Laundry has so many rules. Whether it's separating lights and darks, turning jeans inside out, or line drying your fleeces, laundry takes up a surprising amount of brain storage. Some rules have more wiggle room, though... in fact, there are some clothing washing myths that everyone believes, that are actually more fact than fiction. Yes, a red sock accidentally mixed in with your whites will still wreak havoc, but there are some other things that might not hold as much truth to them as you would expect.
So, what kind of laundry myths are out there to be busted? Well, there's everything from simple concepts that most of us assume are true (you'd think more detergent would make your clothes more clean, but as it turns out, that's not the case) to old myths that have been passed down for generations, like the idea that you have to wash your T-shirts every time you wear them.
Now, a lot of these end up coming down to personal preference, but they're still helpful to keep in mind. After all, I think we can safely agree that laundry's already confusing enough as it is — so here's a handy list of debunked clothing washing myths for your perusal.
1. More Soap = More Clean
You'd think this'd be true, but you should actually be careful about how much detergent you add to your laundry — according to Today, an overdose of detergent is tougher for your machine to rinse out, and if it stays in your clothes, it could lead to skin irritation. So, stick to the recommended amount — no matter how filthy your workout gear happens to be.
2. Jeans & Dryers Don't Mix
Now, this one actually comes down to personal preference and fit: If they're on the loose side, some dryer time will actually shrink them just a touch for a better fit, according to Tide. If they're on the loose side, though? Well, you may want to stick to line drying.
3. Freezing Kills Jeans Bacteria
Speaking of jeans, have you heard the little myth that you can stick your jeans in the freezer to kill the bacteria? Well, Tide also explains that the freezer will only partially kill the bacteria, leaving the heartier bacteria to roam free. Plus, when you heat the jeans back up to body temperature (you know, by wearing them) it'll revive a lot of the frozen bacteria.
4. Lint Is A Non-Issue
Do you have a somewhat laissez-faire attitude towards your lint trap? I'll admit, I do. That said, we should all step up our game where lint is concerned: As explained by about.com, it can start fires, and it also decreases the energy efficiency of your dryer.
5. You Can Add Bleach At The Same Time As Detergent
According to Good Housekeeping, you should actually wait five minutes into the cycle to add the bleach — that way, it won't cancel out/react negatively to the enzymes in the detergent.
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6. Hairspray Removes Ink Stains
Good Housekeeping also explains that hairspray doesn't actually work so well on ink stains anymore — because it was the alcohol in the formula that actually worked. Since alcohol dries out your hair, most modern hairsprays don't come with as much alcohol in the formula, so they don't work as well on the stains — you'll have better luck with rubbing alcohol.
Don't worry, though: White wine still works wonders on red wine stains!
7. You Should Wash Your Jeans As Often As Your Other Clothes
Washing frequency varies a lot from person to person, but according to Refinery29, you might just be washing your jeans too often — their expert recommends washing jeans as sparingly as possible. In other words, you should be going months, not weeks, between washes.
8. You Should Wash Your T-Shirts Every Wear
Many people wash their T-shirts once a wear — though, going two or three wears between washes can greatly increase the longevity of the garment, Refinery29 also reports.
9. Hand Wash Items Have To Actually Be Hand Washed
Look, it may not be best for the longevity of your favorite delicate blouse, but I think we can all admit that gentle cycle on cold will do just fine for most "hand wash" items... or maybe that's just me and my laziness talking.