use your washing machine
Home Improvement

Tips for Using a Washing Machine

Washing machines are very useful and easy to operate household appliances, but they take a while to get used to them. If you’ve just bought your first, or are expanding your family and going to do your own laundry for the first time, don’t fret. You can easily learn to operate a washing machine, learn which detergent and softener is best for which garments, and how to keep colors from bleeding and ruining your whites.

Sorting garments

Read the washing instructions on the care label. Most garments are machine washable, but always check the label for further instructions. Some items of clothing can shrink if you use warm or hot water for washing. Some can withstand bleach, others cannot. And some garments cannot be machine washed, such as certain silks and other delicate fabrics. Always check the label carefully.

Set aside items of clothing labeled “hand wash only” or “dry cleaning only”.

Most shirts have washing instructions labels on the left inside of the shirt, or on the neck.

Most pants have washing instructions labels on the inside of the pants at the back.

Sort your laundry by color.

Dyes in clothes, especially those that are new, come off in the wash. The color can transfer to other garments and ruin your entire laundry. Sorting your laundry by color means that you distinguish between shades. The most common way to sort your clothes is to separate your dark clothes from the light ones and wash them separately. You can sort them even more extensively by color.

Dark colors are black, shades of gray, dark blue, dark red and dark purple.

Light colors are pastel shades such as white, pink, light blue, light green and lavender.

Jeans and dark jeans give off color very easily and should be washed separately. Learn more about washing machine hoses


Sort your clothes by fabric weight.

Additionally or alternatively, you can protect your clothes from wear and damage by separating the heavier fabrics from the lightweight fabrics. Most washing machines spin and toss the clothes around, and the added weight of heavy fabrics can damage lightweight fabrics. In addition, the washing program and temperature are different for delicate fabrics than for heavier fabrics.

Delicate fabrics such as lingerie, pantyhose and washable silk should be washed separately. [1]

Heavy fabrics include heavy cotton leggings, bath towels, jackets or sweaters.

If you choose to only sort by material, you can save a lot of energy and money on washing various color loads.


Put delicate laundry in mesh laundry nets.

Instead of washing your delicate laundry separately, you can also put them in laundry nets to protect them from wear and tear and damage. Wash nets come in many sizes, but are usually used to protect one or a few items of clothing. They can be washed together with a normal load.

Wash nets do not protect clothes from color transfer, so make sure to wash them with similarly colored wax. In most cases, delicate laundry will not stain and will be safe to wash with a light colored wash.

Keep clothes with stains aside.

Some stains need special treatment before you can put the garment in the wash. The most common stains that need pretreatment are grease and oil stains.

Avoid machine washing or drying stained clothes. Certain stains set when heat is added, making them difficult to remove.

Select the correct washing program.

Washing programs consist of two main speeds: the speed at which it washes the clothes, and the speed at which the water spins out of the clothes. [2] The wash cycle you choose should match the type of fabric you are going to wash to help give your clothes maximum cleanliness while protecting the fabric.

Normal program: This program has a fast / fast approach – it washes quickly and it spins quickly. It helps clean very dirty and sweaty clothes, and it is probably the program you will use the most. Firm fabrics such as cotton, linen, denim, towels and bed linen work very well in a normal cycle.

Iron-free: This program has a fast / slow approach. These fabrics need fast agitation to clean, but a slow spin to avoid wrinkles. Use this program for synthetic fabrics such as rayon, knitted fabric and polyester. Synthetic fabrics are known to make pills, or small balls of fiber, and a centrifuge at low speed helps prevent this.

Delicates: This program uses a slow / slow approach. By washing more slowly, it prevents wear and damage. However, this slow movement also makes the laundry less clean. This program is best used for specific or specialty garments such as lingerie, sequins, lace or loosely woven fabrics, or translucent fabrics such as tights.

Special programs: Newer models of washing machines have special programs that do things like sterilize, steam, impregnate or claim to protect the properties of sportswear while providing extra cleaning. Study the manual of your machine for more information about what exactly which special program does.

Choose the water temperature.

In theory, the clothes will become cleaner with hotter water. Hot water sterilizes and kills germs better, dissolves detergent better, and removes a build-up of greyness so clothes look brighter and cleaner. But in some cases, hot water can shrink clothes, fade fabrics, set certain stains, and can be quite expensive on your utility bill. [3] So choose a water temperature that your tissues can handle, but whatever you can afford for the best results.

Use cool water in the delicate cycle, for delicate fabrics, for garments that can stain, or for clothes that are not really dirty.

Use warm water in the non-iron program, for dark colors and for medium-soiled laundry.

Use hot water for towels and kitchen towels, bedding, firm fabrics, or any extremely soiled clothing.

Cold water is the most energy-efficient way to wash clothes. About 90 percent of the energy in hot wash programs is used to heat the water. [4] It’s also the most gentle way to wash your clothes.

With some machines, the water temperature is already pre-programmed with the program you choose. For example, a normal program will likely have a water temperature of 30 ° C or 40 ° C.

Pour the detergent and other improvers such as fabric softener into the machine. It is important that you read the manual for your washing machine and find out what types of detergent your machine can handle and also where you put the detergent. Most machines today can handle liquid and concentrated detergents as well as other cleaning agents such as pre-wash detergent.

Front loaders generally have a drawer to hold the detergent and will have separate compartments for the softener and prewash detergent. Your machine will release the detergents for you at the right time.

Top loaders ask you to pour the detergent directly into the drum before you start your program. It is best to add your detergent before putting in the clothes so that a high concentration of the detergent doesn’t stain or damage your clothes. And in some cases it is best to turn on the water so that the detergent dissolves before putting your clothes in.

The amount of detergent needed varies by brand and type of detergent, so check the back of the detergent and also look for labels on your washing machine to find out how much to use.

Put the clothes in your washing machine

. This is quite simple – just dump your clothes in, but be careful not to wash too much at once. You need space for your clothes to move around and clean themselves. Some machines even have options to indicate whether your load is small, medium or large. This option adjusts the water level in your wash cycle based on the size of the load.

Turn on your washing machine.

Ah, finally, now all you have to do is press the power button and you’re good to go! But don’t forget to close the door!


You can choose to add fabric softener during the rinse program.

With some machines you will also have to set how long your washing program should last. Many washing machines do this automatically, but you may have to set this manually. You should set the time from an hour to an hour and a half depending on how soiled the clothes you wash are


Check the pockets of your pants and shorts before putting them in the washing machine. It may contain matches, batteries, and other items that can cause fires.