How to Avoid Costly Laundry Mistakes

When you find an apartment that comes with its own washer and dryer, it can feel like you won the jackpot! Not having to frequent a laundromat or a friend’s place to wash clothes is such a time saver when you realize that you can do laundry whenever you want. However, there are some mistakes with using your rental’s washer and dryer that can ruin the machines or your clothing, especially if your landlord’s models are different than what you’re used to at home or in your college dorm. Here’s how to avoid the most common mistakes, so you won’t be hit with high repair fees.

1. Read instructions on the detergent container

home disastersThere are many different types of laundry detergents. Some are very concentrated and you only use a tiny amount, so every time to pick up a new detergent, read the instructions. In general, even if you have a large load of laundry, you should be limiting the amount of detergent you use. And remember that front loader washers typically use much less detergent than top loader ones. Using too much detergent can add more wear and tear on your washer while you end up with overly soapy clothes and have to run the rinse cycle again, which adds to your water bill. One awesome way to avoid this issue is to try out pod packs! They release the correct amount of detergent, they’re portable, and come in a variety of scents! Check out these ones from Target.

2. Don’t over-stuff the machines with too many clothes

Sometimes we may feel short on time or lazy, and only want to do one load of laundry. As a result, we over-stuff our washer and dryer with 2 loads of laundry. Or, we just dump the clothes in without spreading them evenly in the washer, so that it gets unbalanced and starts wobbling. These mistakes can result in added wear and tear on your landlord’s machines, and if serious enough, repair costs can be taken out of your security deposit!  Stick with smaller, reasonable loads of laundry to avoid any unnecessary damage.

3. Make sure to clean the lint trap on the dryer after each use

This is a big one. You must clean off the lint trap on your dryer after EVERY USE. This can cause serious damage to the dryer, and lead to more costly repairs, not to mention creating a fire risk if the exhaust went gets clogged. Not cleaning the lint trap can also prevent it from sliding into its compartment properly, making it stick out and cause a sharp edge for clothes to catch on. As someone who just lost 5 tank tops and tons of socks and underwear due to this problem, take the time to clean out the lint so you can also avoid damage to your clothes, as well as the dryer.

4. Use the correct cycle for your clothing or bedding

Man Using Washing MachineIf you are washing sheets, comforters or anything bulky, a “normal cotton” cycle is not enough to get your stuff cleaned properly. Use the right cycle for each item you are washing to prevent over-soaking or damaging your clothes or bedding. Also follow the directions when washing bath mats, shower curtains, kitchen rugs, or anything other household items that are machine washable.

5. Promptly report any issues to your landlord

Many leases will have explicit instructions for maintenance of your washer and dryer, so follow them carefully. You don’t want your security deposit used to fund repairs when your landlord decides that you were negligent. Having your washer and dryer is a true luxury in today’s rental market, so take care of them and report any washing mishaps or maintenance issues to your landlord as soon as possible.

If you are new laundromat user, check out the tips below.

Airing Your Dirty Laundry in Public: How To Use A Laundromat

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Author My First Apartment
Anna R.

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Anna R. is currently a research assistant in a biology lab in the Bay Area and is interested in pursuing a Ph.D in Genetics. When she’s not daydreaming about food and browsing recipes on Pinterest, she likes to spend her free time dancing, paddle boarding and swimming. She’s been through a number of different housing situations and is eager to share her experiences with other MFA readers!

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