Two Common Laundry Room Mistakes You May Be Making!

Are you doing laundry wrong? Get the answer now!

Most of us would probably agree that we reach a certain point in life and assume we’ve got the mundane day-to-day living tasks down pat. However, you may, in fact, be going about some common chores and activities the wrong way. Good thing you’re never too old to learn new tricks. You may see better results, save some time, and in some cases, save money. Here are two common laundry room “boo boos” you may be making:

Mistake #1 – Adding Clothes To The Machine First

Have a top-loading washer? Most people cram in the clothes, add the detergent, select the machine settings and allow the washer to fill while going about their business elsewhere. Would it surprise you to learn that clothes get cleaner if you put in the detergent and wait for the washer (if you have a traditional top-loading one) to fill before adding the clothes? This allows the detergent to disperse evenly through the water, resulting in uniformly cleaner laundry.

Mistake #2 – Using Too Much Detergent

A second laundry mistake you may be making is using so much detergent you see suds. Suds = clean, right? Not anymore. Detergents have been concentrated and reformulated while at the same time washers use far less water than in the past. The outcome is a need for a very small amount of detergent in each load. Though sometimes difficult to see, pay attention to the measurement lines inside the detergent cap (mark the lines with a permanent marker to make them more visible) and if you’re seeing suds in the washer, decrease the amount even further!

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Judy Kneiszel

Judy Kneiszel is a freelance writer from De Pere, Wisconsin. She contributes to regional and national magazines and newsletters, writing on a wide variety of topics including food, farming, health, renewable energy, and running a small business.

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New washers you have to put the clothes in first. My washer takes a weight measure then puts in the right amount of water. There is no longer a sm med lg load selection.


Mine is new ,and says to put detergent in first, so you are wrong there!

Last edited 1 year ago by Stacy

I dry in the sun on sunny days and residue from the detergent is left on my clothing and that is how I could tell I am using too much detergent. This is typical when I use powder detergent.


A C , It was the best thing to was or say rinse babies and clothing. Rash from 2 week old infant disappeared after 2 weeks of adding to rinse water . No baby soap or softeners worked . Dreft and tide were no help 33 years ago. Use it til kids got out of house I need now to return cause my skin is sensitive to soaos.


I use half a capful of ammonia on my towels. They come out smelling really clean and you rid the washer of residue left in the various dispensers. Keeps your machine running in tip top shape!


I also use vinegar and my clothes never smell like vinegar, even when wet.


That can make your washing machine rusty too!


Don’t your towels and clothes smell like vinegar?

Liz Ullrich

I just add a ie rag piece of towel wet with vinegar into the dryer it freshens laundry and no vinegar smell it also helps pull odors out as well. Use white vinegar.


I’ve always added my detergent first and filled the tub. I’ve never had a problem with overflow after adding the clothes.


love using vinegar to soften clothes and eliminate static cling ! I bought a Downy fabric softener ball, fill half full with vinegar and close it. It opens in the spin cycle.


What kind of vinegar to use and how much for a large loads ???

Susan Higgins

Hi Crystal, add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to the final rinse cycle for large or xtra large loads.


wjen do you add the vinegar, at the beginning with the laundry detergent?


Laureen, Please tell me how much vinegar to use for a regular load of towels. Thank you!


What if you have a front load how does that work


Many new top loading washers do not allow you to fill your tub up with water before adding clothes. You have to put the clothes and soap in, close the lid and it automatically fills to the amount of clothes in the machine.

Diana Pearson

Do not use a Fabric Softener at all when washing towels, instead add a cup of vinegar to the washing machine
and your towels will end up being twice as fluffy! Also don’t add Bounce Fabric Softener, dryer sheets to the dryer,
when those washed towels go into the dryer. You’ll love how your old towels feel, so Fluffy!!!


I’ve been trying to think of a way to add vinagar to my clothes at the laundry mat! My sons pjs end up smelling funky and vinagar really helps! Thanks for the suggestion!


I also use vinegar in the bleach dispenser of my front load washer. I live in the tropics and washed laundry often used to come out smelling funky, especially towels if they sat in the washer for even an hour before I could hang them outside to dry. I read an article several years ago that recommended using white distilled vinegar in the bleach dispenser…. Voila, funky smell completely eliminated. I buy the huge bottle of white distilled vinegar at the market and store with my laundry soap. It’s dirt cheap and extremely effective for laundry and all kinds of other household cleaning, including washing windows!

Susan Busick

The only problem with letting your washer fill before adding laundry, it will make it overflow. Been there done that!!!! Only fill your washer to the lowest level and let it agitate to disperse. Then put in the laundry and finish filling to desired level.


I add a good splash of vinegar if using the top loader (I never measure this). Or with the newer washing machines fill the dispenser up to the line of the bleach-dispenser AND also to the softener-dispenser. I buy the no name brand and it does a great job of getting rid of the soap suds.


How much vinegar do you use?


I use vinegar in my final rinse ,it is a wrinkle reducer plus an antiseptic.


Have always done my laundry this way. I switched from using fabric softener to using vinegar. It makes the clothes soft AND the clothes brighter and the whites whiter.

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