Just about everyone does this every week, but rarely anyone enjoys it. Laundry, the chore that most of you know of from the age of 5. So what is it like doing your weekly laundry? You gather up your family’s weekly laundry, dump it in your home laundry machine, or seek out a self service laundry out within your neighbourhood and have everything cleaned up.
Based on our recent surveys with several of our customers at various outlets, the average family of 5 in Malaysia does their laundry twice and even thrice on a weekly basis which makes it 105 to 156 times of laundry on an annual basis. As often as it seems that people do their laundry, there are 14 laundry myths that we have been hearing so often from our customers that we know is far from what the actual fact is. Continue reading for the 14 laundry myths – debunked!
Laundry Myths #1: Removal Of Ink Stains With Hairspray
This is applicable in the 1950s but not in 2015 and this is largely due to the fact that hairsprays of most common brands contains alcohol which helps with the lifting of ink stains. However, in this age and era, those who try this tip might end up with a bigger problem with a bigger spread of ink stain. Alternatively, what you should opt for is a good ink stain removal like Delta Carbona Lp 404 available at 11Street.
Laundry Myths #2: Add Coffee To Keep Black Clothes From Fading
A dark coloured shirt or an elegant black dress bought at a hefty price just to see it fade or turn greyish after a good few washes can be extremely frustrating and at times, just makes you wonder if you should ever buy any black clothing at all. Black dress, black jeans, basically any black garments ought to fade over time. Then some smart lad somewhere around the globe started proposing that if you add a cup of coffee during last 5 minutes of rinsing, the fading can be reduced or stopped completely.
Unfortunately, this is a big myth, if you have tried this “tip” out, we bet you wish you have had better days.
Coffee on its own has colour and different coffee carries different types of black and when brewed in a particular manner, the concentration of the black colour differs altogether. Though we do not deny the fact that coffee can be used to colour your clothes, it will require really dark coffee to make any significant or visible colour retention. Furthermore, the inconsistent colour concentration of the coffee almost definitely results in inconsistent colour spread as well.
Laundry Myths #3: Use More Detergent To Get Better Results
This is a little something that can’t seem to be shaken off. Adding salt to your food will make it taste good but too much of it and you will just go…. yuck!
Same goes for detergents.
If you do your laundry at home, ALWAYS refer to the recommended dose of detergent to use. They are there for a reason, do not neglect them.
Another further point to consider is that your home washing machine will always dispense the same amount of water for every wash, by using too much of laundry detergent regardless if it is powdered detergent or liquid detergent, it is likely that there will be residual detergent left in your laundry. Quite simply, a mop can only dry up that much of water at one time.
One way to know if you are using too much of laundry detergent is to check your laundry dryer every time you finish drying your clothes. If there is a lot of lint then it is likely you have been using way too much of detergent.
*Start Of Fun Fact*
How Laundry Detergent Works?
For most of you, detergent is quite commonly known as the “soap” to clean your laundry and that can be said to be true based on the usage today. At times, you will find your friends and family calling out at one another to pass over the “soap” when they are doing their laundry.
However, the real story lies with the fact that there are mainly two types of water, namely hard water and soft water.
Soft water is treated water in which the only ion that exists in it is sodium whereas hard water is water that contains a good quantity of dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Just take an example, when the rain falls directly from the sky, the water can be considered to be soft water. However, the moment the rain water lands on the soil and slowly sips into the city waterways, the rain water starts picking up minerals like chalk, lime and mostly calcium and magnesium.
So is hard water bad? Well hardly! Hard water often contains essential minerals that fuel our daily mineral needs. In fact in some countries like the UK, the preferred drinking water is hard water which available in their tap water supply. On top of the health benefits that hard water brings, hard water has a peculiar flavour as well, well not necessarily to everyone’s liking. (NOTE: Consumption of hard water may have differing health effects on various individual.)
The chemical composition of hard water is what led to the invention of the detergent. Soap works fine as a cleaning liquid or laundry cleaning agent when you use it in soft water. However, when soap is being used in hard water, the soap reacts with the minerals in the hard water namely magnesium and calcium ions to deposit little white solids. These little white solids are normally called “soap scum”, “scum” and “hard water build up”. With these little white stuff dangling on your clothing can be a real headache when you try to remove them because they appear to be little sands got stuck in the linen and the easiest way of removing them is pluck out the scum along with the linen.
Then the invention of laundry detergent came about to solve the problem. Detergents work well in both hard water and soft water. Detergents such as Dynamo (the brand we use at DobiQueen), Tops and Tide are just the few popular brands out there that stands out from the crowd in providing top quality detergents available in Malaysia.
*End Of Fun Fact*
Laundry Myths #4: Treating Stains From The Front
When you got a little unfortunate over the dining table or while your favourite pen decided to fail on you by leaking ink, always attack the stain from behind instead of the front. It is a very common laundry stain mistake and in fact might be a reflex to treat a stain head on.
Image credits to: WikiHow
Apply your stain removal both on the front and the back then rinse and rub it from behind gently. This method of treating stains allow you to push the stain and any residual grease, dirt or oil outward instead of going further deeper into your clothing.
Laundry Myths #5: Using Chlorine Bleach And Detergent Together For Powerful Cleaning
Quite the opposite! This “laundry tip” is just complete nonsense! Please by all means avoid making this laundry mistake.
Detergents on its own belongs to the alkali side of the pH scale whereas chlorine belongs to the acidic side of the pH scale upon exposure to water (when chlorine is exposed to water, it forms hydrochloric acid (HCl).
Cl2+H2O → HOCl+HCl
When two compounds lying on opposite sides on the pH scale, they react to neutralise each other to form a compound and releases water. In other words, mixing your laundry detergent and chlorine together simply nullifies any cleaning result that you wish to see.
So what you should be doing is, don’t mix them. Instead, add them into your laundry wash at different cycles. Detergents should go in first and during the last 5 minutes of the rinsing cycle, add the chlorine bleach. If you like to opt for extra whitening, combine chlorine and baking soda in equal amounts.
Laundry Myths #6: Hot Water Will Kill Germs
When it comes to germs and bacteria, you are looking at a vast number of species that can thrive on very different environments so to simply say that washing with hot water can lead to a germs and bacteria free laundry isn’t quite true.
Hot water does however, make detergents and laundry products to be more effective at cleaning your laundry.
Image credits to: wiseGEEK
Laundry Myths #7: High Heat Causes Shrinkage
Clothes shrink when they lack moisture in the fabric which causes the fibres of the fabric to tighten and draw together. If you have been experiencing shrinkage of your clothes, then it is likely that you have been overdrying your laundry.
To avoid shrinkage, what you have to do is to frequently check your dryer for clothes that are already dry, remove them and let the wet clothing continue drying. If you are unsure whether your clothes are dry enough, put it along a clothesline and let it air dry. This way you can preserve natural moisture of the fabric of your favourite pair of jeans.
Laundry Myth #8: Use Club Soda On A Stain
Ahhh… those stains from the glass of wine and from your favourite pasta can be really frustrating particularly if they fell on a tie or on your shirt, where the stain is perfect visible to anyone who passes by you. It has been rumoured that using club soda can help with the removal of food stain. That is NOT entirely true. In fact, if the food stain is of oil based then you are setting the stain in on your favourite tie for the long run.
To remove stains effectively, you should simply blot the stain with a clean cloth or wet napkin. If your “DIY” efforts does not work, send it for dry cleaning as soon as possible.
Laundry Myth #9: The Bigger The Bottle The Better
When you arrive at a super market like Giant and Tesco, often you will see many laundry detergent brands that offer humongous bottles but with extremely low prices and rarely you see laundry detergent brands that offer small bottles yet at premium prices. So which is better you ask?
We will have to go with Dynamo. It is in our research that Dynamo offers extremely concentrated laundry detergent formulas that work significantly better at lower quantities. Environmentally, Dynamo uses lesser plastic for their packaging as well. If you have heard of the phrase “kecil kecil cili padi”, then you bet Dynamo will not disappointment.
Laundry Myth #10: Natural And “Green” Cleaning Products Are Just Cracked Up Crap
Brands that overly emphasise on being green has this thing for packaging their products in a cheapest and unreliable outlook. *That’s just our opinion*
But, be rest assured, although natural laundry products tend to have the reputation of being less effective, overly priced and the lack of fragrance, they are by no means underperforming in cleaning your laundry.
Laundry Myth #11: Cold Water Is Better For Cleaning Clothing.
This myth is somewhat true from the stand point of being environmentally friendly and to reduce our respective carbon footprint. For a more effective wash, warmer or hot water will be a better option.
This should not be much of a concern because at DobiQueen, our laundry machines are already extremely environmental friendly and consumes energy and its minimal levels.
Laundry Myth #12: All Laundry Detergents Created Equal.
Another ridiculous myth that was claimed with no basis. If all laundry detergents are made equal, why are brands like Dynamo and Tops consistently innovating their laundry detergents to outperform the other?
Laundry Myth #13: Dry Cleaning Doesn’t Use Liquids.
That’s not entirely true either. Dry cleaning, in fact, does use liquids just that it isn’t not water. Often dry cleaners use a petroleum solvent as their cleaning agent to dissolve great and oils without using soapy water. This petroleum solvent’s chemical name is perchloroethylene, industrial professionals calls it “perc”.
*Start Of Fun Fact*
How Does Dry Cleaning Work?
The process of dry cleaning, in fact, isn’t as complicated as it sounds. And no, the dry cleaners aren’t cleaning your laundry using nothing but a brush. The process basically goes like this.
Firstly, the dry cleaners tag your clothing along with other customers’ clothing.
Secondly, the professionals have the laundry tucked into a specialised dry cleaning machine that cleans using “perc” which is then recycled for the next round for conservation purposes.
Lastly, once the process has been completed, the laundry is taken out to be pressed. They are good to go after that!
So, why bother going to a dry cleaning laundry outlet?
Different fabric and textile commands different approaches and treatment when it comes to cleaning them. If you dump a $1,000 silk shirt into your home washing machine, even the almighty can’t save your shirt. That’s when dry cleaning comes in the picture. Dry cleaning is ideal for delicate items like silk fabrics, velvets that has a fabric construct that doesn’t seem to be able to handle rapid spinning and rotation. Wool for instance, is definitely not something you would want to have cleaned at home or at a regular laundromat. Wool requires special handling.
*End Of Fun Fact*
Laundry Myth #14: Any Stain Can Be Removed At Home
You can always try but we would advise you to save yourself the trouble and have it handled by a professional. You save time, you save effort, you avoid destroying your favourite pair of jeans and above all, you can have a peace of mind!