5. Not Sorting Your Laundry by Material

Many people sort their laundry by color, and you’ll find plenty who don’t even bother to do that. But a bigger mistake is not separating your items by material. 

For example, bedding, towels, and other bulky items should be washed separately from clothing. You may also wish to separate heavier items, like sweaters and jeans, from lightweight ones, like dress shirts and blouses, to prevent damage to your more delicate apparel.

6. Forgetting to Clean Out the Dryer Lint

Most modern dryers have an indicator light reminding you to clean out the lint receptacle. This isn’t just some annoying prompt you can ignore. It’s important. Lint buildup in your dryer can be a significant fire hazard and it impacts the performance of your appliance. 

Just make it a habit. When you unload the dryer or before you start a new load, pull out the lint screen and clean it. You should also regularly clean out the cavity that holds the screen because lint accumulating in there can make your machine run less efficiently.

7. Closing Your Front-Loader After a Cycle

If you have a front-loading wash machine, you might think that you’re being tidy by closing the door after you’re finished with it, but this is the wrong move. This style of machine is known for trapping moisture and bacteria around the door, which can lead to unpleasant odors and even mold. 

A better method is to leave your door open, at least for a few hours, after you run a load of laundry. Once the rubber gasket around the door feels dry, you can close it.

8. Not Regularly Cleaning Your Washing Machine

Just because your washing machine is cleaning clothes, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily “clean.” Where does all that dirt, grime, and moisture go? 

Some machines have a self-clean cycle you can use. You can also use a proven product like OdorCrush washing machine cleaning tablets to remove and dissolve the odor-causing residue that builds up over time in your washer. It’s an eco-friendly solution and simple to use.

9. Operating an Unlevel Washing Machine

If your washing machine isn’t level, it’s probably going to make an awful noise. Beyond the “thumping” going on in your laundry room, this activity is bad news for the life of your appliance. 

Place a level on top of your machine and adjust the feet until the bubble is in the middle. You can also buy shock absorbers to place under your washer’s feet.

10. Overdrying Your Clothes

It’s a common misconception that more is better when it comes to time in the dryer. If your clothes are good and hot, they won’t have as many wrinkles, right? Actually, the opposite is the case. Overdrying causes the fibers in your clothing to break down faster. 

If you want to avoid static and wrinkles, use the appropriate drying time and setting. You can also reduce wrinkles, soften fabric, and eliminate the cost of dryer sheets by using reusable DryerBoost wool dryer balls instead.


Nothing is worse than setting aside time for laundry and not getting the desired results. Now that you know how to avoid these common laundry mistakes, you’ll have cleaner clothes and appliances that work and perform as you’d expect. 

At Odor Crush, we want to make your laundry day as care-free and simple as possible, naturally. Let us know if you have any comments or questions!