Photo looking up at a washing line between two buildings with a variety of clothes hanging and blowing in the wind against a cloudy blue sky
kair 101

Laundry myths and truths

A myriad of laundry tips abound when it comes to Kairing for your clothes, so we’re here to demystify them for you. Read on to uncover the truth behind 5 common laundry myths.

Myth #1: More detergent means cleaner clothes

Excess detergent isn't as easily broken down by the water in your washing machine, which will lead to build-up and residue on your clothes. And worse - it could even cause grime to redeposit on your clothes: the very opposite of cleaner clothes! Stick to the recommended dose, so that your clothes stay spick-and-span.  

Myth #2: Hot washes trump cold washes 

Higher temperatures are not necessarily more effective than cooler ones when it comes removing grime from soiled clothes. Lowering the wash temperature doesn’t negatively affect colour retention, fuzzing or piling either, so you can go cool with confidence. Not all fabrics can handle hot washes: the heat can damage and discolour them. This is especially true with delicates. Hot water is also costly - both to your bank account, and to our planet: of the total emissions produced and energy used in a single load of laundry, 75% is a result of heating the water. By turning down the dial, and keeping the water cool you can feel confident in washing your favourite wardrobe pieces again and again. Check out our piece on mastering the wool wash to read more about the importance of keeping it cool.

Myth #3: Tumble dryer heat shrinks clothes

A hot iron doesn’t shrink clothes (the heat and pressure actually cause them to stretch out, according to fabric technologist Lucinda Ottusch) - so why should tumble dryer heat? In fact, it’s the tumbling action which causes the shrinkage, as the clothes strike against the sides of the dryer. The washing process itself may also be responsible, if you choose the wrong cycle. Nonetheless, the drying process can weaken the natural fibres of certain delicate fabrics (for example, cotton linen and wool), if too much moisture is removed. So, proceed with Kair, and where possible hang your delicates out to dry instead. 

Myth #4: Washing machines clean themselves

Surely a machine that cleans clothes cleans itself? Turns out, as most of us now wash our laundry at much lower temperatures, while also using quicker cycles and liquid detergents, our machines are more prone than ever to bacteria and mould build-up. So to keep your machine cleaning your clothes, you need to clean your machine - and as regularly as you can. Simply run a hot service wash (60º C or higher) once a month at a high temperature, with no clothes in the machine, and in place of your usual detergent add a large cup of white vinegar or lemon juice together with some baking soda to disinfect the tub. 

Myth #5: Shirts should be buttoned

While zips should be zipped up (to prevent the teeth from snagging the seam, and avoid breaking the zip itself), buttons shouldn’t be buttoned, as this can put a strain on them, as well as on the fabric. This strain, in turn, can lead to overly wide buttonholes, not to mention the odd loose button at the bottom of your washing machine. So say goodbye to button-related blues, and button your clothes from head to toe...or collar to cuff!


Cover image by Erik Witsoe

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