4 TikTok Laundry Hacks That Are Ruining Your Clothes

Wash out these mistakes from your laundry routine.

<p>DNY59/Getty Images</p>

DNY59/Getty Images

Unless we want to walk around with dirty clothing, laundry is a chore that we all need to do, but it can be so time-consuming and tedious. Well, TikTok has all the hacks to make this task a little easier. However, the number of views does not always equal effectiveness. It turns out many of the most popular tips and tricks have quite the opposite effect on your clothing and linens. Here are four you should avoid, as well as what to do instead.

Related: The Be-All-and-End-All, Definitive Guide to Doing Laundry

Laundry Stripping

With more than 182 million views for #laundrystripping, it’s easy to understand how this cleaning method became so popular. However, stripping can be incredibly rough on your clothing explains Tide and Downy Principal Scientist, Jennifer Ahoni. “Typically, laundry stripping uses hot water which can be damaging to fabrics, because it can weaken the fabric fibers, leading to pilling or shrinkage. Laundry stripping also typically uses borax, which creates an alkaline condition, which can also further weaken fibers. The water temperature and harsh chemicals can also cause dye loss.”`

Making Your Own Detergents

One popular way to cut costs is by making your own detergent. While these videos are enticing to watch, there’s just one problem—Ahoni tells me these do not have the same efficacy as traditional detergents and can leave your clothes inadequately washed. These homemade cleaners can’t tackle things like invisible soils (which attract dirt and can lead to odors), hard water (which can make clothing feel stiff), and dirt redeposition (which causes dinginess). So, while you can feel free to bake cookies from scratch, buy your detergent at the store.

Mixing Different Laundry Detergents

Like DIY detergent, mixing laundry detergents at home sounds like a good idea in theory, especially if you’re trying to save cash. but this isn’t as cost-effective as TikTok would have you believe. “Typically, they do not have the same efficacy as traditional detergents, because they have not been formulated and tested by scientists, and therefore may leave your clothes inadequately washed,” explains Ahoni. “Laundry products are designed to be stable and effective for a certain period. When creating a laundry detergent mix, intended to be used for many years, you may be using cleaning ingredients past their expiration date.”

Putting Vinegar In Every Load

Vinegar is great for cleaning and deodorizing everything from wood floors to pet accidents on carpeting, but Ahoni tells me it doesn't do much for your laundry. “Vinegar you buy at the store is not very concentrated, so adding it to the water in your washing machine won’t lower the pH enough to get full benefits unless you use five cups or more. In fact, vinegar’s low pH gets neutralized almost immediately when it encounters water, meaning it loses its cleaning power almost as soon as you use it.”

So, skip the vinegar, save a few bucks, and go with a product like Downy Rinse & Refresh instead, Ahoni recommends. Think of it like a clarifying shampoo but for your clothing and linens. “Unlike a traditional fabric softener that conditions to soften fabrics, it dissolves and helps remove odors and residues to leave fabrics softer, fresher, and brighter. It’s safe to use on all fabrics and loads, including athletic wear and towels, which are often culprits for odor re-bloom!”

Related: This Is How Often You Should Really Be Washing Your Sheets

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