Break These Bad Laundry Habits


Lengthen the life span of your washing machine by ditching these bad practices

Who hasn’t let the occasional wet load sit overnight? But if a one-time oops! becomes a routine occurrence, you just might be shortening the life span of your washer. Here, three habits to rethink.

You overload
You may believe you’re saving time or conserving water by cramming everything into one wash, but overloading taxes the mechanical system of your machine. The telltale sign: loud banging of the drum or tub during the SPIN cycle. Over time, this can fry the belt or burn out the motor. Stick to the load limits recommended in the user’s manual.

You Use Too Much Detergent
A liberal pour won’t get your clothes any cleaner. In fact, the residue from excess soap makes your threads look dingy, and over-sudsing can cause pump and drain issues, and, in some cases, leaks. Stick to the manufacturer’s recommendation for the optimal amount. Note: Washing with soft water requires even less detergent than with hard water.

You Let a Wet Load Sit
It takes only 8 to 12 hours for odors to develop in wet clothes, according to the Whirlpool Institute of Fabric Science. Damp clothes are a breeding ground for mold, fungus, and mildew, which can grow inside the washer and around the rubber door gasket. If you forget to advance a load, wash it again, adding a cup of white vinegar.

Written by: By Michelle Brunner of This Old House magazine