Top Mistakes You Probably Make With Your Washing Machine

When it comes to dealing with dirty washing, our first – and often only – thought is of cleaning the offending clothes. But we seldom stop to think about the health of our poor washing machines. As a result, many people are left perplexed and pained by their machine’s failure or their ruined clothes.

But here’s the thing: most of us are probably making mistakes when it comes to how we treat our washing machines and dirty laundry. So to help you avoid a cleaning catastrophe, we’ve compiled some of the most common mistakes you’re probably making with your washing machine.

#1: Leaving Zippers Unzipped

Leaving Zippers Unzipped

Whilst mindlessly stuffing washing into the machine, it’s possible to forget all about zippers on jeans or hoodies. Yet if zipped clothing is sharing a load with more delicate clothing – such as woven fabrics – the zip can snag on threads and pull at them. By simply zipping up your zippers, you’re keeping the rest of your clothes safe.

#2: Stuffing “Dry-Clean-Only” Clothing In A Standard Load

Certain garments that we buy (such as blazers) may have a “dry-clean-only” label. Unfortunately, this can go unnoticed when in a rush – meaning that your dry clean item is stuffed in with your general washing. The result? Your lovely new item comes out misshapen, shrunk and drained of colour. Make sure to check labels on all new clothing to avoid this mishap.

#3: The Mystery Of The Missing Sock

The Mystery Of The Missing Sock

Ever went to hang out a load and realised that a sock is missing? Even though you’re sure you put it in? Then it’s likely that the missing sock is stuck in a sleeve somewhere. To avoid the slog of turning all of your freshly washed clothes inside out to find it, just place your socks into the tub before the rest of your washing to keep them separate from your other clothes. Mystery and problem solved!

#4: Going Overboard With Detergent

Too much detergent in your loads

If you use too much detergent in your loads, then it’s possible that dirt can actually get caught up in hard-to-reach areas of your clothing which can create a bacterial breeding ground. To avoid this, try halving the amount of detergent you are using. If you don’t feel your clothes are clean enough, then gradually increase the amount of soap used until you are happy. Not only will you deter the build-up of bacteria, you will also save money on detergent.

#5: Buttoning Up Your Shirts

While you may be afraid of your buttons catching on the rest of your washing (see mistake #1), it’s actually better to make sure that shirts are unbuttoned before a wash. This is because a wash can lead to buttons popping out – causing undue stress on the stitching – and can even cause buttons to fall off.

#6: The Way You Fill Your Top-Loading Washing Machine

While more popular elsewhere in the world, some people in the UK prefer top-loading washing machines to the far more common front-loading machines. A common mistake made by those using top-loaders is that they fill it with water, add the soap and then add their items. But due to modern detergents being phosphate-free, it is better to follow the order of laundry, water and then detergent.

#7: Thinking Your Dryer Doesn’t Need Cleaned

Clean your appliance

While soap and water may clean your clothes, they won’t absolutely clean the innards of your washing machine. Make sure to clean your machine’s lint filter on an annual basis. Just remove the fluff, rinse the filter and leave it to dry before replacing. To potentially reduce the time that your wash takes, you could also buy a special brush to clear out any debris that may be clogging up the hose. This will reduce the time it takes for water to fill and drain from your machine. If you’re finding that your washing machine isn’t draining or won’t fill with water, you could always see about hiring a washing machine repair company, such as Repair Aid, to solve the problem.

#8: Avoiding Back-to-Back Dryer Cycles

While you may think that you are doing your dryer a favour by giving it a rest after drying one load, the reality is that you could be cleverer by running back-to-back dryer cycles. This will reduce your energy bills as your machine will use excess heat from your previous load to warm up items faster and more efficiently during the second load. Think of it like cooking two oven dishes in a row. Would you switch the oven off, wait for it to cool down, and then turn the heat up again? Or would you take advantage of the fact that the oven is already hot to start cooking your second dish? Answers on a postcard not needed.

#9: Running A Washing Machine On An Uneven Surface

If you are aware that your washing machine isn’t sitting on a level surface, then you should make sure to correct this to avoid damage to the floor and surrounding fixtures. The vibrations from your machine can not only bring about such problems, but the machine can also damage its own tub bearings and shock absorbers. By using a level, you can adjust the screws on the feet of your machine to fix this problem. If this doesn’t help, you can place certain materials under the washing machine – such as plywood – to help absorb vibrations and reduce the possibility of damage.

#10: Not Taking Advantage Of Your Dryer’s Permanent Press Cycle

Permanent Press Cycle

In our busy lives, it’s not surprising many of us just shove our dirty clothes into our washing machine, switch it on and go deal with something else. However, it can be a good idea to understand the different settings on your machine. This is particularly true if you have a washer dryer that features a permanent press cycle option. This is a very good option if your load is packed with synthetic fibres. This is because it avoids exposing items to high heat – reducing the chances of fading and shrinking. However, its big advantage is that it minimises wrinkles in clothes. If your items seem quite creased all the time, consider using this cycle.

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