Your Biggest Laundry Fails, and Our Solutions - Clothes Doctor

Your Biggest Laundry Fails, and Our Solutions

As part of our revolutionary Laundry For Good campaign, we asked for your most common laundry mistakes, and we had a lot of fun reading your answers. But don't worry, we've kept all stories below anonymous, and you are definitely not alone. Luckily Clothes Doctor is here to help you find solutions to your laundry disasters and hopefully help you change your laundry habits, for good. 

Keep reading to find yours and how you can avoid it next laundry day:


WHY DO CLOTHES SHRINK?

Your fails:
"Shrinking woollen jumpers!"
"A number of years ago I accidentally put my favourite Howies lambswool cardigan in the normal wash of my washing machine. It came out completely felted and I was devastated, but I never repeated that mistake again with woollies! It is also in my my fabric pile to reclaim for a mend or new make. I haven't decided which!"
"I bought a lovely, comfy, baggy pair of ochre-coloured cord flares near the start of the first lockdown. One tumble-dry later, and their waistline had moved quite a long way in the opposite direction than mine. I swear they went down two dress sizes. (Cake may also have been involved, though.)"
 
No, the problem wasn't the cake! It's definitely all about the washing. Shrinking clothes was one of the most recurrent laundry fails we heard about from our customers. The truth is that you're simply washing at too high a temperature for the fabric. When applying heat to certain fabrics (such as wool, silk, cotton or even linen) tension is released from the fibres which have previously been stretched out, causing them to return to their natural and shorter state. This can happen during washing or drying. We've heard horror stories of people who've hand washed perfectly in cool water, and then plonked their wool jumper on a radiator to dry, and bam!
We suggest washing your clothes at 30 degrees (all our detergents are powered to work just as well at cool temperatures) and choosing to hand wash where you can - this will preserve the fabric and do wonders to keep them looking their best. You can also look for 'pre-washed' on the care label too when shopping, as that's a thing.

Extra tip: Our Eco Wash for Cashmere and Wool is a gentle pH nearly neutral detergent which is perfect for hand washing. It works like a detergent and fabric conditioner in one, and leave garments, soft, supple and smelling amazing. Better, easier and cheaper than the dry cleaner. It's delicately fragranced with Himalayan Cedarwood and Orange Oil, leaving your knitwear refreshed and nourished. 

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WHAT'S THAT SMELL?

Your fails:
"My clothes came out smelling terrible."
"Leaving clothes in the washer, so they got smelly."


Don't you just hate it when your clothes come out of the washing machine smelling as if they haven't been washed? If you notice this happening, you’re probably letting damp garments sit in the washing machine too long before drying them. The warm drum of the machine provides the perfect environment for mould and mildew to grow on your damp clothing, which results in a disappointing musty scent. Our suggestion is to rewash and always make sure you remove the clothes from the washer as soon as the cycle finishes. You may also find it helpful to wash
 sweaty garments right away to avoid bacterial overgrowth. We'd also suggest you avoid overloading the machine, and invest in a quality eco friendly detergent packed full of natural ingredients and delightful fragrances, but of course!

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BLEACH, PLEASE!

Your fails:
"Putting a pair of Levi’s in my washer and then pouring bleach directly on them to fade them, not a good outcome!"
"Put bleach in wash to make white towels whiter, came out grey & hard."

Oh, that's not good at all! Bleach will take the natural white colour out of the garment by peeling which causes the grey shade. It also damages the fibres causing them to go hard. Avoid using bleach or toxic chemicals, and pick an eco-friendly detergent. Lots of formulas are packed with ingredients that are harmful for your clothes and the environment. Particular nasties to avoid include: chlorine bleach, parabens, formaldehyde, and dyes. Our products contain natural ingredients and are cruelty-free and palm oil-free too. We are very careful with our formulations to make them biodegradable and as eco-friendly as possible, and of course, totally plastic free.

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Extra tip from our Founder Lulu: "After washing I squeeze lemon juice onto my whites and put them in a sunny window to whiten them naturally - it really works."

COLOURED ITEM IN A WHITES WASH

Your fails: 
"Turning a white top pink from a mixed wash"
"Leaving a dark red sock in washer then doing a white wash - husband had lovely pink shirts and pink smocks!"
"Dying my kids white PE kits red!!"
"Classic red pair of socks in with grey and white washing. All of my husbands work shirts ruined!!"
"Mixing colours."



This has to be the most common response we got from you, and for some reason it's always red?! It usually happens because you're washing on a hot cycle with an accidental coloured item in the mix, and/or putting new or newish coloured garments in the wash with whites. Our advice is, to avoid those colours going nuclear, wash at 30 degrees and it won't matter if you've mixed your whites and colours. If you do HAVE to wash hotter than that, due to heavy staining, for example, then separate your colours carefully! For any new items that are not 'colour fast' yet, then hand washing solo a couple of times is a good idea, or only on a cycle with dark items.

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And a final bonus story: "I put a chenille blanket in the washing machine with a dishwasher tablet instead of washing tablet by mistake. The whole thing disintegrated and we were finding red bobbles of fabric for weeks!" Nooooo!

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