A washing machine is a common household appliance that most of us use on a daily basis. It’s basically the workhorse for all your dirty clothes and dishes. A washing machine can be intimidating to some, but it doesn’t have to be!
To make sure you get the most out of your washing machine, here are some helpful tips to use your washing machine at its best:
1. Wash Smarter By Choosing The Right Type and Size Of Load
Always choose the appropriate wash cycle based on the weight and color of your clothes. Use mesh bags to protect your delicates and wash them safely, and also use an appropriate drying method when you’re done.
Delicate clothing can go in the dryer, but you’ll have to do a bit more work. If you want your clothes to last longer, wash them on the delicate cycle in cold water with similar items.
Separate Clothes to be Wash and not to be Washed In Your Washing Machine:
Not all clothes are compatible with washing machines. Never put zippers, buttons, or metal parts near the machine as it may break down your machine’s components.
It’s best to separate things like bras so they don’t snap at the underwire, pull on pantyhoses so they don’t tangle up everything else, and remove jewelry that may scratch other clothes.
You can also machine wash delicate clothes like baby clothes, swimsuits, and porcelain but do not put them in the dryer as they may shrink.
Separate Clothes According to Weight to be Washed In Your Washing Machine:
Pants, skirts, shorts, and other garments that aren’t too delicate. If you’re washing colorful clothes, be sure to wash them with dark clothes as well; this prevents the colors from bleeding into lighter fabrics.
Sheer or delicate clothing that’s easily affected by water temperature or exposure.
Lightweight materials can also be washed with other items. For example, do not put lace in the same load as heavier clothes because they will tangle and become misshapen or even torn. However, if you have a delicate wash cycle, this might not matter.
Pajamas, robes, sweaters, flannels, sweat pants, jeans, towels, and any other thick material should be put in their own load to prevent them from bunching up or tearing during the wash cycle.
Heavy materials also might shrink if they’re washed with other clothes that are meant to be machine-washed. For example, towels should not be washed with lighter clothes because the lighter clothes might shrink in the dryer.
Separate Clothes by Color that you are going to Wash In Your Washing Machine:
Separating clothes by color helps make sure that darks and lights don’t run together. Dark colors might fade if they’re washed with other items, and whites might lose their brightness if washed with darks.
Separate Clothes with stains:
If you’re washing clothes with stains, do not put them in the same load as other clothes. For example, if you have a white shirt that has yellowed armpits from sweat, don’t wash it with your white shirt. This is because the yellow might transfer to the other shirts and make them look old before their time.
Avoid putting clothes stained with grease and oil in the washer. Grease and oil can ruin your other clothes as they stick to different fibers easily in the hot water.
Wash Delicates in Your Washing Machine Before Washing Other Clothes:
Don’t wash normal clothes with your delicates as the strong spin cycle might break down delicate fibers. When you wash delicate clothes first, you can check for any damages that may occur during the wash cycle.
If you find damage, it’s best to fix it before washing other clothes with them because clothing is not meant to be washed together if there’s a chance of damage from certain fabrics.
Shake Out Clothes before Washing in Your Washing Machine:
Shaking out clothes prevents wrinkles and helps protect garments from being damaged by spinning. Most fabrics can handle gentle agitation during the agitation cycle but the spin speed in the washer might cause damage to clothing if they’re not pre-shaken out.
2. Set your Washing Machine On Right Washing Cycles
Use the delicate cycle on your washing machine if you’re worried about tearing, snagging, or other possible damages. However, there are some factors that may cause laundry to become misshapen even in the gentle wash cycle.
For example, underwire bras like padded push-ups with heavy hardware can tangle up in the wash cycle, even with a delicate setting.
Always turn your machine on the lowest level of water unless you have soil to clean off.
The normal cycle balances cleanliness with fabric-friendly agitation. This works well for most fabrics. But if you have a very soiled load or if your water is hard, you should consider using the extra rinse option on this cycle.
Permanent Press Cycle:
This cycle is designed to protect clothing from being damaged by heat or excessive agitation. The temperature in this cycle is not hot enough to cause shrinkage. Therefore, you can use this cycle when washing most materials if you don’t have any special needs or concerns.
Heavy Duty Cycle:
This cycle has the same water level that’s found in the normal cycle, but it adds an additional spin for heavier clothing like jeans and works clothes.
Keep in mind that your washing machine may have other wash cycle options, but these are the most common modes for cleaning clothes. The level of water, type of agitation, and spinning speed can all affect how much damage is done to your clothing. When you are uncertain about any wash cycle option, it’s best to avoid them or opt for the gentler cycle.
If your washing machine has a pre-wash, heavy soil, or sanitary cycle, you should use it if necessary. However, make sure that the size and weight of your clothes don’t cause them to get tangled in these cycles.
3. Set Water Temperature for your Washing Machine:
Water that is too hot could soak into clothing and cause fading. On the other hand, cold water can damage fabric during wash cycles. Set water temperature based on fabric type. Generally, warm to hot water is best for most dark clothes and cold water works best on whites.
Some of your clothes might run better with cold or even warm water. Always check the temperature requirements listed on clothing tags before washing them in a washing machine.
4. Select and Pour The Detergent according to your washing machine:
Most of the time, you can select a regular detergent with your washing machine. However, if you are concerned about any fading or discoloration, use a color-safe detergent instead. It’s best to consult fabric tags for more information on how they should be washed. Otherwise, most laundry products are safe to use in most cases.
Drawer for detergent in front load washers:
You should use the same amount of detergent that you would normally use for a full load. If your washer has a “HE” or “super” suds option, feel free to reduce the amount by half or more. This is because these settings may cause excess suds to remain in clothing after washing them.
Detergents designed for HE washers:
You can choose to use these detergents with your machine if you want, but they might not work as well. These products are designed for high-efficiency machines that use less water than traditional models, so they may not dissolve completely in your washing machine.
Liquid soap dispenser on the door of front-load washers:
If your washing machine has one of these, you can use it to add detergent. However, there are some machines that require the soap to be added manually into the dispenser or directly into the drum of the washing machine. Some products should not be used in this manner, so always check the instructions on the label before using liquid detergent.
Don’t Put Clothes That Can Be Tumbled Dry in Your Washing Machine:
Clothes that are meant to be tumbled dry, like sweaters, towels, jeans, corduroys, and cotton can get caught in the machine’s components if they’re put in the wash cycle. If you want to make sure your clothes get fully clean without having to dry them afterward, set your machine on a delicate wash cycle. A quick wash cycle isn’t enough time for the water to get dirty, so it’s pointless unless you’re just looking to rinse them quickly.
Wash Delicate Clothes on a Delicate Cycle:
You’ll definitely want to set your delicate clothes on their own cycle because of the smaller load capacity and slower spin speed. This ensures that your clothes won’t get tangled up with other items and you’ll be able to check for any damages.
Wash Delicate Clothes In a Mesh Bag For Safety from excessive wear and tear:
Mesh bags for delicates help protect your clothes from damage during the wash cycle. They’re usually made of mesh, but they might also be made of nylon or other material that’s less likely to tear than regular clothes. Even if your machine has a special pocket designed for washing sweaters or bras, it’s safer to wash them in a separate mesh bag, like this one.
Wash Multipacks of Similar Clothes Together:
If you have a lot of clothes that are similar in color, fabric, and weight, it’s best to wash them together so that they can be treated properly. You’ll also save time by not having to sort through each item to decide if it should be washed in a cold or hot cycle.
Wash Wet Clothes in Cold Water on the Delicate Cycle:
It’s best to wash clothes that are wet or stained with cold water because it locks stains into the fabric even better than hot water. It also helps prevent colors from running and reduces wrinkling. Be careful when drying these garments in the dryer though because they might shrink.
Don’t Wash Your Clothes Inside Out:
It’s common knowledge that washing clothes inside out can help preserve the color of your garments and make them last longer.
The thing is, it doesn’t really make a difference when you’re washing clothes in your laundry machine. You’ll be washing them with the same agent in or out.
Wash Dark Clothing Inside Out Only If They’re Stained:
If your dark clothes are stained, go ahead and wash them inside out to block stains from transferring to other clothes in the wash cycle.
Otherwise, it’s unnecessary and a pain to have to take off all your clothes just to turn your dark items right side out at the end of the cycle.
Wash Towels Separately:
Towels are some of the dirtiest items in your house and should be washed separately, especially if you have a front-loading washing machine. Towels tend to harbor bacteria and mold due to their porous nature, so it’s best to wash them on their own or with towels of similar color and material.
Do not overload your washing machine:
Whenever you can, avoid putting more clothes in the machine than it can handle because this will cause the machine to perform poorly. Clothes might get tangled up and become misshapen or even torn if there’s too much in the machine.
Can You Wash Clothes In Cold Water?
- In most cases, cold water is not an effective way to clean clothes. However, you can use cold water if you’re washing heavy and dark fabrics that require extra soil removal because warm or hot water could harm them.
- Coldwater might also be best if you’re worried about shrinkage or color bleeding. For example, if you have dark clothes that are already deep in color and you don’t want to risk them fading, cold water is the best option.
- Never wash delicate fabrics like silk or lingerie in hot water because they will be damaged by the agitation of the hot cycle. Also, see if your washing machine is available for cold-water washes.
- Coldwater usually won’t damage your clothes unless they’re extremely delicate, but it may cause them to fade when they’re wet and you hang them up to dry. If the fabric only needs a light wash rather than a deep clean, try using cold water and see if your clothing can handle gentle agitation.
- Keep in mind that bulky items like towels and jeans may not come clean unless you use hot water, so be cautious about what types of clothing you include in the loads.