The Biggest Mistakes You’re Making With Your Washing Machine
You are overloading your machine
Most washing machines today look like they can fit the contents of your entire wardrobe in there, but avoid overstuffing at all costs. Every machine has its limit and don't push yours past its own. When a washing machine is overfull, the dirt gets trapped, the detergent and water doesn't reach the places it should, and your clothes remain filthy. Overloading your machine also causes excessive wrinkling of fabric and unnecessary wear on your washer.
Using the wrong amount of detergent
Most modern washing machines tend to use less water, with detergents that are more concentrated. If you use too much detergent, it could break down your fabrics and wear out your machine faster. To find out if you are using too much detergent, add four or five clean towels to your washing machine in hot water, without any detergent. If you see any suds on towels or water after a few minutes, then you may be using too much detergent. It is very important to follow the directions on the pack of the detergent you are using to get your clothes clean. If you don't measure the amount of detergent you are meant to use, you will decrease your washer's ability to clean your clothes.
Using the same settings and cycles for all washes
Every load needs its own setting, depending on what the load contains. Sure, it is safest to use the 'delicate' or 'regular' setting for most of your loads, but the other settings were put there for a reason, and they are worth exploring as well. Some of these settings offer hotter water for whitening and to remove stains, while others offer extra rinses for heavier items.
Not flushing out the dispensers
Most washing machines have at least one dispenser for detergent, fabric softener or both, and usually it needs to be cleaned. At the end of each cycle, make sure you remove and rinse dispensers. Keep the detergent drawers open so that any residue water dries up else it would otherwise cause bad odors.
Not replacing rubber hoses with braided ones
If you don't turn the water off to your machine when you are done with laundry, you should consider replacing rubber hoses with braided ones so that they don't burst. Braided hoses tend to be more durable and won't crack, dry out or split like rubber hoses.
You are loading your washing machine unevenly
If you have distributed your laundry unevenly, most washers tend to stop mid-cycle or might not start at all. Uneven loading may also cause your washing machine to vibrate vigorously.
The center agitator is being obstructed
A blocked center agitator might restrict the movement of your clothes during the wash cycle. Items such as bed sheets, towels and clothing with strings are known as the biggest culprits.
You aren't filling your washing machine with water first
Always make sure that you fill your washing machine with water first, and then add detergent (allowing it to dissolve properly) before you add your clothes. This will ensure that your clothes are rinsed squeaky clean too.
You are leaving your clothes in the machine for too long
If you leave your wet or damp clothes in the washing machine for too long, they could end up smelling dank and sour. Get dank-smelling clothes back to normal by doing another wash with some color-safe bleach.
You are not using HE soap
Most top-loading and front-loading modern washing machines today require the use of high efficiency (HE) detergents. These detergents use less water and are sud-less.
You are using the wrong temperature
Most fabrics are washed with cold water, but heavily-soiled fabrics, linens and whites require hot water. If you wash certain fabrics in the wrong temperature, it may cause your fabrics to shrink.
You are adding bleach at the wrong time
If you add bleach too early to your washing machine, it could affect cleaning enzymes of the detergent, and if you add it too late, it might burn holes in your clothes. Thus, it is advisable that you read instructions on the bleach bottle before you use it.
You are not cleaning the HE washer
Due to the fact that detergent and grime don't drain well with low water that is used during cycles, most high-efficiency washers tend to be prone to smells and odors. Clean your washer at least once a month by running a cycle with water and a cup of vinegar. Wipe down the surface of the washer and allow it to dry naturally by leaving the door open.