Lynsey Queen of Clean shares her laundry tip
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Separating darks, colours and white clothing into separate wash cycles is one of the most obvious hacks when it comes to keeping your laundry in good condition, but not all of us separate different types of items. While dirty towels, bed sheets and clothing all need to be washed regularly, cleaning professionals have warned against throwing them all into the washing machine at once. These are the three main reasons why you should never do it, according to the experts.
Why shouldn’t you wash sheets, towels and clothes together?
It may seem easier to wash a full load of dirty laundry all at once, but it is crucial to keep large items separate from your clothes for several reasons, not least because towels, sheets and clothes are “very different materials”.
They won’t come out clean
Just because your sheets, towels and clothes have been through the wash, it doesn’t mean that they are actually clean
When smaller items are laundered at the same time as large sheets and towels, they can become wrapped up in the fabric, and effectively left out of the cycle.
The Folde laundry company said: “If a towel becomes tightly wrapped in a sheet, it won’t dry properly resulting in mildew and mould.
“Additionally, if towels or other pieces of clothing are getting caught in sheets, they’re not rubbing up against other items of clothing which is an essential part of the cleaning process in a washer.”
Using a generic setting to wash a mixed heap of laundry is also problematic when it comes to cleaning fabrics.
For example, a rapid, low-heat cycle will stop colours from running and protect fabrics, but it is unlikely to actually kill off the bacteria lurking in the fibres of your sheets and towels.
They don’t all need to be washed at the same temperature
Bed linens, fluffy towels and clothes can all become dirty very quickly, though some items will harbour more bacteria than others.
For this reason, it is important to wash “dirtier” fabrics on a long, hot cycle to ensure that they are properly cleaned.
Regular clothes don’t typically need to be washed on a heavy-duty setting and should be kept separate from soiled bed sheets and towels which do.
According to Laundry Talk, “normal wear” clothes which are frequently washed in the same setting as these larger items will quickly look old and worn.
To keep them clean and in good condition, place clothing on their own regular wash cycle to protect the colours and sizing.
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It’s not just clothes that need to be washed on their own, in fact, towels and sheets should also be divided into separate piles.
Towels should be washed with hot water to remove skin cells, bacteria and dampness, but it is important to use a cooler cycle for sheets.
Speaking to The Folde, Rose H, laundry expert at Laundry Pros said: “As a commercial laundry service, we know the benefits of hot cycle washes. But, you don’t want to process your delicate linens in hot cycles.
“These sheets can’t stand the heat like the towels can!”
Lint spreads more easily
Towels are loved for their fluffy texture but the lint can quickly spread to other items in the wash.
This is easy to spot in the lint filter of tumble dryers, and also on the surface of other fabrics which have been washed alongside cotton towels.
To avoid this magnetic residue covering your clothes and sheets, keep towels – especially new ones – separate from other dirty items.
If you want to keep cotton items fluffy for longer, try adding one cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle.
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