We Asked a Laundry Expert to Answer Your Toughest Questions—Here's What She Said

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

Laundry is one of the most important household chores, but we find that a lot of people either love or hate it.

The people who love it feel it can be completely therapeutic and relaxing—something they can do while watching TV or listening to a podcast. But for many others, it's a chore they absolutely dread.

There are too many rules, and it’s easy to make a big mistake. Worst of all, these mistakes are usually irreversible, often resulting in ruined and unwearable clothes.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way. We recently connected with home expert Bianca Dottin, who was eager to dispel a few myths and answer a few of our most burning questions about laundry conundrums.

<p>The Spruce / Leticia Almeida</p>

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Meet the Expert

Bianca Dottin is a lifestyle and laundry expert who loves sharing personal experiences to connect with readers.

How necessary is it to separate clothes by color? Is light and dark enough, or should we be more specific?

Bianca Dottin: It's not super necessary to separate your clothes by color. Whites and colors should definitely be separated but lights and darks can be mixed together and washed with cold water.

What's the best way to avoid bleeding colors?

BD: It's essential to wash clothes in cold water so the colors don't run.

<p>The Spruce / Leticia Almeida</p>

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

If you do have a dye-run mishap, can anything be done to salvage the items?

BD: If they do happen to run, do not dry your items. You may be able to soak the color out of the garment that bled. If it's already been through the dryer, it may be too late.

Is fabric softener an absolute necessity?

BD: I actually prefer not to use fabric softener!

And we understand. Fabric softener shouldn't be used in every case scenario—it's known to change the effectiveness of water-resistant materials, so avoid using it on workout gear and towels.

<p>The Spruce / Ana Cadena</p>

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

What do you use instead?

BD: I opt to use white vinegar instead. It's a great alternative to fabric softener.

Should you wash in hot or cold water?

BD: I prefer cold water for everything except for towels, sheets, and whites.

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto
The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

What's the biggest laundry myth you wish people would stop believing?

BD: I wish people would stop believing you can only hand wash your bras. If hand washing isn't up your alley, you can put your bras into a garment bag and wash them on a cold water delicate cycle.


Garment bags are an excellent way to wash delicate items like bras that otherwise call for handwashing only. Always read the tags on your garment to be sure.

What's your favorite secret laundry weapon?

BD: Baking soda. I love adding a cup of baking soda to a cycle to deodorize the load. Arm & Hammer Detergent is also a must for me.

Read Next: How to Use Baking Soda in Laundry

Anything else you want more people to know about doing laundry?

BD: Doing a small load a day if you have the time can help cut down on those large loads of laundry. Washing a load while you're doing another household task can save time.

<p>The Spruce / Danielle Holstein</p>

The Spruce / Danielle Holstein

Additional Laundry Tips from The Spruce

There are tons of great laundry hacks—as well as a few laundry hacks to avoid. Here's a quick round-up of more of our favorites.

  • Keep distilled white vinegar in your laundry room or closet. Along with being a great fabric softener, as Dottin says, white vinegar is also great for brightening whites, removing mildew, and deodorizing your front-load washing machine.

  • Use laundry garment bags for socks and other small items. Dottin suggests using a garment bag for delicates, and they're great for other items, too. If you find your socks often go missing or you want to machine-wash a smaller item, such as shoelaces, be sure to place these inside a garment bag.

  • Skip the salt. A popular hack you might have heard is to add salt to keep dyes from running. This is one to avoid. As Dottin points out, the best way to keep your colors from bleeding is to wash on cold.

  • Unshrink certain items with hair conditioner. We've all been there: something that should not go in the dryer inevitably ends up machine-dried, and you pull it out to find it a few sizes too small. Fortunately, hair condition can reverse the damage to some items, such as wool sweaters and accessories. Unfortunately, it's not a cure-all. Jeans and other cotton clothes are probably gone for good.

Read Next: How to Use Baking Soda and Vinegar for the Best Load of Laundry

Read the original article on The Spruce.