10 Bad Laundry Myths Debunked

  • 01 of 11

    10 Bad Laundry Myths Debunked

    Norman McComber/E+/Getty Images

    Some laundry tips and old wives' tales are simply a waste of time and money. Here are ten laundry myths debunked with some real information you can use that will make laundry easier. 

    Continue to 2 of 11 below.
  • 02 of 11

    Use Hair Spray To Remove Ink

    ink stains
    Image Bank/Getty Images

    The idea of using hair spray to remove ink from laundry began in the 1950s and was actually a valid tip. It was the alcohol in hair spray that worked on the ink stain. However, today's hair sprays are different from those aerosols of yesteryear. Many formulas do not even contain alcohol and can actually cause stains compounding the ink that's still on your garment.

    Fortunately, I have tips on removing both ink and hairspray stains that you can use! 

    Continue to 3 of 11 below.
  • 03 of 11

    Add Coffee To Rinse Water To Keep Clothes Black

    coffee grounds BIG
    Steven Brisson/Moment/Getty Images

    I had not heard this myth until recently but a reader was convinced that adding a cup of black coffee to the rinse water would prevent black jeans from fading. It would take a washer-full of espresso to make a difference in the color of black jeans.

    Coffee can color fabric and I've used it to dye some white or off-white fabric a lovely brown. But adding one cup will not keep your black clothes from fading. Instead, follow these tips to keep black clothes black.


    Continue to 4 of 11 below.
  • 04 of 11

    Use More Detergent To Get Cleaner Clothes

    How much detergent to use
    Photo: E+/Getty Images

    More is not better when it comes to laundry detergent. We are all quite guilty of using too much detergent and creating excessive suds that actually redeposit soil onto our clothing. 

    Many liquid detergent caps make it difficult to see measuring lines. Take time to use a permanent marker to enhance those lines. You'll save money and get cleaner laundry. It is also a good idea to use half as much detergent as recommended and see if you are pleased with the results. You can always add more but...MORE you can never pull it out.

    If you have a front load washer, that smell coming from your machine could be because you are using too much detergent and fabric softener.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Treat All Stains From the Front

    Spot Treat Stains
    Judith Haeusler/Image Bank

    As tempting as it is to tackle the stain on shirt by rubbing away, turn it inside out and start there. By treating a stain from the back of the fabric, you are pushing the stain out of the fabric fibers rather than rubbing it in deeper. Learn more about spot treating stains to save yourself from embarrassment and to reduce your laundry loads.

    Continue to 6 of 11 below.
  • 06 of 11

    Chlorine Bleach Boosts Detergent Power

    bleach bottle
    Image Bank/Getty Images


    Chlorine bleach and detergents can actually cancel each other out and leave your clothes still looking dull and stained. To allow the enzymes in the laundry detergents time to do their job of whitening and brightening, wait about 5 minutes after the wash cycle begins to add your diluted bleach. This tip and learning to use chlorine bleach correctly will save your clothes from a bleach stains and give you better looking laundry.

    Want to boost chlorine bleach's whitening power? Add baking soda ...MOREat the same time!

    Continue to 7 of 11 below.
  • 07 of 11

    Hot Water Kills All Laundry Germs

    Hot Water Washer
    Photo by MML

    Unfortunately, using hot water alone for laundry does not kill all germs and bacteria. Washing clothing or linens of someone who is ill can spread the germs throughout the entire washer whether you use hot or cold water.

    Only a disinfectant like chlorine bleach, pine oil or a phenolic disinfectant will sanitize the laundry and the washer.


    Continue to 8 of 11 below.
  • 08 of 11

    High Dryer Heat Causes Shrinking

    Photo by MML

    There are many reasons why clothes shrink. Some of it is beyond your control due to decisions made by the manufacturers.

    But there are ways to avoid stretching and shrinking clothes. Some fabric shrinkage is caused by the lack of moisture in fibers that comes from overdrying. Clothing should be removed from the dryer while still slightly damp and allowed to air dry if shrinkage is a concern.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    Dryer Lint Is No Big Deal

    Dryer lint. Photo by MML

    If you don't mind

    then dry lint is no big deal. 

    With just a little effort, your laundry routine can be better and safer. Emptying the lint trap on the dryer should be a routine step every time you use the dryer. Just check the lint filter before you press the on button. Easy, easy, easy.

    Then take the time once a year to clean the duct work and upgrade if...MORE needed. You'll save money and, possibly, the lives of your family.


    Continue to 10 of 11 below.
  • 10 of 11

    Dry Cleaning Is 100% Dry

    what is dry cleaning
    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Dry cleaning is a bit of misnomer. Water isn't used but other fluids are.

    Traditional dry cleaning used perchlorethylene and other solvents. Even green dry cleaners use silicone fluids and liquid carbon dioxide in their processes. The key to dry cleaning success is to select the best cleaner in your neighborhood

    Continue to 11 of 11 below.
  • 11 of 11

    The Sock Monster Is Real

    Sock Monster
    Dorling Kingserly/Getty Images

    Have you ever met the Sock Monster? Most missing socks are not eaten by a monster in your washer or dryer or even trapped in the machine. (You would know if a sock got into the motor of either one pretty quickly.)

    Most socks disappear between leaving the foot and the hamper or the hamper and the machines. Check behind your washer and dryer for a stash of socks that have fallen. Also check the inside of pant legs for those secret clingers due to static electricity.

    Keep a basket or bin or mesh bag...MORE in the laundry for all those extra socks. Have a sorting and matching party once per month. Or just do what I did, buy your children only one kind of socks so they all match!

    If you do end up with lone socks, here are 15 Ways to Use Single Socks.