How You’re Doing the Washing All Wrong

There’s more to using the washing machine than just throwing items in, and pushing the right button! Here’s how to do it the right way!

From the amount of detergent to the setting you pick, a range of factors play a role in helping your clothes look and feel as fresh as possible. Below, we’ve listed five common washing machine mistakes, all of which can affect the results you get from each laundry cycle and, in some cases, even potentially damage the components used inside your washing machine.

You’re Using too Much (or too little) Detergent

Washing a heavy load? If os, it’s easy to assume that you’ll need to add a little extra detergent to your washing machine. In reality, using even a small amount of extra detergent (or, for a tiny load, too little detergent) can seriously compromise the quality of your wash.

Here’s why: your washing machine is calibrated to use a certain amount of detergent for each wash. Add too much and it could fail to rinse after the wash is finished. Instead, try washing a heavy load twice to make sure your machine fully removes any stains, sweat and odors.

You’re Overloading the Machine

When you have a large amount of clothing to wash, it can be tempting to pack it tightly into your washing machine. Just like using too much detergent, this strategy is rarely successful. Instead of washing a huge load at once, it’s far more likely that overloading your washing machine will result in only some items being exposed to soapy water, with others left partially or fully unwashed.

There’s also a serious risk that the heavy load could damage your washing machine by wearing out the bearings and other internal components. As a result, it’s best to split large laundry loads into two rather than overloading your washing machine.

You’re Washing all of your Clothes the Same Way

Think you can wash your wool coat exactly the same way you’d wash a cotton t-shirt? It’s best to think again. While many people opt to use the “quick wash” setting for everything, you’ll get better results by sorting different types of clothing and washing them separately.

From sheets and duvets to woollen items, your washing machine should have separate settings for a range of different load types. Use them as intended and you’ll get fresher, cleaner clothes from every wash, all while potentially using less water and energy.

You’re Forgetting to Unbutton before you Wash

Washing a blouse or dress shirt can be challenging. Not only do you need to be careful with the amount of detergent you use — you’re also stuck ironing and pressing the shirt afterwards to get it looking crisp and presentable. For some reason, many people believe that it’s best to wash blouses and dress shirts with their buttons done up, perhaps as a way to improve their shape. This isn’t recommended, as it’s very common for the buttons to pop off and become stuck inside the drum of the machine.

Instead of washing shirts with the buttons done up, make sure everything is unbuttoned before you start the wash cycle. For delicate items, socks and other things you’re worried about losing, use a mesh laundry bag for extra protection.

You’re not Keeping your Washing Machine Level

Finally, your washing machine needs to be straight and level in order to work properly. If it’s on an angle — even a relatively small, difficult-to-notice angle — it will need to work much harder in order to spin and complete a full wash. This can massively increase wear on the internal parts, resulting in expensive washing machine repairs or the need to completely replace your washing machine after just a few years.

To check that your washing machine is level, place a spirit level on its top with the machine’s lid fully closed. If it’s not level, adjust the legs on the bottom of the machine until it has a completely flat, level surface.

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