September 09, 2006

Washing Disasters

So I admit, before college I grew up in a greenhouse where dirty clothes just magically appears in my wardrobe after a day or so all cleaned and ironed like new. Imagine my shock when I got to college and dirty clothes just stayed dirty in the laundry basket!!

Well. . maybe I exxagerated just a tiny bit there about my ignorance, but it makes a great anecdote right? Anyway, clueless on how to operate a washing machine, I actually got a friend to give me instructions my first time. I mean, I know I'm supposed to seperate colors, but does that mean I'll have to seperate them into all reds, purples, blues, whites, blacks and pinks? What if the shirt had two different colors on it?? LOL. In the end I pulled through and managed the entire year looking clean and put togehter. . . with very little mishap.

Mishap #1: Washing my cheap purple rug with my baby blue pajamas created purplish indigo pajamas instead. Luckily it was dyed very evenly and the color was pretty enough.
Mishap #2: I tried to wash my airy polyester filled blanket in with the rest of my colors. When the water filled up and the machine still didn't move I finally realised that the machine was simply too full. So I took the completely soaked in blanket out of the machine. . . it went swoosh and nearly flooded the laundry room. . . but I read the label and it DID say it was machine washable!
Mishap #3: I put this party top with silver sequinns I'd bought from Top Shop in the washing machine (inside a washing bag) and the sequinns came out looking rusted.
Mishap #4: Not my fault cause I always read the labels of my favourite tops. But one of my pretty purple silk tops that I'd recently bought somehow ended up in the washing machine . . . . silk tops are NEVER meant for the washing machine. It has now lost its silky shininess and slinky softness. Instead, it now feels like old fabric. . . *sobs*

Do share your washing disasters (or advice) so we can all learn from your mistakes!

33 Comments:

Anonymous hau said...

I once washed colored paper with my clothes in the same machine for an art project (don't ask why), and colors ended up on my white socks. Red paper was the worse. The colors that comes off easily are the ones dyed onto cotton. Cotton is made of cellulose and very polar, which means it attracts the water soluble color the most. So that's why all my cotton items got ugly.

9/10/2006 1:43 AM  
Anonymous greg said...

My roommate sophomore year hadn't done laundry at the school for his first year and a half.

We found this out when he came running back because he put his dirty clothes and detergent into the dryer, not knowing which machine was which :P

9/10/2006 1:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was really tired once and put all my nice work pants into the machine and proceeded to pour a cup of bleach on them! ahh!

ps.. hau what do you mean washing paper?

9/10/2006 3:00 AM  
Anonymous V said...

How do you even get that far into life without using a washing machine?

9/10/2006 3:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was running late for an event one Winter day last year, and I needed a pair of socks, which were in the washing machine. So without thinking, I grabbed a pair of wet socks and put them in the microwave, hoping the microwave would dry my socks in decent time. How could I be so stupid...my socks were set on fire by the microwave! So instead of making it to the event in time, I was rather late and I had to live in a house that now smelled of fire and rubber. Now I never put anything in the microwave, except food!

9/10/2006 3:56 AM  
Blogger fjl said...

Put everything in on 40 and woolens. Never, ever skip it! Best advice I know.
x

9/10/2006 5:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rofl @ person who microwaved her socks

9/10/2006 6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My roomate put bleach in with my indigo wash jeans... She ruined them and never paid me back.

9/10/2006 7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had the same issues as you over the sequins, I thought it was because it was cheap but I guess it's not only me!

9/10/2006 7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anything not cotton and has sequins or rhinestones on it should be taken to the dry cleaners. I always learn the hard way. Infact my expensive jeans like "7 for all of mankind, I refuse to gamble on them by putting them in the washer, I take them to the cleaners. The seams at the footing tend to come out with much washing. When in doubt and you love a certain piece of clothing so much take it to the "dry cleaners," plus it makes the material last longer. If you are using the washing machine for jeans turn them inside out so you don't lose the color.

9/10/2006 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm, i sent my pretty bcbg white halter with silver sequins to the dry cleaners and the once shiny silver sequins are now a dull silver monochromatic shade... at least they're all the same color so it doesn't look too bad... but i know what it used to looked like, so... >:(

9/10/2006 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since i was 11 i have been washing clothes, at that age my mom started making me do her laundry along with every one elses(familiy of 6) and i have never made a mistake and had anything ruined. And know that am an adult i dont look like all these other idoits that cant even do there own landry.

9/10/2006 12:18 PM  
Anonymous kamo said...

To the poster above me, it looks like unfortunately spelling was not included along with those other life skills ;)

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

I usually didn't do my own laundry, but I'd watch my mom sometimes so I pretty much knew how it worked. I think the most important thing is to avoid over-washing clothes, especially nice denim. I'd rather go a bit longer between washings than have faded ratty $150 jeans. I know on most denim tags, they tell you not to dry clean them... maybe because of how the chemicals affect the color? I'm not sure.

9/10/2006 5:13 PM  
Blogger Dani said...

I washed by mistake my 100% wool sweater which was $250.00 and it came out looking like it would fit a one year old.

9/10/2006 7:43 PM  
Anonymous Mic said...

This is more of a preventative measure than a funny mishap, but what if you have a white shirt with red stripes? Is the red made colour-fast enough so that it won't bleed? Or should I just never wash it in warm water?

And where do grey clothes go? Whites or brights?

9/10/2006 10:48 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Hi Mic. As someone who has only started washing their own clothes this year, let me tell you what I've learnt in regard to what you've written:

-the white and red shirt: wash it once by itself, then after that it should be fine if you put it in with other colours. Check the label to see which temp to wash it in. Someone told me a tip that if you're worried about colours running, add white vinegar to the load. You won't be able to smell anything and it works.

- grey clothes: check the care instructions and see if it needs to be washed in warm or cold water. I wouldn't put them in with whites because that's too hot for most clothes. I usually pop them in with the brights or darks, depending on the shade and the temp on the label. Or if there's enough of them I make a seperate load.

And to the people who are so laundry savvy that they've been doing their laundry for so long, good for you! But I LOVE the fact that I've never had to do laundry until the past few months when I became an au pair because doing laundry sucks.

9/10/2006 11:25 PM  
Anonymous CC said...

i'm going to be honest here... i haven't ever used a washing machine... seems very tricky.. i've tried handwashing though... kudos to everyone who have become experts! :)

9/11/2006 12:02 AM  
Blogger beth said...

I wash everything on cold and delicate (that's equivalent to woolens) and I only put about 1/8 of my clothing in the tumble dryer. I hang dry everything from jeans (which I only wash once a month or if they are really filthy, otherwise I use a freshening spray) to lingerie (which I hand wash) to knit tops. The only things I put in the dryer are cheaper cotton underwear, socks, and PJs. I don't think I've let anyone else do my laundry since I was about 11 because I'm very particular about it. Even when people offer to, I refuse.

(Some of this is because I shop mainly H&M or vintage and it takes a lot of care to keep either from falling apart.... NOT because I have expensive clothing!)

Now that we have a stackable W/D unit in our apartment, and I don't have to travel a city block with my laundry (I live in NYC), I have the luxury of doing an all-whites load with bleach every time. Yea!

9/11/2006 1:39 AM  
Anonymous Mic said...

Wow. Washing your jeans once a month? I wish I could do that since I love my jeans so much, but they only actually fit me when they first come out of the wash. After a day of wearing them, they get baggier and baggier until I wash them again. Maybe I just buy cheap jeans. :\ Are there any brands that don't do that?

(Oh, PS, I stumbled across this site a month or so ago when looking for possible hair options for my prom next year. Great site! I love it!)

(PPS, in regards to the jeans queary, I'd like to add that I'm not only rediculously cheap ($40-50 for jeans is my max.) I have a limited selection because I live in a fairly small city and the only department store we have here is Sears. Woo. So when suggesting brands, keep that in mind. Hehe.)

9/11/2006 2:36 AM  
Anonymous R. said...

Denimlogy has an interesting article on *not* washing jeans, to increase their lifespan:

http://www.denimology.co.uk/2006/06/to_wash_or_not_to_wash_1.php

I made the mistake of washing my favourite pair of jeans on regular cycle too often, and I got holes in a few months.

Mic - maybe check out the spandex percent on the tag before purchasing? I find jeans with 1% spandex might stretch out less than one with 2%, plus lasts longer.

I'm a lot like Beth in being particular about laundry. Hang drying is a good tip to keep the shape of clothes, especially those made with stretchy fabric.

I like to...
-Wash very dark, dyed jeans once by themselves to wash out excess color.
-Wash greys with darks.
-Wash and dry inside-out.
-Hang dry whites to prevent them from yellowing
-Put lights and darks together in the dryer to save time.
-Rarely bleach whites unless necessary(too much bleach will make them greyish)
-Use two dryer sheets for extra scent ;)
- Check the tag before purchasing an item. If it has to be drycleaned, i'm usually not enthusiastic about wearing it.

And I find polyesters very forgiving and durable in the wash. :)

9/11/2006 6:22 AM  
Anonymous sales rack raider said...

I wash most of my "dry clean only" items by hand. Everything turned out OK except for one item--a rayon top. Not only did I expose it to water, but I threw it in the dryer--both of which are big no-no's. I didn't know until later that rayon is unstable in water. The top shrunk by a few inches. Fortunately, I fixed the problem by getting the top wet again, blotted it with a towel, and then gently stretched back out to normal size as it dried. Next time I'll be a lot more careful.

9/11/2006 6:41 AM  
Blogger Princess Sarah said...

to the poster who posted about jeans becoming baggy: i always buy my jeans very tight, because pretty much all jeans stretch. So if you wanted fitted jeans, but the jeans fit perfectly at the store, then go one size down. even if you can hardly breathe because of it, they will stretch when you take them home, to a nice fitted pair.

i also didnt do laundry for the first couple years of university, because i still lived close enough to home to bring it home. but ever since i got a place with ensuite laundry, i cant imagine anyone else doing it for me!

9/11/2006 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Mel said...

Does anyone know how to fix and prevent those little balls from forming on sweaters and the inside of sweatshirts? They always seem to appear no matter what I do.

9/11/2006 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Wow. Washing your jeans once a month? I wish I could do that since I love my jeans so much, but they only actually fit me when they first come out of the wash. After a day of wearing them, they get baggier and baggier until I wash them again. Maybe I just buy cheap jeans. :\ Are there any brands that don't do that?

9/11/2006 3:29 PM  
Anonymous ST said...

In regards to the machine-washed silk top, try ironing it (medium-hot) with a damp cloth between the iron and the silk. Use a thin, white cotton cloth (a mens t-shirt works perfectly). Iron until the cloth is dry.
White paper towels work well in a pinch! Good luck!

9/11/2006 10:02 PM  
Blogger Harrods Girl said...

I once shrank a brand new DKNY tank top on one of my first few attempts at doing my laudry at summer school when I was 15. It was a great lesson for me, because since then, I haven't had any laundry mishaps, but back then, I was young and DKNY seemed like such a major brand!

9/12/2006 4:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dry cleaning disaster:
My friend borrowed my BCBG coat and sweat in it so badly, that the under arm area smelled. I took it to the cleaners and instead of getting rid of the smell, it set it into the clothing. Now it smells worse...

Any idea if I can use some kind of cleaner or spray to get rid of the scent? I'm willing to try anything at this point.

By the way, wonderful blog. I've been a devoted reader since I discovered it a few months ago. :-)

9/13/2006 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a silk shirt that accidently ended up in the wash machine. The advice to iron it with a damp cloth worked really well. Thanks so much.
Also, I find that Febreze works really well at removing orders from clothing. I always spray it on my jeans and sweaters after going out to the bars to get rid of that smoke smell.

11/27/2006 7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went on vacation and my friends were doing the laundry after we had gone swimming. Someone threw my favourite swimsuit in the wash with everyone's clothes. My swimsuit is a reddish-fuschia colour and when it came out of the wash, there were black marks everywhere. To make matters worse, they had thrown everything in the dryer, so the black marks were fused in. I am devastated, does anyone know how I can get the marks out? I've tried soaking and re-washing, but the marks have not budged.

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