Like with most kitchen appliances, there are a few tricks to washing clothes in a washing machine. Having a machine to do those seemingly endless loads of clothing is convenient. And you may think you know how to use it effectively but it’s not as straight forward as you would imagine. To ensure your clothes always come out clean and fresh it’s important you know exactly how to use a washing machine, for example you want to know the proper ways to wash your delicates or load the dryer, you’ll want to follow this guide on the right ways to do your laundry.
DOs – For best results
1. DO separate colors and pre-treat stains
Divide your weekly washes into four piles: whites, lights, darks, and delicates to prevent any color run disasters. Once you’ve got enough of one pile to put it in the machine, check the garments for stains. Pre-treat these items before placing in the washer to avoid having to re-wash later.
Clothes should be sorted by:
- Fabric: separate delicate fabrics that require a gentle cycle from heavier items.
- Color: Keep whites separate from colors and group lighter colors from darker ones.
- Soil: Soil travels from one garment to garment so try to wash heavily soiled garments separately.
2. DO check garment care labels
Before popping your clothes in the washing machine, check the care labels for washing guidelines for instructions on the appropriate wash cycle and temperature to set.
3. DO use laundry bags for delicates
Delicate items like underwear, silks, lingerie and white items that are really precious to you should be placed in laundry bags to protect them from snagging. If you don’t have a laundry bag, use a pillowcase!
4. DO use the right amount of detergent
Always read the packaging of your detergent to learn how to measure and use that specific product:
- Measure liquid detergents using the measuring cap
- Measure washing powders using the scoop provided and pour into the correct compartment of the detergent drawer (check your owner manual for this).
- Add washing tablets to the detergent drawer or the washing machine drum before your clothes, according to the instructions for your machine.
- Just like washing machine tablets, how to use laundry capsules is easy and straightforward. Pop one at the back of the drum before your clothes and go!
- Fill the machine with water, detergent and then add your clothes, this procedure will help detergent, fabric softener to properly dissolve in the water.
5. DO leave your washing machine door open after use
This will allow it to air out and help prevent mold and mildew from growing.
6. DO prevent shrinking by using cold or warm water
Cotton, denim, and various other fabrics can shrink if you wash them in hot water, so always use cold or warm water while washing woolen, cotton outfits.
7. DO clean your washing machine
Regular cleaning is an important part of knowing how to use a washing machine. Set the washing machine to a hot cycle and add a cup of white vinegar to sanitize the machine and help remove smells.
DON’T’s – Avoid these common mistakes
1. DON’T overload your machine
Clothes crammed into the washing machine won’t be able to move around enough to get a proper clean so you could end up needing to wash them again! Likewise, do not wash small loads using a large load cycle – this will use an unnecessary amount of water and energy.
2. DON’T leave anything in pockets
Check all pockets for things like tissues or plastic toys, before placing in the washing machine. A stray tissue could leave your entire load covered in white fluff!
3. DON’T put fabric softener directly on top of laundry
Fabric softener should never come in direct contact with clothes as it could stain them. Consult your washing machine manual and find the correct compartment in the detergent drawer for the conditioner to be placed in – it’s usually marked with a flower.
4. DON’T use too much detergent
An excessive amount of laundry detergent could leave residue on your clothing and doesn’t result in cleaner clothes.
5. DON’T leave wet clothes in for a long time
Moisture from wet clothes could result in a build-up of mold in your washing machine drum, or even on your clothes. Remove clothes from the washer as soon as possible after the rinse cycle is finished and dry naturally, outside, where you can.
With the basic dos and don’ts of how to use your washing machine covered, doing the laundry should now be a lot simpler.