Why is my washing machine ruining my clothes

It happens! Your washing machine has just finished its last cycle, the door has unlocked and you’re preparing to either hang up the laundry or to transfer it to the tumble drier. As you remove the items from the machine, you make an awful discovery. Your clothes have holes in them or they may be covered in pet hair! Possibly they’re gritty or even still have soapy patched on them.

There are two elements to washing machine failure. The mechanical element and the human element. When clothing is becoming damaged as a result of a wash cycle, it takes some detective work to identify the cause. Different problems create different symptoms so it will take an assessment of the symptoms to diagnose the source of the problem. It stands to reason though that if the problem is severe, it isn’t wise to do any more laundry in the machine until the problem has been properly identified.

Clothes aren’t washed properly with bits of detergent on the clothes

Detergent is an interesting factor in clothes washing. It is excellent for removing dirt and thoroughly getting your clothes clean again. So, it repels dirt. In contrast, it can attract dirt to the garment too. In an environment where the washer is overloaded the detergent cannot disperse properly during the wash and rinse cycle. Advice is to reduce the size of the load and reduce some of the detergent. With loads that attract a lot of pet hair and grit try adding a rinse cycle to the wash. Sometimes the machine is clogging up with dirt as well, so running an empty wash cycle using either the white vinegar method or descaling it may help too.

Clothes become tangled

This becomes a real problem when a machine is loaded incorrectly. Make sure the load is balanced and that once loaded, there is room for the clothes to move around freely. An overloaded machine exacerbates this problem. It may also be a good idea to change the washing and spin programme to one that is more gentle.

The clothes have rips or holes in them

You may find that once you have removed the clothes from the machine that there are small holes in the clothing. It may be a knee jerk reaction to assume that there is a fault with the machine. First have a look to seek if there are any other items that could be responsible for the damage. Items of clothing with open metal zips, buckles, toggles and metal findings and clasps can catch during both the wash and the spin cycle, and cause damage that is extraordinary compared to their size. Should you find an offending item, you can then set it aside for handwashing separately in future. There are other preventative measures to. Close zips, bra hooks and large buttons. Check pockets for sharp items that may cause damage once they come loose. Pocket knives, nail clippers and other culprits can cause a lot of damage to a single load of clothing.  Also consider running the wash through a gentler cycle to see if this makes a difference.

Could it be the machine?

When you’ve established that there was in fact nothing else placed inside the machine at the time of the damage that could have been the cause of it, then it’s time to look elsewhere. Carefully run your hands along the side of the tub wall covering the entire area. You can use a household torch to make a visual check too and if you see a dent or a mild buckle or even an uneven surface you may have found the source of the problem. This is when it’s a good idea to ask the advice of a washing machine repair technician. Sometimes these problems can be easily smoothed over and at others a new drum may be needed.

Rust marks often come from a chip in the machine basket too and these will also need to be addressed to prevent further damage to the clothing. There is special drum repair paint that is used to address rust chips in the drum. It may be better to leave a specialist to address the problem however, as they may pick up on other problems too when undertaking the repair.

Other marks and spots

When greasy spots or mildew starts to appear on your clothing, ensure that you’re not leaving clothing in the machine for too long after the wash and grease spots may occur because of the detergent not rinsing properly. Before doing anything else, try cleaning the machine thoroughly by running an empty wash cycle either using the bicarb and white vinegar method or by descaling.

We hope the above information helps, however if you require any help, Repair Aid can provide fast and reliable repair service.

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Author: Repair Aid®

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