By Vanessa Mangru // SWNS
More than two-thirds of Americans swear their laundry game is on point, claiming they know how to wash “the right way,” according to a new study.
The survey conducted in February 2022 looked at how 2,000 millennials and Gen Zers do their laundry and found that 69% are convinced they know how to do laundry correctly, although there’s a slight difference in opinion when it comes to separating clothes.
Many believe the right way to separate laundry is by white and colors (29%), while 26% insist that light and dark is the way to go — and 22% do both.
What both generations can agree on is using dryer sheets, since three in four think they’re must-haves to reduce static, and over half say delicate bags are necessary for protecting clothes against harsh washer/dryer settings (55%).
Most young laundry-doers rely on fabric softener to keep their clothes soft and wrinkle-free (68%), and another 60% add in-wash scent boosters for extra freshness.
Conducted by OnePoll in partnership with Swash® Laundry Detergent, the survey also revealed that 65% of millennials and Gen Zers believe laundry is a skill that needs to be taught or learned, crediting their parents or older relatives for showing them the ropes (42%).
Another 23% learned by experimenting on their own and nearly a fifth of respondents learned from looking at social media tips and tutorials (19%), finding YouTube (43%) and Instagram (38%) to be the most helpful.
Despite having those resources, people admitted having had their share of other laundry fails like forgetting their laundry in the washer or dryer (45%) or leaving items in their pockets (44%).
Forty percent have over-filled their laundry machines with clothes, and 29% have done the same with detergent.
Although 68% claim they know how much detergent to use for their laundry, more than half of respondents falsely believe that more of it means cleaner clothes (57%).
Adding more detergent can actually create more laundry-day headaches. Seven in 10 see white residue on their clothes after doing laundry as a result of using too much detergent (71%).
“Using more detergent than you need can leave residues on clothing, visually fade colors, and attract more dirt,” said Joseph Beairsto, senior brand and product marketing manager for Swash Laundry Detergent. “Using the right amount of the right detergent can save you time and effort, plus help clean and protect your belongings.”
And although laundry is a necessary task, most people dread doing it (68%) because it’s time-consuming (52%) or they dislike a specific part of the process, like loading the machine or folding (50%).
Two in five also think laundry is easy to mess up (41%) and limit how often they wear their favorite clothes to avoid ruining them in the wash (66%).
Another 43% added that laundry can be bothersome because it needs to be done an average of three times a week.
Still, 59% see laundry as a way for them to destress and most said they would be even more willing to do their laundry if there were easy fixes to some of the challenges (68%).
Millennials and Gen Zers also claim that they understand all the settings on a washer and dryer (68%) and the clothing care labels on their clothes, with 26 to 41-year-olds boasting their confidence more (66% vs. 59%).
Yet, just 26% of all respondents were able to correctly identify the symbol for “machine wash permanent press” and “do not dry clean.”
Similarly, under a quarter of people knew the symbol for “do not dry” (24%), while a few more accurately identified “dry on low heat” (29%) and “bleach” (28%).
“Understanding the various laundry symbols will help reduce your chances of shrinking or damaging your clothes,” said Beairsto. “To take the best care of your belongings, always follow the instructions on an item’s label and choose laundry detergent products designed to help properly maintain your clothes.”
WHAT DO PEOPLE DO WHEN WAITING FOR THE LOAD TO FINISH?
- Watch TV - 47%
- Listen to music - 45%
- Relax - 39%
- Do other chores - 37%
- Chat on the phone - 37%