Clothes inside a washing machine drum.

How to use a washing machine: The dos & don’ts

Think it's easy to use a washing machine? Not always! Making sure you know exactly how to use a washing machine is important to ensure your clothes come out of the wash fresh and clean each and every time. 

So whether you’ve just bought a new machine or are looking for some tips on how to get the most out of your existing one, read on for your ultimate guide to the do’s and don’ts of using a washing machine!

Washing machines: How to use yours for best results

Our how to use a washing machine guide comes with a handy infographic, so even if you’re strapped for time you can have a quick look at the dos and don’ts of doing laundry. 

DOs – Getting best results

1.  DO separate colours and pre-treat stains

Separating clothes by colour will help to prevent any colour run disasters so divide your weekly washes into four piles: whites, lights, darks, and delicates. Once you’ve got enough of one pile to put it in the machine, check the garments for stains. Pre-treat these with a little Persil small & mighty before placing in the washer to avoid having to re-wash later.

2. DO check garment care labels

Before popping your clothes in the washing machine, always check the care labels for washing guidelines. These will give you instructions on the appropriate wash cycle and temperature to set. 

3. DO put delicates in laundry bags

It’s a good idea to pop delicate items like underwear, tights, silks, and lingerie in laundry bags to protect them from snagging. If you don’t have a laundry bag, use a pillowcase! 

4. DO put detergent in the right place

Always read the packaging of your detergent to learn how to measure and use that specific product. As a general rule, you can consult these guidelines:

  • Measure liquid detergents using the measuring cap or dosing ball and place the whole ball in you washing machine drum after your clothes. 
  • Measure washing powders using the scoop provided and pour into the correct compartment of the detergent drawer (check your owner manual for this).
  • Add washing tablets to the detergent drawer or the washing machine drum before your clothes, according to the instructions for your machine, 
  • Just like washing machine tablets, how to use laundry capsules is easy and straightforward. Pop one at the back of the drum before your clothes and go!

5. DO leave your washing machine door open after use

This will allow it to air out and help prevent mould and mildew from growing – so no more nasty smells lingering in the kitchen.

6. DO Clean your washing machine

Regular cleaning is an important part of knowing how to use washing machines, after all, your washing machine won’t be able to do its job efficiently if it’s not clean itself! Set the washing machine to a hot cycle and add a cup of white vinegar to sanitise the machine and help remove smells. Our guide on how to clean a smelly washing machine has more advice.

DON’T’s – Avoiding common mistakes

1. DON’T overload your machine

Clothes crammed into the washing machine won’t be able to move around enough to get a proper clean so you could end up needing to wash them again! Likewise, do not wash small loads using a large load cycle – this will use an unnecessary amount of water and energy. 

2. DON’T leave anything in pockets

Check all pockets for things like tissues or plastic toys, before placing in the washing machine. A stray tissue could leave your entire load covered in white fluff! 

3. DON’T put fabric conditioner directly on top of laundry

Fabric conditioner should never come in direct contact with clothes as it could stain them. Consult your washing machine manual and find the correct compartment in the detergent drawer for the conditioner to be placed in – it’s usually marked with a flower.

4. DON’T use too much detergent

An excessive amount of laundry detergent could leave residue on your clothing and doesn’t result in cleaner clothes. Read our dosing guide for advice on dosages for liquids, powders, and capsules, and always following the instructions on the product label. 

5. DON’T leave wet clothes in the washer for a long time

Moisture from wet clothes could result in a build-up of mould in your washing machine drum, or even on your clothes. Remove clothes from the washer as soon as possible after the rinse cycle is finished and dry naturally, outside, where you can. 

6. DON’T try to fix serious faults yourself, always call a professional

Minor washing machine problems, such as a blocked water pipe, may be something you can tackle yourself with a little help from your washing machine manual. More serious problems, however, especially anything related to the plumbing or electrics of your machine, should always be directed to a professional. it concerns the plumbing or electrics of your machine.

Happy washing! 

With the basic dos and don’ts of how to use your washing machine covered, doing the laundry should now be a lot simpler. 

For more information on washing machine settings and cycles, click here and don’t forget to download our handy infographic for free so you have a visual reminder of what to do next time you’re ready to empty the laundry basket. 

 

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