9 Tips to keep the Washing Machine from Damaging Clothes

A washing machine is a necessity in every home in UAE, but that doesn’t mean it can damage your clothes. Are you facing issues such as the clothes tearing off, holes, fading of colour, pilling and so on after taking them out of the washing machine? If your answer is yes, then here are the best tips to prevent your washing machine from damaging your clothes. After thorough research, I have come up with these tips so you don’t have to worry anymore. I understand how disappointing it is to see your favourite pair of jeans or a top damaged. After all, we shell out a lot of money while shopping those outfits.

Related: Best Washing Machine in UAE

So, head on and read through this article to get to know the best tips to prevent your washing machine from damaging clothes. But, let me make it clear to you that it’s not always your washing machine’s fault. Sometimes, it is we who don’t use the washing machine correctly. Although a washing machine is an incredibly convenient and easy-to-use home appliance, using it the right way is of utmost importance. So before you point your finger at your washing machine, you need to make sure if you’re using it the right way. And to do this, follow all the tips mentioned below. So, here we go.

#1 Don’t Overload your Washing Machine

The first and most important tip to prevent the washing machine from damaging clothes is not to overload it. Overloading the washing machine is one of the most common causes of damaging clothes. I know that stuffing more clothes at a time into a single load reduces the amount of work. But, you shouldn’t be doing that. Many people overload their washing machine to reduce their effort while paying very little attention to its capacity.

But, when you overload, greater pressure is applied to the bearings, drum, and motor leading to its degradation gradually. It may also push articles of clothing into the door and under the agitator pulling them when the machine is running. So never overload the machine in spite of your busy schedule.

#2 Correctly Splitting your Washing Load

The next most important thing is correctly splitting your washing load. When the clothes are new, the dye’s that are present in these clothes loses their colour once washed in a washing machine. Not to forget, the colour of the new clothes can bleed onto the other clothes in the washing machine. This may damage your entire load thereby causing a big loss to you. So, in order to avoid this, always sort your laundry by colour, which means differentiating them by shade. The best way of sorting your clothes is to separate your darks from lights and wash them separately.

“Darks” include colours such as black, grey, dark blue, maroon, dark purple. Light colours are pastel colours such as pink, white, yellow, light blue, and lavender. Always wash dark Denims and Jeans separately as they bleed their colour most of the time. Furthermore, protect your clothes from wear and tear by separating heavier fabrics from lighter weight fabrics in the washing machine. The extra aggravation from heavy fabrics such as jackets, bath towels, heavy cotton pants, and sweaters might ruin lightweight fabrics.

Washing machines spin and toss clothes around leaving your clothes damaged. While washing a delicate or lightweight load, the cycle’s settings and temperature will be different from a heavier fabric load. Note that delicates like lingerie should be washed separately.

#3 Select the Right Cycle

Always remember that wash cycles consist of two important speeds. A speed of agitation, and a speed that spins the water out of the clothes. The wash cycle that you choose should match the type of fabric you’re washing. This will maximize cleanliness while also protecting your clothes. Hence, choosing the right cycle on a good washing machine, will not be damaging your clothes.

select washing machine cycle
washing machine cycle selection
  • Normal Cycle: This cycle goes fast. It tumbles fast, spins fast and helps in cleaning very dirty and sweaty clothes, especially the ones used on a regular basis. Sturdy fabrics like cotton, linen, denim, towels, and bedding do quite well in a normal cycle.
  • Permanent or Perm Press: This cycle alternates between fast and slow. Some fabrics need fast agitation to be clean but require a slow spin to prevent wrinkles. Always use this cycle for synthetic fibres such as rayons, knits, and polyesters. Synthetic fibres are known to pill and slow spin cycles help prevent pilling.
  • Delicate Cycle: This cycle uses a slow approach which reduces agitation and prevents wear and tear. However, the level of cleanliness decreases with its slow tumbling. This is best for garments like lingerie, sequinned clothing, laced or loosely woven fabrics, and items made of sheer fabrics.
  • Special Cycles: Newer models of washing machines have special cycles that sanitize, steam. Or claim to protect whites and remove stains. It’s better to consult your machine’s manual on what each special cycle does.

#4 Use Less of the Dryer

Avoid the dryer whenever possible. Through my research, I got to know that repeatedly drying cotton garments leads to cracks in the clothing. This reduces fabric strength by 25% or more and also causes pilling. Although some clothes are better suited for the high heat, most clothes will fade and shrink and ruin the elastic. Hence, it’s always better to keep delicate clothes out of the dryer. Dryer balls serve a pretty useful purpose. They help your clothes stay separated to promote better airflow, which leads to quicker drying time. Not only will this save your clothes, but it might also save some money on your electricity bill.

#5 What’s the Right Detergent

To know what type of detergent your machine can handle and also where to put the detergent, it’s important to read the manual. The amount of detergent needed varies by the brand of detergent and type of washer, so check the back of the detergent box and also look for any labels on your washing machine to find out how much to use. Most washing machines these days can handle liquid and powder detergents, as well as other cleaning agents like bleach.

It’s better to add your detergents before you load your clothes so that the high concentration of detergent doesn’t stain or damage your clothes. In some cases, it’s best to turn on the water so the detergent dissolves before you load your clothes in. Front-loading washing machines usually have a drawer to dispense detergent and will have separate compartments to place fabric softener or bleach. Your machine will dispense the detergents at the right moment for you.

In a top-loading washing machine, you require to pour the detergent right into the drum before you start your cycle. These steps will help you prevent those cases in which not the washing machine, but the detergent damages clothing.

#6 Make Use of Temperatures

“The hotter the water, the cleaner the clothes” is a theory known and practised for long years as hot water sanitizes and kills germs better, dissolves detergents more effectively, and removes built-up grime so clothes look brighter and cleaner. But, in some cases, hot water can shrink your clothes, fade fabrics, set certain stains in, and can be quite expensive for your energy bill. So choose a water temperature that your fabrics can stand.

  • Cool Water To be used in the delicate cycle for delicate items which have dyes that might bleed, or clothes that are not too dirty. Cold water is the most energy-efficient and gentle way of washing clothes.
  • Warm Water To be used in the permanent press cycle, dark colours & moderately dirty loads.
  • Hot Water To be used for bath and kitchen towels, bedding, sturdy fabrics, or any extremely dirty items. In some machines, the water temperature is already preset according to what cycle you choose. For example, a normal cycle will most likely use hot water that is 30 °C or 40 °C.

#7 Buy Quality Garments

Always opt for quality over quantity. It doesn’t matter if you need to shell out a few more bucks. A good quality garment will last in the long run. Low-quality clothing will be a loss to you and make you feel guilty. But always remember, not every product that is expensive serves you good quality. In order to determine quality, always check the seams on the fabric. They should be uniform and, when you turn the garment inside out, the seams should be finished. If you pull on the seam and can see the thread, that’s not a good sign. Also, ensure the thread is strong and that the stitches are reinforced as the thread gets looser over time. If you buy good quality garments and you care well for them, you will enjoy them for long.

#8 Follow the Laundry Instructions on Garment

Most of the clothes are machine washable, but always check the tag for further instructions. Some clothes might shrink if you use warm or hot water to wash. Some may be able to handle bleach and some might not. And some garments can’t be washed in a machine, such as certain silks and delicates. Put aside clothes that are labelled as “hand wash only” or “dry clean only”. So make sure you check the label carefully.

#9 Wash the Delicates in a Mesh Wash Bag

mesh bag prevent washing machine from damaging clothes
Mesh bags save delicate clothes in a washing machine

You can place the delicates into mesh wash bags to protect them from harsh wear and tear. Mesh wash bags come in various sizes. They can be used to protect only one or a few pieces of garments. Mesh bags can be washed together with a normal load. They don’t protect garments from colours bleeding, so be sure to wash them with similar coloured loads. In most cases, delicates will not bleed and would be safe to wash with a light coloured load.

Load Up the Tub!

With these easy to follow tips, you can save your clothes from damage whilst washing. It pays well to wash your whites separately from coloured clothes. If your family consists of more than 3 members, then consider washing clothes in similar colours together. In case of any light bleeding, the stain may go unnoticed.

Tanisha Furtado
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