Hey there, homeowners! Congratulations! You may have just bought a brand new washing machine. Or you’ve had one for a while but now, you’ve finally decided you want to learn how to use a washing machine the proper way.
We’ve all done it i.e. to buy a new piece of equipment and completely ignore the manufacturer’s instructions in the manual. So, we’re not judging you, we promise.
We’re just glad you’ve finally decided to know the exact and proper way to use a washing machine.
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How To Use Your Washing Machine
Like all other pieces of technology, a washing machine usually comes fully fitted with a selection of buttons to tinker around with.
All you need to do is follow the steps below and you’ll be fine.
Reach The Manufacturer Instructions/Manual
We’re sorry to disappoint you but you will have to go back and read the instruction manual which came in the packaging of your washing machine.
Why? This is because all washing machines are completely different. So, you need to have some basic know-how of how the manufacturer intended it to work because they all are all controlled differently.
- The way you would use a front loading washing machine would be different from the way you would operate a top loading washing machine.
It’s important to note that all washing machines have the same purpose i.e. getting your clothes clean. Nevertheless, they all have their distinctive features.
- A typical example is the location of the detergent drawers. Another tricky feature is a washing machine which will require liquid detergent and not regular powder form laundry detergent.
So, dear homeowner, you will need to get acquainted with your washing machine according to the specifications of its manufacturer in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises and to avoid damaging your washing machine all together.
Read Clothing Care Labels Carefully
You may not have paid attention to this in the past but now you’ll have to because the labels attached to your clothes are not just a size guide. They also tell you the ideal temperature said clothes need to be washed in.
- Now that you understand your washing machine (because you’ve read the manual diligently), you may have noticed that it probably has some pre-set programs which align with popular washing instructions on clothes.
- The most common types of pre-programmed settings on a variety of washing machines include delicates (for your delicate items like underwear), cotton and synthetic fabrics.
They also include settings for a high temperature wash for clothes such as towels, cleaning sheets and for your washing machine too!
- Please note, the care labels attached to your clothes will tell you the minimum and maximum temperature suitable to wash that particular item of clothing.
- For energy conscious homeowners, you can always turn down the temperature of your machine to conserve energy.
You can also check the label of your detergent to determine if they will be effective on a cooler temperature of 30 degrees Celsius.
Sort Out Your Clothes According To Color
Everyone knows when washing clothes, you don’t mix colored clothes with whites, right?
Wrong! Not everyone does, you would be surprised. This is the number one mistake a lot of novices make when using a washing machine for the first time.
- Even an experienced user is not exempt from forgetting this cardinal rule and forgetfully mixing their colored clothes with their whites.
Why is this so important? This is because a lot of colored clothes tend to ‘run.’
- In simple terms, their dye runs out of the material and has a propensity of ruining other clothes around them.
Even if you’re convinced this won’t be the case and you want to wash your colored with your white clothes, it’s advisable that you don’t.
- Before running a wash cycle, it’s always important to separate the colored clothes from the whites and put them inside your washing machine.
Trust us; you really don’t want a random pair of hot pink socks which found its way into the wash load discoloring your lovely white dress or shirt.
It is advisable you use laundry baskets to make sorting your clothes easier and faster.
- Always wash your colored clothes, dark clothes and whites in a separate wash cycle.
- If you’re not sure about any colors, you could always hand wash them and see if they run before you add them to a wash load cycle.
Colors such as red sometimes take a while to set on a fabric which makes them more susceptible to running the first few times they get washed.
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Adjust For The Water Type Available Where You Live
If you know whether the water available in your area is soft, medium or hard water, great! If not, you may need to ask or do a bit of research and find out.
- Why is this important? It will determine the amount of detergent you would use when you complete a wash load cycle.
It’s also important to know in terms of how much fabric softener you would require.
- Regardless of whether your washing machine will need powder detergent or liquid detergent, you will need to find out how hard or soft the water available in your area is.
This will ensure both your machine and clothes are well taken care of and have as long a life as they possibly can.
- Check the instructions on the packaging of the detergent you use for your clothes to get an accurate idea of how much you will need to add to a wash load.
If the instructions don’t happen to recommend how much to use for the different types of water, it’s generally advisable to use the recommended dose for homeowners who live in areas with soft water.
- For homeowners living in areas with hard water, then use nothing more than a double dose.
You don’t want to use a large amount of detergent because this can leave ugly stains and residue on your clothes which can end up causing skin irritations.
We’ve compiled a list of common mistakes made in an attempt to use a washing machine.
Avoid These And You’ll Be Fine
Do Not Leave Wet Clothes Inside The Machine For Long Periods Of Time
This is because the moisture may cause a nasty build-up of mold inside the drum of the washing machine and/or your clothes.
And you really don’t want that to happen!
- To prevent this, do make sure you remove any clothes from the machine as quickly as possible after a load cycle is completed and dry the clothes outside if you can.
If you have a drier, you can place them in there to dry. Don’t forget your clothes in the dryer either!
- If you’re prone to forgetting easily, you could always set a timer which has an alarm to remind you to remove your clothes from the machine.
Do Not Leave Items In The Pockets
Before placing clothes in the washing machine, make sure all pockets are thoroughly checked to remove items such as coins, paper money, plastic toys, tissues, receipts, etc.
- Items like tissue paper left in pockets can cause all the clothes in that wash load cycle to be completely covered in white fluff.
Do Not Overload The Washing Machine
- This is such a common yet avoidable mistake. If you put too many clothes at once into the machine, all of them will not get cleaned properly because the machine will not be able to spin as much and do its job effectively.
It’s better to do 2 washes and get a proper clean than do one jam packed wash and not get an effectively clean wash.
- On the flip side, it’s advisable for a wash load to not have too just a few items of clothing because it will be an avoidable waster of energy and water.
Balance is important when determining a wash load. Don’t put in too much and don’t put in too little.
Do Not Attempt To Fix A Fault In The Machine Yourself
We know you love to fix things and just get things done by yourself but this is a complicated machine! Don’t attempt it by yourself, get professional help.