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The average Aussie churns through about 5 loads of washing per week, or, spends two full days per year doing laundry (if you’re a speedy laundry wizard). That’s a lot of time allocated to washing clothes, so we wondered, do we as a nation have this laundry business down pat? 

Well, we did some digging, and something perhaps unsurprising came out in the wash. The reason people do the laundry the way they do, from temperature settings to the type of detergents used, is because that's what was done in their house growing up. 

But as we well know, technology has advanced a lot since we were growing up, so we thought it might be time to enlighten you on a couple of things you've probably wondered about in a fleeting laundry moment, but never beyond. 

All three draws in your front loader are there for a reason.

Yes, that’s right. The short draw, marked I, is for pre-treaters. The long draw, marked II is for your detergent. The top square compartment marked *, is for fabric softeners. Each compartment releases at a different stage of the wash cycle, giving each enough time to work, and rinse before the cycle’s end.

Washing at lower temperature compromises effectiveness.

Colder washes do use less energy, but they’re not suitable for all clothes. Water under 40 degrees is less likely to completely break down sweat particles, aka 'protein stains’. This can cause grey looking clothes, which will make you think your wash has been less effective, which will probably encourage you to wash more, which is worse in terms of energy consumption.

 Skin allergies are caused by too much detergent.

Why, why, why, are we so insistent on the ‘one for good measure’ mentality when it comes to pouring detergent into our machines. It not only compromises the effectiveness of the wash (particularly in front loaders), it can cause skin irritation. If you use more than specified by the manufacturer, then chances are there’ll be chemical residue left on your clothes after the final rinse, which will upset more than your clothes.

Bleaches eat elastics.

If you use bleach to keep your undergarments shinny, but can’t work out why the bum of your undies are saggy; the answer is bleach. Bleaches eat elastics, so cease and desist! You’re better off with a brightener.

Let us know if you have any other 90 degree tips on doing laundry.