No matter how hard you try to avoid it, at some point you are going to experience a laundry disaster. Whether it be washing something that shouldn’t have been washed or leaving wet towels for so long they mildew, laundry oops are a fact of life. Don’t worry though, most laundry mistakes have quick fixes. Take a look at our list below to find solutions for the most common!
Shrinking: Sometimes clothes shrink. Luckily, you can usually unshrink them. In fact, we covered how to in detail in our last blog!
Whites No Longer White: As clothing ages, natural wear & tear and discoloration can occur. When it comes to whites, that means they start turning yellow or dingy. If your whites are starting to yellow, you have a variety of options available — you can make a mixture of warm water and oxygen based bleach and soak your whites overnight; or you can go the old-fashioned route with laundry bluing; or trying drying your clothes out in the sun to brighten them up. If your whites are becoming dingy, you can try something called a triple soak. As the name implies, you’ll be soaking your whites three times over. First, soak in water + two tablespoons of liquid dish soap. Second, rinse, then soak in water and two tablespoons of ammonia. Finally, rinse and soak in water + two tablespoons of vinegar. When you’ve done all three, rinse out the garment well and dry. Sometimes, your whites will turn pink due to the addition of a red item mixed in with the whites in the wash. If this happens, try Rit Color Remover.
Kid Life: If you have kids, you know they’re terrible about emptying out their pockets before dumping clothes in the laundry hamper. This can lead to instances such as crayons or stickers going through the washer and dryer. If crayolas go through the dryer, you’ll end up with dried wax in the drum. If you’re lucky, you can scrape most or all with something like a credit card. Still some left? Grab your hair dryer and melt the wax so you can wipe it off. Once all the melted crayons are gone, wipe your drum down with first WD-40, then a gentle cleanser. Other times your kids may forget they have a sticker somewhere on their clothing. If a sticker goes through both the washing and drying process, it can be hard to remove. If this occurs, freeze the area with an ice cube, then scrape away as much of the sticker as possible. If there’s still some on there, use cooking oil to loosen it up, then scrape away. Finally, rinse well, use a a stain remover, then wash again.
Inksplosion: Sometimes we leave a pen in our pocket and it goes through the wash, which can equal an inksplosion! Whether the pen has gone through only the washer or the washer & dryer, the steps are the same to (hopefully) fix it. First, lay the garment out on a towel. Then start dabbing the stain with rubbing alcohol. Do this till no more stain can be removed. If there’s still ink on the article of clothing, do this again but with nail polish remover. When finished, rinse well.
Lip Balm: If you’ve ever had lip balm go through the laundry cycle, you know it leaves a tough stain. The first step to removing it is to scrape off any residue. Then work in some stain remover and let sit for a half hour. Next, rewash the garment in hot water. If the stain hasn’t been entirely removed by this process, go through it again.
Dried Stains: Step one is trying a stain remover a couple of times. If that doesn’t help, try soaking the stain or using a stronger stain remover. Rinse before rewashing.
Mildew: Uh-oh, you forgot wet clothes in the machine and now you’ve got a mildew smell. If it’s just an odor, it’s fairly easy to fix — simply washing them again with a bit of bleach (color-safe for non-whites) should do the job. If there are mildew stains on white clothing, wash again with chlorine bleach. If the clothing is non-white, sponge the stained areas with one teaspoon of color-safe oxygen bleach + one cup of hydrogen peroxide. Rinse, then rewash!
Tissue Disaster: It’s super common to forget you have tissue in your pockets when you’re tossing clothes into the laundry. Then, all your stuff comes out with little shredded bits of tissue everywhere. Ugh! Thankfully, the fix for this is simple. Pick off any large clumps of tissue, then toss in the dryer. The lint filter will grab the rest.
Laundry accidents happen, but with a little luck and patience most of them are fixable!
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