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Thread: Physics question: why are my clothes inside out?

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    Default Physics question: why are my clothes inside out?

    A very light hearted physics question, but there will be some real world applied physics behind the answer, I think.
    Have noticed that the majority of clothes that I wash in our front loader washing machine go in the right way out, but come out inside out. OK, so the tumbling action is the mechanism, but why is there a consistent trend for the majority of those clothes to come out turned inside out? A function of friction of the seams, perhaps?
    Might have to do some controlled tests to get some more data
    Interested to hear the theories on this most serious of topics!



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    Theres a secret little men who lives in peoples washing machine and when you arent looking the the bastards flip them inside out just to piss you off but dont be fooled the more you notice the more they do it , they have secret meetings after lights out , to have a laff at you and see you get the biggest joke , I had an occasion to over hear one of there meetings the biggest laff was on stockings one leg inside out the outer normal and a knot in the crutch dont worry tho they have a ritual to ensure that holes in trousers only appear in the knees and underwear in the knob area so you fall thru the hole at the most embarrassing moment , Some are more Adept than others so beware
    are you a self appointed hypocrite sheriff or just a nasty person

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    You are supposed to wash (some) clothing inside out for numerous reasons, seen that even suggested on the label.

    I have been using front loaders since the late 1980's and never actually observed that they do that kindly on their own but back then I just chucked them in the way I pulled them off, so it always turned out random, no preference for inside out.
    Today when I sometimes hang the washing (my wife is very fussy how they have to be hung so I generally avoid that) they always seem to be the way they got in.

    Maybe you have a special machine
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    If u want to go on an expedition get a Land Rover, if u want to come home from an expedition get a Landcruiser!

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    We've had front loaders for 40 years. THe weird one is that we put a plie of things in with a fitted sheet and when we take it out it's all neatly wrapped in said fitted sheet. We're just hoping that those little men can learn how to do the folding and ironing, too.
    I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...

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    Whatís even more weird is that in my front loader one leg or sleeve is inside out while the other isnít. Are my little people in my washing machine playing with my mind??????
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    Quote Originally Posted by porkop View Post
    Whatís even more weird is that in my front loader one leg or sleeve is inside out while the other isnít. Are my little people in my washing machine playing with my mind??????
    My little f*ckers seem to delight in tossing a random tissue in.....pricks!!!
    The fact that there's a highway to hell and a stairway to heaven says a lot about the anticipated traffic flow.

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    Our frontloader is the same.Everytime I HAVE to hang the washing out,all the underpants are inside out.
    So,I believe in the little men,lol

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    ...{ahem}.... I think the term needs to be 'little entities' these days to totally avoid conflicts with the various forms of sexual diversity & equality these days.

    ..tin foil hat ..."It's the machines ; this is a conspiracy between all machines involved in the manufacturing chain that produced the clothes -- proof: hand sewn, hand washed garments don't do this"

    B^)

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    Default no!no!no

    there is a sexual content here with them being men they have a tendency to stretch the elastic on bras making them loose and more likely to suffer from fall-out
    are you a self appointed hypocrite sheriff or just a nasty person

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    That is perhaps true, but these days so is this ..."it's not only women that wear bras" ... 8^)

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    So I was going to suggest that what Mitaux is seeing is a good case of confirmation bias.
    However, he is on the right path by realising that this might be the case and performing a controlled test.

    That is to load up the washing machine with clothes and ensure they are loaded with all the clothes the right way.
    Then note how many of them come out reversed.

    Then repeat the experiment with all the clothes inside out and see how many come out normal.

    If there is a change in state, then we take the experiment to the next level. We note which clothes are reversed by the process.
    Then repeat the experiments again with only those types of clothes and attempt to make a prediction about the result.

    Log the results, compare them against the prediction and repeat the experiment again to get results of significance.
    If you get results, but inconsistent results that don't match you're predictions, then keep repeating and modifying the experiments until you can explain if, when and why it is happening.


    So I think about my own washing and what I notice. The first thing that comes to mind is that almost all of my washed T-shirts are inside out.
    Do I think there is something fishy here? No. I just checked my dirty clothes basket and most of the T-shirts in there are already inside out. I take them off and that is the state they are in. The same can be said for most of my socks. I also checked the clothes basket with the previous week's washing and all of the T-shirts are inside out.

    So it appears that I do not have a change of state happening, but rather I have noticed they are all inside out by default.

    Now there is one clothing item that I cannot account for. This is a normal light cotton short sleeve shirt. I have several of them that are washed at a time. I checked the last washed clean basket and they are all normal. The reason for this is that I hang them up to dry on coat hangers, so I turn the sleeves to the normal direction.
    So that explains why they are in that state now. You will however note that I mentioned I turn the sleeves. This is because occasionally (I do not know how often) one or both sleeves are turned. I do notice that sometimes it is one each way, but I am not aware of the frequency (which I will now investigate).
    Another thing that I do note is that being an open button up shirt, it does not take a lot of energy to reverse the shirt so that it is technically inside-out while the sleeves are normal facing inwards. Same thing can be said for the shirt being normal with the sleeves inside-out.

    I suspect that when thy enter the wash, the sleeves are all inside out and the shirt is all inside out. I will check them on the next wash load and note their states.
    When they come out, I suspect they will be in the same state. Sleeves inside out at the same ratio and the shirts in a 50/50 state of normal or reverse.

    I do know that long sleeve clothes item (not the season for them yet) exit the same way they go in. Usually inverted.
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    Well here we go again , My cleaning lady is not allowed to clean my place cos of the threat of giving me corona virus or vice-versa so I had to do the washing , so checked all the shirt pockets all in the right way in they go all undies in the right way the bathrobe complete with tie as well, a tea-towel and half a dozen hankies , soap powder fabric softener ( dunno why ) and shut the lid push the buttons away she goes , go sit down with a cuppa and watch tv after the time it goes beep at me so I get up and get the basket out to take it to the line . first pull out the bathrobe some mongrel has tied the tie around the arms of it , this is suspicious ??? pull out a shirt the bloody thing is inside out then another same thing oh shit the whole lot are inside out as well as the undies , the only thing that wasnt inside out was the tea towel and the hankies so I checked the machine over for little men but couldnt find them so cussed a couple of times and hung it all on the line then I went back and shut the lid ready to walk away but Im sure I heard a little voice laughing coming from the washing machine lifted the lid but nothing there ? any one got any suggestions !!!!!! Had to retire back to the tv and another cuppa tea ????
    are you a self appointed hypocrite sheriff or just a nasty person

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    Quote Originally Posted by hinekadon View Post
    Well here we go again , My cleaning lady is not allowed to clean my place cos of the threat of giving me corona virus or vice-versa so I had to do the washing , so checked all the shirt pockets all in the right way in they go all undies in the right way the bathrobe complete with tie as well, a tea-towel and half a dozen hankies , soap powder fabric softener ( dunno why ) and shut the lid push the buttons away she goes , go sit down with a cuppa and watch tv after the time it goes beep at me so I get up and get the basket out to take it to the line . first pull out the bathrobe some mongrel has tied the tie around the arms of it , this is suspicious ??? pull out a shirt the bloody thing is inside out then another same thing oh shit the whole lot are inside out as well as the undies , the only thing that wasnt inside out was the tea towel and the hankies so I checked the machine over for little men but couldnt find them so cussed a couple of times and hung it all on the line then I went back and shut the lid ready to walk away but Im sure I heard a little voice laughing coming from the washing machine lifted the lid but nothing there ? any one got any suggestions !!!!!! Had to retire back to the tv and another cuppa tea ????

    Next time put it all inside out and frustrate the beasts.
    This era of thoughtless consumption must end so we can encourage a world of creative geniuses rather than consumer idiots.


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    thank unky! mite try that but do women have the same problem never had them complain of it ! Has any one ???
    are you a self appointed hypocrite sheriff or just a nasty person

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    UPDATE.
    I have been mindful about this phenomenon and I've been conduction some experiments.
    The first was to look at my last two loads of washing before it goes in the machine and notice the state of the cloths. Most of the T-shirts are reversed.
    Shorts are normal, socks are all reversed and who can tell which way the G-string undies are, they're in some kind of state of quantum entanglement.

    OK, so almost all T-shirts are inside out as are the light cotton button up shirts before they go in the wash.
    The load I did this week, I made sure that all the clothes entered the washing machine with the correct parity.
    With the exception of the button up shirts and the undies, all the items of clothing that went into the washing machine came out the same way they went in.

    This would suggest that mitaux might be the victim of confirmation bias. It'll be interesting to hear what he has to report when he returns and if he has done a similar experiment.
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    I called my cleaner lady and put the problem to her , she informs me she never had that problem before cant ever remember having it ? so we need to get trash to do some more tests to find out if it has sexual conditions
    are you a self appointed hypocrite sheriff or just a nasty person

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