Solution to the most annoying thing that can happen when washing your clothes is probably within arm’s reach of your washing machine.

There’s an especially stinging emotional whiplash that comes from realizing you left a tissue or some other piece of paper in your clothes before you tossed them in the washing machine. One moment you’re looking forward to having a clean wardrobe, and the next you realize that not only is everything you washed now filthy with bits of paper, but that even the machine itself is now dirty.

Even worse, washing the clothes again doesn’t get them clean, since the soggy pulp will still be sticking to your clothes when you pull them out of the machine after the second wash, mocking you with its tenacity. The best case scenario is that you spend half an hour picking soggy paper pulp off of fabric and wiping out the machine’s cylinder, and even then your clothes are still going to look like you might have been wearing them while taking a nap in a pile of garbage.

But thankfully Japanese Twitter user Yukino (@54I23) has shared a miraculously easy and effective solution.

“If you’ve suffered the tragedy of leaving a tissue in your wash, [leave the clothes in the machine] and add only fabric softener. Run the rinse cycle once, and then the spin/dry cycle, and everything will get clean. Now that I know this, tissues are no match for me! Come on, do your worst!

Thanks for giving me this crazy confidence, fabric softener. You’re my savior.”

As seen in the two right photos in Yukino’s tweet, the trick works wonders, completely getting rid of any paper pulp. The reason why, she says, is that the paper pulp and fabric bond to each other because of their opposing electrical charges. The fabric softener, though, coats their molecules and reduces the bond, causing the paper to slide off during rinsing.

The simple solution to an extremely aggravating problem had commenters expressing their amazement and appreciation, with reactions such as:

“Fabric softener is God.”
“I wish I had known this 10 years ago.”
“Now I wanna leave a tissue in there on purpose just so I can try this out.”
“What a soft, flexible solution.”
“Incredible. But what happens to the tissue?”

Regarding that last comment, it appears that the bits of paper that don’t liquefy most likely end up in the washing machine’s filter, exhaust port, and/or drainage pipe. As such, you’ll probably want to check/clean them out after using this technique, since an excess buildup of debris probably isn’t good for the appliance’s longevity. A few commenters also voiced their concerns about the strong smell of some fabric softeners potentially making it difficult for them or their officemates to breathe comfortably, to which Yukino replied that vinegar or citric acid should work as odorless alternatives.

Of course, the best policy is to check the pockets before you do your laundry, but if/when a piece of paper slips through your inspection process, this tip should be a huge time, and sanity, saver.

Source: Twitter/@54I23 via Jin
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