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8 Laundry Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Washing Machine

A washing machine is one of the most necessary home appliances. However, it can be really moody and it needs lots of good care. Because if something goes wrong, the neighbors living below you won’t be too happy. And very often, it’s our fault when a washing machine breaks down because we don’t follow the instructions or go against the rules.

We at Bright Side want to tell you about the things we do that can damage our washing machines. We hope that our readers follow all the rules and use their washing machines carefully. And in the bonus section, we’re going to tell you why and for how long washed laundry can sit inside the washing machine.

We use too much detergent.

A lot of people think that the more detergent they use, the better the result of the wash will be. However, this isn’t true, and even manufacturers themselves say that. Using too much detergent can only lead to big problems, like, for example, excess foam that can block the drainage.

Additionally, the excess detergent can clog the drawer, preventing the detergent from even getting to your clothes, causing them to remain dirty.

We wash underwear and socks without bags.

According to statistics, most washing machine-related problems are about the drum. A wash bag can guarantee that after washing, you’ll have the exact same number of socks as you put in there. And small objects won’t get into the filter and cause it to break. Also, your clothes will be safe because no small parts will get stuck in the drum.

We don’t clean the filter or do it too rarely.

Filters in washing machines are really important. They collect all the little things that actually shouldn’t be there, like coins, scrunchies, and other stuff. You should clean the filter 4 times a year, or even more often, if there’s a bad smell or if the machine doesn’t do its job properly.

We put too many things into the drum.

Even if you have a huge pile of dirty laundry, it’s not a good idea to overload your machine. Firstly, the clothes won’t be very clean; and secondly, overloading the machine will shorten the life of its parts. Of course, washing just a few small things is also a bad idea, as it’s just too expensive.

The ideal load is this:

  • For cotton and linen, load 3/4 of the machine.
  • For synthetics, load 1/2 of the machine.
  • For wool, load 1/3 of the machine.

We set up the machine the wrong way.

Sometimes, it’s not our habits that break the washing machines but the way a machine is set. During the last phase of the wash, the drum is rotating incredibly fast so the machine might shake.

Here are the most likely reasons why a washing machine can shake:

  • The floor is not completely flat.
  • The transportation bolts are still on the machine.
  • There are either broken bearings or shock absorbers.

We use cleaning agents that aren’t for washing machines.

The problems start when we throw away the manual after we buy the machine. And the manuals always say that you can’t use any cleaning agents aside from those that are designed for them. What happens if you put hand wash detergent into a washing machine, you ask? Too much foam can break it.

We clean and wash the washing machine too rarely.

Most of the time, if the machine starts to smell bad, we just ignore it, put more detergent into it, and try not to leave the laundry in the drum. But the bad smell inside the drum is a sign that we aren’t taking good care of the appliance. Aside from cleaning the filter, we should also turn on the drum wash mode. If you don’t have such a mode, you can turn on the regular wash at a high temperature but without laundry inside. Add a bit of vinegar as well.

Also, humid and warm environments are great for mold. This is why it’s better to keep the washing machine door open when it’s not being used. Also, try to dry out the detergent drawer.

We don’t use soft water.

We all know that tap water is not very good for our health. This is why we buy water filters or drink bottled water. It’s great that we take good care of our health but who’s going to take care of your washing machine? Hard water makes the quality of washing worse and it leads to the formation of scale. To check how hard your water is, do a small test.

You need liquid soap, water, and a transparent bottle. Fill 1/3 of the bottle with tap water. Add a few drops of liquid soap, close the lid, and shake the bottle. If the water becomes difficult to see through or it has a milky color, you probably have hard water. And vice versa, if there’s foam on the surface and the water remains transparent, you have soft water. If you have hard water, you need to use more detergent.

Bonus: You can leave washed laundry in the machine but for no more than 12 hours.

Sometimes, we have to change our plans because we need to do the laundry. It just may happen that we need to leave home but have to wait 10 minutes for the wash to end. However, experts say that it’s not that bad to leave the clean laundry in the drum for a few hours. “A few” hours can be translated to more like about 8-12 hours, not weeks.

Experts claim that if you keep the machine clean, clean the drum, and keep the door open, there will likely be no bad odor present.

Did you recognize your washing machine in any of these points? What mistakes have you made?

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