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A son helping his mother load clothes into the washing machine

How to Wash Clothes in the Washing Machine

Do you know the best way to use your washing machine? We've got great tips on how to wash clothes in the machine to get the best results!

As with most appliances, there are a few tricks to using the washing machine that make a huge difference your clothes. And while you may think you know how to use the washing machine effectively, your first machine or a new model (say, if you’ve never used a top-loading machine before) can throw you for a loop.

You may be excited about the convenience it is going to bring to your life… but it can be hard working out how best to use it. Here are the basics of how to use different types of washing machine to their full potential, and get the best cleaning results for your clothes

Detergent and Fabric Softener

Front-loading washing machines come with a drawer to dispense detergent during the washing cycles – either liquid detergent or powder. Your machine might also have separate compartments for fabric softener (delivered during the final rinse) and bleach. Some Persil detergents, like Persil Bio Capsules, are placed directly into the drum, so make sure to check the instructions first.

If you have a top-loading machine, the detergent simply goes into the machine drum, before the clothes are added. This prevents the concentrated detergent from staining your garments or getting stuck to the fabrics.

Detergent containers have guidelines as to the amount required per wash: quantities will vary depending on your water supply – whether it is hard or soft –, how dirty your clothes are, and what size the load is. Persil liquid detergents, for example, come with handy dosing balls, making this process even easier. Just add the product according to your needs (following the directions on the label), and pop the ball in the back of the drum!

Washing Machine Settings and Cycles

Different types of clothes require different settings to get everything completely clean, without problems occurring in the washing process, such as colour bleed. Putting a coloured t-shirt in with white tops for a wash will cause the colour to seep into your pristine white fabrics! This is why it is a good idea to separate, then organise your dirty laundry into their setting categories, before “wash day”. It’ll minimise the risk of any damage or discolouration significantly.

It is also important to always check the care label on your clothes, before putting them into a wash. The label will tell you which washing machine settings to use, as well as how to dry the item afterwards.

Every washing machine will display their settings in a slightly different way. It’s always a good idea to check the manual to familiarise yourself with the available settings and cycles. But what do these settings mean, and what is happening in each washing cycle?

  • Normal – Used for cottons and coloured, mixed fabrics. This cycle uses warm water (30 or 40oC) to wash the clothes, followed by a cold-water rinse, with moderate agitation (machine spin) speeds. Modern detergents like Persil Small & Mighty work just as well at 30oC as at 40oC; running your wash at a lower temperature will save energy and work out cheaper for the household in the long run!

  • Whites – Used for white clothing to get everything properly clean. This cycle generally uses the hottest water (60 or 90oC) and strongest agitation speeds available to get the dirt out.

  • Delicates – Used for lace and other fabrics that could get damaged by a vigorous wash. This gentle cycle uses cold water and slow agitation speeds. It’s best to use a gentle detergent for delicate items, like Persil Silk & Wool.

  • Permanent Press – Used for no-iron clothes to keep the fabrics’ properties intact. It is similar to the Normal setting, but during the spin cycle the clothes are sprayed continually with water to keep them moist.

Other important settings:

  • Quick Rinse – Used for small, lightly soiled loads of clothing. This setting requires less water, and can save you energy. That’s why it’s worth investing in a laundry product like Persil small & mighty, which offers great performance even in a quick wash.

  • Pre-wash – Used for very dirty loads that require extensive cleaning. The pre-wash counts as an extra rinse cycle, with cold water that does not use detergent.

As well as the standard programs, your washing machine might come with a ‘load size’ setting: adjusting for small, medium or large washes will stop you from wasting water or energy, and ensure that clothes in a large load end up as clean as those in a small load.

Other Washing Machine Tips

Make sure that you never overload your washing machine: its efficiency will be reduced, impacting the cleanliness of your clothes. And be sure to regularly maintain your washing machine to keep it cleaning properly.

These washing machine tips will make the process of washing clothes simple, quick, and effective. Now you know how to use the washing machine more effectively and efficiently, you’ll be amazed at how much easier this household task becomes!