Laundry Myths That Are Actually Damaging Your Clothes

There are a lot of laundry room tips and tricks passed along by oral tradition intended to help people keep their clothes clean, stain-free, and smelling fresh. In reality, there are some fairly widespread myths that actually end up damaging your clothes instead of making them cleaner. Let’s pinpoint some of these misconceptions so you can save time and energy by making your laundry trips as efficient as possible.

You can completely fill the washer.

We’ve all been guilty of stuffing the washing machine to the brim in an effort to get as many clothes clean as possible. The general misconception is that if the clothes fit and the washer runs, then the clothes must be clean at the end of the cycle. In reality, you get less clean for your buck the more clothes you stuff into a load. The detergent will struggle to get in direct contact with each item of clothing. Plus, there will be less water for every article. In general, you should never fill up a washing machine to more than 75% of its capacity.

Clothes should be washed after every use.

No matter what you might’ve heard, your clothes don’t need to get washed after every use. Not only is this a great way to run up your energy costs but overwashing can limit the lifespan of your clothes. All fabrics become more susceptible to damage the more they’re washed. The tumbling in the washer and dryer, the high temperatures, and even the detergent can have a detrimental effect when done too often. Other than undergarments and workout attire, most clothes can go multiple uses before needing a wash without smelling bad.

The hotter the water, the cleaner the clothes.

Hot water doesn’t always mean cleaner clothes. In the past, the water temperature was one of the primary ways washing machines killed bacteria and remove stains. However, modern detergents are effective at cleaning clothes even in cooler water. Always setting the washer to the highest temperature setting can ruin some fabrics and even cause stains. Always read clothing labels to know what kind of water temperature is ideal. You’ll keep your clothes in better condition while still ensuring they get the proper and thorough clean you need. When in doubt, a warm setting is a good balance to strike.

The more detergent the better.

The old adage about too much of a good thing going bad is applicable to the laundry room when it comes to using detergent. It’s vital for keeping clothes clean, but there’s a point of diminishing returns. Just because you toss in more detergent doesn’t mean it’s going to work harder to clean your clothes. There is an ideal amount at which point your clothes will get as clean as possible. Beyond that point, you run the risk of having excess detergent leaving residue. Always consult the detergent label to determine precisely how much to use given the load size and type of clothes.

There’s no such thing as too many dryer sheets.

Dryer sheets are the unsung heroes of the drying cycle. They help speed up drying time while leaving your clothes smelling fresh and sweet. These advantages make it tempting to throw in a generous amount of dryer sheets with the expectation that you’ll just get more of those benefits. Instead, your dryer will struggle to operate optimally as the residue from the dryer sheets will quickly clog up the lint trap and lead to congestion. One or two dryer sheets are more than enough depending on how many clothes you’re drying at once.

Interested in learning more about how you can optimize your trips to the laundry facility? Check out Coin Meter to get insider tricks and tips for doing laundry like a pro.

The Ultimate Guide to Doing Laundry in College

You learn a lot when you’re in college, and the majority of that learning takes place outside of the classroom. You learn how to make new friends, how to deal with difficult breakups, how to navigate disagreements, how to budget, how to cook, and…how to do laundry.

Before moving out, you might’ve done a few loads of laundry on your own, but – let’s face it – you really have no idea what you’re doing. And that’s okay! Everyone starts somewhere. Here’s a little cheat sheet to get you ahead of the game so you can look like a seasoned pro in the laundry room.

The Basics

Read the washing labels.
What if we told you there were clear-cut instructions for washing every piece of clothing you own? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not! Every t-shirt, sweater, pair of shorts, pair of jeans, and, yes, even underwear has a washing label that outlines exactly how to properly clean that particular article of clothing. Understanding how to read washing labels can save you from permanently staining or shrinking your clothes.

Suggested Reading: Follow These 4 Steps for Unshrinking Your Clothes

Separate clothes by color or type.
One of the commandments of college laundry is to wash clothes according to their color or type. For example, all your jeans and jean-material clothes should get washed together and all your white clothes should be put in the same load. This matching and organizing help to prevent colors from bleeding and textures from losing their distinct feel. Ignore this one at your own risk.


Don’t overload the washing machine.
As a college student, you have a lot of responsibilities on your plate with a limited amount of time during the week. Naturally, when laundry day rolls around, you might feel tempted to stuff as many clothes in the washing machine as possible. You might be able to fit in every piece of laundry you have, but that doesn’t mean they’ll all turn out clean…which is the whole point after all. It’s advisable to leave about 25% of space in a laundry load for the clothes to toss and turn since that’s how they actually get clean.

Choose the right detergent.
While using a less-than-ideal detergent won’t harm your clothing, it can certainly keep them from looking, feeling, and smelling their freshest. Whether you want to get out stubborn stains, refreshen white clothing, or keep your favorite sweater looking vibrant, there’s a specific laundry to help you reach those goals. You’ll want to find the best detergent based on what you want to accomplish for the most successful laundry experience possible.

Set a fitting temperature.
There are a seemingly endless number of washing settings, especially on commercial equipment at the local laundromat or campus laundry room. A lot of these options are pretty straightforward, but the most important setting is the temperature. Washing something too cold might not get it clean enough while washing too hot can shrink sensitive clothing. Nearly all clothing has this info on its washing labels so check those diligently before choosing the best temperature.


Take out anything that can’t be dried.

There are several items that do perfectly fine in the washing machine that can get destroyed in the dryer. Cashmere, silk, rayon, and wool are just a few examples. Consult your clothing’s washing labels before tossing them in the washer and opt for air-drying or sun-drying for clothes that can’t handle the heat of the dryer.

Clear out the filter every time.
All kinds of debris, dust, and lint get picked up and filtered by dryers so your clothes come out looking fresh and clean. However, these filters can end up limiting the drying impact of a machine when they become too clogged with debris and air can’t escape. Before (and after) using the dryer, clean out the filter for an optimized drying experience.

Interested in learning more about how to master laundry days? Check out the Coin Meter site for more insider tips and tricks for making the most of this weekly chore.

5 Tips for Washing New Clothes Effectively

Brand-new clothing looks so fresh, clean, and untarnished that it can feel like a waste to throw newly purchased items in the laundry. Still, the amount of dirt, chemicals, and bacteria on these clothes warrants at least a quick wash before wearing. Most of the washing and drying mistakes people make with their clothes have the worst impact during the first laundry cycle. Let’s explore some simple ways you can effectively wash new clothes while still maintaining their fresh appeal as much as possible.

1. Remove all unnecessary tags.
Start by removing all the non-essential tags, stickers, and add-ons from the new article of clothing. Price tags, size markers, bar codes, and anything else you wouldn’t wash should get placed to the side. Don’t throw them away yet! You might need these items to return your clothes later just in case they don’t fit, were already damaged, or simply don’t match your style. Make sure to leave all essential tags such as washing labels on the clothes. As a general rule of thumb, if the labels are sewn into the article of clothing, they’re not supposed to get removed.

2. Read the washing label.
Read the washing labels carefully. Nearly every article of clothing comes with specific instructions for how it should get washed for optimum results. Sticking to these rules can prevent clothing from losing its size, color, shape, and texture. You can generally find these tags on the inside of clothing sewn into a seam. T-shirts, sweaters, and shirts usually have these tags along the side while shorts and pants generally have them on the back of the waist. These washing labels can tell you everything you need to know about cleaning the clothing. It’s important to know how to read washing tags before attempting to decipher what they mean.

3. Avoid mixing different colors together.
There’s no greater pain in the world of laundry than to pull out a favorite piece of clothing only to see it stained with color from another item in the laundry. New clothes have a much higher likelihood of bleeding in the washer, especially when washed at high temperatures. This can diminish the color of newer clothes and stain other clothes. The best way to avoid this problem is to avoid mixing colors. For example, whites shouldn’t get mixed in with the darks and vice versa. When it comes to specific colors, you’ll have to operate on a bit of a spectrum. In other words, it’s okay to wash a lime green shirt with kelly green pants. 

4. Choose the right detergent.
Choosing the best detergent is another crucial step for washing new clothes effectively. Generally speaking, there are three different kinds of laundry detergent: liquid, powder, and pod. The liquid option is the most commonly used and, as a result, has the greatest variety. Powder detergents are also popular due to their ability to really “sink” into clothing for a deep clean. Laundry pods, also known as single-use detergents, are perfect for doing laundry at a public facility due to their ease of use. When washing new clothes, you want to use a detergent that’s gentle and color-preserving.

5. Select the proper wash settings.
Here’s where things get a little tricker. Looking at a washing machine can sometimes feel like operating a spaceship with all the different setting selections. When washing new clothes, you want to strike a balance between cleaning and preservation. You want to give your clothes a thorough clean to remove common stains, bacteria, or other potential impurities while still protecting the integrity of the clothes. You should always stick to the instructions on the laundry label as these settings have been selected specifically to optimally clean that particular item of clothing. If that’s not possible, it’s advisable to stick with moderate temperatures and average spin cycles to avoid overwashing or overheating.

Want to learn more about how you can improve your laundry cycles? Visit the Coin Meter site today for some insider tips and tricks for making the most of this weekly chore.