Revealed! The truth common myths when it comes to everyday laundry

Dry cleaning expert busts the common cleaning myths that could ruin your clothes – and says you should NEVER put shoes in the washing machine but tennis balls really do make towels fluffier

  • Will Lankston, from the UK, is the Operations Director at Jeeves of Belgravia
  • He’s revealed whether various old wives’ tales are true or a complete myth  
  • Told how putting jeans in a freezer to clean them is false and doesn’t work 

Some may call it an old wives’ tale, some may call it a myth, but we’ve all been told that putting your jeans in the freezer is actually how you’re ‘supposed’ to wash your denim – right? 

From tennis balls to bleach, Will Lankston, from the UK, who is Operations Director at Jeeves of Belgravia, has busted a variety of whispered myths to ensure you are achieving dry cleaned quality laundry from your own home.  

Amongst his advice, the expert has told how you should never put your shoes in a washing machine or tumble dryer because the heat can damage the glue that keeps them together.

He added that putting tennis balls into your tumble dryer really does fluff up your towels – as they help to circulate air flow through your garments when in the machine.  

Will Lankston, from the UK, who is Operations Director at Jeeves of Belgravia, has discussed the truth behind common myths when it comes to dry cleaning. Pictured, stock image

1. MYTH – SHOULD YOU ACTUALLY PUT YOUR JEANS IN A FREEZER TO CLEAN THEM? 

Jeeves says: False. It doesn’t work. This is a story that has been circulating now for a couple of years and there have been many ‘expert’ opinions, but it just isn’t true. 

Jeans should be washed on a cold wash to preserve colour, and if you’re really concerned about your denim fading you should avoid over-washing them. 

You should be washing your jeans every four-to-five wears, and can even hand-wash using a delicate detergent to prolong their life. 

People then often ask if turning your jeans inside out prevents fading. This is technically true – jeans washed inside out will maintain more of their colour as they will not be in contact with the metal drum of the washing machine as frequently during a wash cycle.

2. MYTH – CAN YOU PUT YOUR SHOES IN A WASHING MACHINE ON A DELICATE WASH? 

Jeeves says: We would strongly advise against putting shoes in a washing machine. And we definitely wouldn’t recommend putting them anywhere near a tumble dryer, as the heat can warp the shoes and damage the glue that keeps them together. 

Tumble dryers can often shrink shoes depending on the fabric that is used. In short, it certainly isn’t how we clean shoes here.

We would definitely recommend taking shoes to a reputable dry cleaners who can advise on how to correctly clean them.

3. MYTH – SHOULD YOU PUT WHITE WINE ON RED WINE STAINS? 

Jeeves says: Absolutely not! For non-delicate, colourfast items – mix liquid detergent with cool water and soak the item until the stain lifts, then you should be able to wash as normal.  

There are many different myths surrounding this so called ‘tip’, and although it noticeably reaching staining for a quick effect, the white wine does not wash the stain out. 

Many people do this as a quick fix, however then forget about the stain and are left with a brown ring.

4. MYTH – DOES PUTTING TENNIS BALLS IN THE TUMBLE DRYER ACTUALLY MAKE YOUR TOWELS FLUFFIER? 

Jeeves says: Yes this is true! If you want your towels to be nice and fluffy, we would recommend popping a couple in with your towels, fluffy coats, pillows or anything else that could use a good fluffing when tumble drying. 

Tennis balls can also help laundry dry faster as they help to circulate air flow through your garments when in the machine. And if you don’t have any tennis balls to hand, other objects can produce the same results. 

Small stuffed toys without any plastic parts do the exact same thing and keep the dryer quiet.

5. MYTH – DOES USING MORE LAUNDRY DETERGENT MEAN CLEANER CLOTHES? 

Jeeves says: No. You need to make sure you have enough detergent for the weight of the load you are washing. These are carefully tested and calculated to ensure there is enough detergent to get your clothes clean. 

Using too much detergent can actually create more problems, including stain or residue on clothes, odours left behind in the washing machine from trapped excess residue and loads not having a chance to drain properly, resulting in wetter clothes. 

It is important to dose correctly, and consider key facts such as how dirty the clothes are, the size of the load, water hardness etc. 

6. MYTH – DOES USING BLEACH BOOST DETERGENT POWDER? 

Jeeves says: Not exactly. Bleach does help to clean items but needs to be used carefully with delicates as it can of course lift colour. 

Oxygen-based or all-fabric bleach are gentle bleaching agents that remove stains, whiten, and brighten laundry and are safe for use on almost all types of washable white and coloured fabrics. 

Will also told how putting white wine on red wine does not help to remove stains – and instead, you’ll be left with a brown ring. Pictured. stock image

Because of its chemical ingredients, it works more slowly than chlorine bleach, is less corrosive and damaging to fibers, and is more environmentally-friendly. 

However, we would always recommend using a detergent boost over a bleaching agent as this is less harsh on your clothes and reduces colou- striping like bleach does.

7. MYTH – YOUR WASHING MACHINE DOESN’T NEED TO BE WASHED – IT WASHES ITSELF, RIGHT? 

Jeeves says: Although your washing machine technically washes your clothes, it is very different to actually maintaining your machine. 

A maintenance wash should be run every six weeks or so. This basically involves running an empty machine on its hottest and longest cycle without any detergent, although you could add a cupful of vinegar or bleach to kill any bacteria. 

Following the hot wash we would recommend turning on a cold cycle to flush out the system.

8. MYTH – ARE COLD WASHES BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?

Jeeves says: Although cold water washes are better for the environment, some washes do need a hot cycle. 

For items such as towels, bed sheets etc these need a slightly higher temperature to kill bacteria commonly picked up. However, when it comes to washing your clothes, using cold water is an easy way to save energy and prevent pollution. 

Hot water heating accounts for about 90 percent of the energy your machine uses to wash clothes — only 10 percent goes to electricity used by the washer motor. 

Cold water is gentler on your clothes, and can protect them from fading, shrinking or bleeding. With cold water you can wash larger, unsorted loads without fear of tie-dying everything you own.

9.  MYTH – DOES LAUNDRY DETERGENT KILL BACTERIA?

Jeeves says: Laundry detergent doesn’t kill bacteria. Many people think that putting a wash on a higher temperature will kill bacteria, however if you are concerned about germs and bugs spreading, we would suggest adding a disinfectant like a chlorine bleach or a pine oil will properly sanitise the laundry and the washing machine. 

Drying is also a great way to sterilise. Bacteria can spread and regenerate when wet again, but they typically can’t do this during the time frame of a dryer cycle.

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