Doing laundry is one of the hallmarks of being an adult. No matter how long you’ve been washing your clothes and linens, though, there are still some things you probably don’t know about laundry. As a matter of fact, there are certain laundry mistakes almost everyone makes on a regular basis. You’ll learn about five of them in this guide.

1. Using more detergent than you need

Logically, the more detergent you use, the cleaner your clothes will get, right? Wrong. If you use more than the recommended amount of soap (or don’t even look at the box and pour in whatever “looks right”), the rinse cycle on your washer won’t eliminate all the soap residue. This can leave you feeling itchy after just one wear! Also, using less detergent will save money over time because a single container will last much longer.

2. Washing things too frequently

Although there are exceptions to this rule, clothes typically don’t need to be washed every time you wear them. As a matter of fact, most items can go a couple of months without entering your washing machine. A rule of thumb is to wash pants twice per summer and once before you pack them away for the winter season. Workout clothes, children’s play clothes, underwear/socks, and anything that is actually soiled should, of course, be laundered with greater frequency.

3. Overstuffing your dryer

In order to save time (or money, in the case of those who go to laundromats), it’s tempting to put as many clothes and linens as you can into your dryer. This is not, however, the wisest idea. Since dryers need air to properly dry items, overstuffing them can actually cause them to work harder, shortening their lifespans and costing you more money in utility bills.

4. Putting delicates in the washer

Washers are extremely useful, but there are certain items that should never go in them. Bras and other delicate items, such as silk and cashmere clothes and scarves, should always be hand-washed or dry cleaned. If you have questions about how to care for a specific article, look at its tag.

5. Neglecting to clean your lint trap

Sometimes, especially when you’re busy, you might scoop a load from your dryer and completely forget to clean your lint trap. This is, however, an important step in the laundry process.
Not only does this ensure your clothes are in the best possible condition when you remove them, but it prevents your machine from getting clogged and keeps it running well longer.

If you make any of these laundry errors on a regular basis, don’t fret! Now that you know, you can start making changes to keep your household’s clothes and linens in good shape for as long as possible. Doing laundry properly is ultimately a great way to save money because you won’t have to buy as much clothing, your washer and dryer won’t need repairs, and you will have to purchase fewer supplies.