We take many modern marvels for granted, and one of those is washing machines. Washing machines have a long history. The original concept dates back to the 1700s, where early inventions were powered by hand cranks, horses, and even seesaws.

As technology advanced, clothing care became more accessible. But when the first washing machines arrived on the market, not a lot of people understood exactly what was going on. Many myths came out due to the total lack of understanding of the machines, and some of them still stick to this day! So here are the top three myths about washing your clothes.

Myth #1: More Detergent Will Clean Better

Many people, unfortunately, believe this to be true. However, the opposite is true. Modern washing machines achieve better results with minimal detergent, water, and energy. However, too many people believe that adding more detergent or water will be more beneficial.

Detergents contain chemicals that interact with the fabric, working to clean and remove any stains or residue that lingers on them. Adding more detergent will not do any better than the recommended load, as detergents and machines are designed in tandem. Adding extra water could dilute the detergent and make it overall less effective. Make sure to always abide by the recommended amounts to ensure proper cleaning.

Myth #2: Only Hot Water Can “Truly Clean” Your Clothes

We often mix up the word “clean” with “sanitized”. If the goal is to sanitize your clothing, then hot water will be necessary. However, most people don’t need to sanitize their clothing.

Over the last several decades, the Energy Star restrictions have lowered median laundry cycles by around 20 degrees. Cleaning your clothes in piping hot water can destroy the integrity of the fabric, cause shrinking and pilling, and can even make your detergents less effective. The enzymes in detergents have adjusted to these changes, and in fact, are more effective in colder washing cycles. Always look at your clothing tags before you wash them, and follow those symbols.

Myth #3: Alternative Detergents and Other Cleaning Methods Work Just As Well

Some many green alternative detergents and softeners claim they are “safe” and “natural”. While laundry detergent does contain chemicals, it is effective at getting the cleaning done. Alternative detergents and other methods just can’t get the job done as well. You might as well just wash in plain water!