Laundry hacks have become popular on TikTok and Instagram in recent months, with one, in particular, seeing users create a concoction of fabric softeners, scented beads and detergents for the ultimate perfumed wash. It’s part of a growing viral trend known as “Cleaning Overload”.
However, while the videos may be aesthetically pleasing and boast sweet-smelling results, one expert has warned over a darker side of this popular video movement.
Deyan Dimitrov, laundry expert and the CEO of Laundryheap, explained to Express.co.uk that not only can this trend cause damage to clothes and your washing machine, but it could also even have an impact on your health.
Using too many products could irritate your skin
Product overloading is “exactly as it sounds”, accord to Mr Dimitrov.
He explained: “Many washing machine owners have also started using excessive quantities of cleaning products in their loads of washing, with some using different types of fabric softener, stain remover, scented balls, washing tabs and bleaching products, all in one wash.
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Fabrics could be irreversibly damaged as a result of product overload
Using multiple cleaning products may seem like the ultimate way to remove stains and produce lasting freshness, yet Mr Dimitrov warns this is not the case.
He explained: “I always counsel against using too many products when doing your laundry.
“Doing so builds up residue on your clothes, which can cause colours to fade, can make clothes go scratchy and stiff, and can ultimately shorten their lifespan.”
In fact, the impact of too many detergents could even change the shape of garments.
Mr Dimitrov said: “Using harsh or too many products in your laundry cycle could ultimately damage your clothing items, damaging the fibres and even changing the shape of garments altogether.
“There are recommendations on social media to use fairy liquid or even shaving cream to remove unwanted smells and scent from clothes, but I wouldn’t recommend this – particularly when you’re washing delicate items or intimate items such as underwear.
“These products are not designed for laundry so are not recommended if you want to protect your clothes, your skin and your washing machine from potential damage.”
Using too many products is wasteful of water supplies
While it might be tempting to join in with viral trends circulating on social media, Mr Dimitrov points out the negative impact this has on the environment.
He said: “Using [your washing machine] purely to create online content for others, or to test out the latest laundry trend yourself, can be harmful to the environment by increasing unnecessary water usage in your home.”
Instead, the expert urges Britons to “be mindful” of how often their washing machine is running.
He advised: “In order to reduce the environmental impact of your cleaning and laundry routine, try to use less product and run fewer washes.
“You should also look to use products that are sustainable, refillable and ethically produced.