Washing a load of laundry might seem like a simple enough task, but there are actually several ways you can mess it up. From using the wrong detergent to overloading your washing machine, these laundry mistakes can cause serious damage to your clothes—and your wallet.

Read on to understand how these mistakes could cost you. 

Using the Wrong Detergent

If you've ever accidentally used dishwashing detergent in your laundry, you know how harsh it can be on your clothes. While the strong scent of citrus might make your dishes sparkle, it will also strip away the natural oils in your clothing, leaving them dry and brittle.

Even worse, using the wrong detergent can void the warranty on your washing machine. Most washers are designed to use specific types of detergent, so using anything else could damage the machine or your clothes.

To avoid this mistake, always read the labels on your detergent before using it. But that can sometimes be confusing, especially when all you see is a long list of ingredients. So if you have any sensitive fabrics or clothes you'd like to keep in good condition, it might be best to use a full-service laundry service instead.

A full-service laundry service can take the guesswork out of using the right detergent for your clothes. They know how to treat different fabrics and can even pretreat any stains before washing. As an added bonus, full-service laundries typically use eco-friendly detergents that are gentle on both your clothes and the environment.

Not Separating Laundry by Color and Fabric Type

While it might seem like a time-saving shortcut to just throw everything in the washer together, it can actually cause serious damage to your clothes.

Washing dark and light colors can transfer dye onto other garments, ruining their appearance. The dye can permanently discolor delicate fabrics like silk and linen, so it's always best to wash them separately.

Washing all your clothes on the same cycle can also be a mistake. Heavy items like jeans and towels should be washed on a different setting than delicate items like lingerie and sweaters. Washing them all together can cause the delicate items to get torn or misshapen since they'll be jostled around with the same intensity as the heavier items.

To avoid this, always take the time to sort your laundry before washing. Separate dark colors from light colors, and wash delicate items separately from heavier garments. This extra step might take a little bit longer, but it will help keep your clothes looking their best long-term.

Contact a local full-service laundry center, such as Oshkosh Express Laundry, to learn more.