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How To Use a Washing Machine

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It is very important to understand the functionalities of a washing machine to get a clean load of laundry every time.

If you are unaware of how to load a washer the right way, do not worry. Here is an article that will tell you how to use a washing machine correctly.

In this comprehensive guide, we shall discuss how to load a fully automatic and semi-automatic washing machine. We will provide you with a step-by-step process of doing so.

Without any further delay, let us dive into the discussion.

How to use a Fully Automatic Washing Machine? – Top Load & Front Load

The fully automatic washers are of two types – top load and front load. These machines have the same process, except that, one has a door on the top and the other, to the front. You will have to load and unload laundry from these doors. The method of using both top load and front load washers is the same.

Here is everything you need to learn when loading a fully automatic washing machine. Follow the below steps for a perfect laundry routine:

Step 1: Separate and Sort Your Laundry Based on the Fabric

The very first step in the washing process is to separate your clothes based on the fabric material and colour. Also, check for the washing instructions on the care label of each garment to ensure they are machine washable or not. Put the fabrics aside that are not machine wash recommended. You can hand wash them carefully.

Similarly, for delicate fabrics that need extra care, you can wash them separately by putting them in a mesh bag or turning on the delicate cycle.

Step 2: Select the Correct Washing Cycle

The second step in the washing process is to choose the correct washing cycle. The wash cycles in every washer have two speeds: While one makes the clothes tumble in water, the other spins and removes the water from your clothes.

Before choosing the right washing cycle, you need to check the care label of the garment. Depending on the fabrics and their types, you can select from the wash cycle options mentioned below. This is essential to ensure the maximum cleanliness and protection of your clothes. Normal, permanent, delicate, and quick are the four types of cycles to choose from. Let us learn about the significance of each cycle below:

  • Normal Cycle:

his is the default cycle that most people use when doing the laundry. It uses a fast approach for both tumbling and spinning. The normal cycle is ideal for dirty and sweaty clothes and other garments that you mostly wear regularly. It is also best suitable for other fabrics like denim, linen, and cotton. You can even wash your towels and beddings, as well, in the normal cycle.

  • Permanent or Perm Press:

The next cycle in the washer is the permanent cycle. Unlike the normal cycle, this uses a fast and slow approach. It tumbles faster but spins slowly. Some synthetic fabrics need this approach to clean them thoroughly and simultaneously prevent wrinkles on them. The permanent cycle is ideal for garments made of polyester materials and for rayons, knits, etc.

We all know that these synthetic fibres create pills or small balls of fibre during the wash. The slow spin in this cycle helps in preventing the formation of pilling.

  • Delicate Cycle:

As the name says, this cycle is ideal for clothes or fabrics that are very delicate and tend to wear and tear easily. Th approach used by the delicate cycle is a slow-slow approach. That means, it tumbles or agitates slowly and also spins slowly.

Although this approach prevents the wear and tear of garments, it decreases the cleanliness level when compared to the other cycles. This delicate cycle is most suitable for specific garments like lingerie, laced garments, woolen fabric that are loosely woven, and other clothes made of pantyhose fabric.

  • Special Cycle:

The special cycle is something that you do not find in most older washing machines. It is a feature found in the recent washer models. As the name indicates, the special cycle does special things like sanitizing, steaming, etc. This cycle in some washing machines even claims to protect whites and remove stains. If you are not aware of this special cycle, refer to the user manual to find out what this feature offers.

Step 3: Adjust the Temperature of Water Depending on your Load

The next step after selecting the wash cycle is to choose the water temperature. Depending on the laundry, you can choose either hot, warm, or cool temperature. It is a well-known fact that hot water cleans the clothes nicely, sanitizes them, and effectively removes the germs and dirt lingering on the garments.

However, sometimes, the hot water may even shrink the clothes. Furthermore, it makes certain stinks to settle on the clothes and even fades the fabrics. Adding to the above, it can be heavy on your electricity bills, as well. So, the best thing you can do is select a water temperature that works the best for your clothes and guarantees the best results.

Below are some of the suggestions to follow when choosing the water temperatures:

Water Temperature Wash Cycle To Choose Suitable for Type of Fabrics or Garments
Cool Water Select delicate cycle Delicate items, dyed fabrics, and other garments that are not dirty.
Warm Water Select permanent press cycle Clothes that are moderately dirty and have dark colours.
Hot Water Select normal cycle Sturdy fabrics like denims, extremely dirty clothes, beddings, and kitchen and bath towels.

If you want to wash your clothes in the most energy-efficient method, then cold water is the best option. The cold wash cycle uses about 90 percent of the energy that a hot washing cycle uses to heat the water. Moreover, it is the gentlest way to wash all your garments.

A few washing machine models come with a default temperature set for each wash cycle you choose. That said, you do not have to change the water temperature settings. Let us assume you chose the normal cycle wash in your washer. The device will automatically use hot water

having a temperature of 30 °C or 40 °C.

Step 4: Put the Detergent and Fabric Softener in the Respective Dispensers

As the fourth step, you need to add the detergent and also the fabric softener. But before that, it is essential to refer to the user manual to see what type of detergent the machine is suitable for. Also, you will have to find out where to put the detergent.

You can use both liquid and powder detergents in most washing machine models. Also, these are capable of handling cleaning agents like bleach. However, the quantity of detergent your washer can handle is dependent on the type of machine you are using and also the detergent brand.

Most models, these days, come with a detergent dispenser and a fabric softener dispenser to add them. You can find these separate drawers in the front-load washing machines. You can use these compartments to dispense detergent and fabric softener or bleach. Just add the required detergent, and your washer will automatically dispense it right at the moment of washing.

You will not find the dispensers for some top-load washing machines. You can directly add the detergent into the drum before starting your wash cycle.

Step 5: Add the Clothes to the Washing Machine

The next step is to put the clothes in the washing machine. However, be careful that you are not overcrowding the washer. Else, it may not wash the clothes properly and give you the intended results. Moreover, overloading or underloading the washer every time can cause many problems and further damage its operation.

Make sure not to overcrowd your clothes as overloading the machine may result in the clothes not being washed as they should be. Also, incorrect amounts can cause operational problems and damage.

Below are some of the suggestions on how to load your washing machine:

Loads Quantity To Fill The Washing Machine Drum
Small Load One-third of the drum
Medium Load Half of the drum
Large Load Three fourth of the drum

Step 6: Switch on the Washing Machine

The next step after loading the washing machine is to turn it on. Close the machine door and hit the Start button. Make sure you close the door properly before turning it on. While some models indicate when the door does not close properly, others do not. So, it is advisable to double-check to avoid any mishaps.

Step 7: Unload the Washing Machine Immediately

Once the washing machine finishes the wash cycle, unload the appliance as soon as possible. Remove the clothes from the washer immediately and dry them. If you want to retain the freshness of your clothes, we recommend unloading the machine sooner. If it is not possible to do it, try doing it within two hours of washing.

How to use Semi-Automatic Washing Machine? 

The semi-automatic washing machines are different from the fully automatic washers. Unlike the latter, these devices have two drums – one for washing and the other for drying.

You need to put the clothes in the washing drum first and add water manually. After washing, you should then transfer them to the drying section. Since you will have to perform this task manually, people also refer to them as semi-manual machines.

Here is everything you need to learn when loading a semi-automatic washing machine. Follow the below steps for a perfect laundry wash:

Step 1: Load the Washing Machine

The very first step in the washing process is to load the washer with the laundry.

Step 2: Add Water and Detergent

After loading the washing machine, you will have to add water to the washing drum. Also, add the detergent to it depending on the load size.

Step 3: Start the Wash Cycle and Set the Timer

The next step is to start the wash cycle in the machine. Switch on the washer, start the cycle, and set the timer accordingly. Depending on the type of clothes you are washing, you will have to set the timer. Let us say you are washing delicate fabrics. In such a case, it would not require much time to clean them.

Similarly, if you placed heavy clothes like beddings, curtains, denim, etc., to the drum, you may need at least 30 minutes. This includes the pre-soaking period, as well. Set the timer as per the requirement.

Step 4: Drain the Water after the Wash Cycle is Complete

After the wash cycle is complete, the timer stops. Now, drain all the water from the washer. If required, you can run another wash cycle.

Step 5: Spin Dry the Clothes

The next step is to spin dry the clothes. If your machine comes with twin tubs, transfer the clothes from the washing tub to the spinner drum.

If your washing machine comes with a single drum, activate the spinner mode to spin dry the clothes.

Step 6: Unload the Washing Machine

The next and last step is to unload the washing machine. Remove the clothes from the washer immediately and dry them.

What are the Dos and Don’ts When Using a Washing Machine?

There are certain dos and don’ts to follow when using a washing machine of any model or type. This is essential if you want to make the most of your laundry and get the best cleaning results. Let us have a look at what they are in the below sections

Dos For Using A Washing Machine

1. Always separate and sort the laundry based on colours

It is highly recommended to separate your clothes based on the fabric and colour. This will prevent the colour runs during the wash cycle. Sort out your clothes according to the fabrics and wash them separately.

You can have four different piles like the delicates, the whites, light-coloured clothes, and the dark-coloured ones. You can divide the weekly washes accordingly and put them one pile at a time in the washer.

2. Always check for the washing instructions on the care label of each garment

It is advisable to check the care labels of each garment for the washing instructions to ensure they are machine washable or not. Depending on the recommended guidelines, you can choose the appropriate wash cycle and set the water temperature.

3. Always wash the delicates separately or in laundry bags

Delicate fabrics need extra care. Wash them separately by turning on the delicate wash cycle. You can even put them in a mesh bag and wash them with the normal load.

Pop specific garments like lingerie, laced garments, pantyhose fabric, and other delicate items in the laundry bags. This will prevent them from snagging. If you do not have a laundry bag at home, you can use your pillow cover instead.

4. Always separate the clothes with stains

Check the clothes for any stains before placing them in the machine. If you notice any, treat them with a cleaning agent first, and then you can add them to the washer.

Some stains like grease marks and oil stains need pre-treatment before washing them. Avoid placing them in the washer before treating them. After you treat them with a cleaning agent, you can add the garments to the machine.

5. Always put the laundry detergent in the detergent dispenser

Refer to the user manual to see what type of detergent the machine is ideal for. Also, find out where to put the detergent and add it to the right compartment.

You can use both liquid and powder detergents in most washing machine models. However, the quantity of detergent your washer can handle is dependent on the type of machine you are using and also the detergent brand. Measure the liquid detergent using measuring caps and the powder using scoops.

Most models, these days, come with a detergent dispenser and a fabric softener dispenser to add them. Just add the required detergent to the right compartment.

6. Always leave the washing machine door open after use

It is always advisable to leave the washing machine door open after unloading it. This will allow the washer to air out. Furthermore, it will help in preventing the formation of mould and mildew.

7. Always clean the washer regularly

Regular cleaning of your washing machine allows your device to perform at its peak. Failing to do this will hamper its productivity and effectiveness to clean the clothes. If your machine comes with a self-clean feature, just activate it. If it does not, this is what you can do:

  • Choose a hot cycle on your washing machine.
  • Add one cup of white vinegar into the drum and run the cycle.
  • The vinegar helps in removing any smells.

Don’ts For Using A Washing Machine

1. Do not leave anything in pockets

Make sure all the pockets are empty before putting the garments in the washer. Check if they have any coins or tissues in the pockets and remove if any. They can damage your clothes and also your machine.

2. Do not add fabric softener directly to your clothes

You should never allow the fabric conditioner to come in direct contact with clothes. This would leave stains on them. Add the softener to the separate compartment provided. If your machine does not have a softener dispenser, dilute the lotion and then pour it on the laundry.

3. Do not let the wet clothes remain in the washing machine drum for a long time

Unload the washing machine immediately after the wash cycle. Allowing the wet clothes to remain in the drum for a long time will result in mould build-up from the moisture.

4. Do not try to fix your broken machine all by yourself

Never try to fix your washing machine all by yourself, if it is broken. You can tackle some minor issues like clogged water pipes, etc., and solve them easily. However, for serious problems, seek the help of a professional and get them sorted.

5. Do not overcrowd your washing machine

Never overload your washer beyond its capacity. Overcrowding may not make your machine move properly. As a result, the clothes do not get washed as they should be. You may end up washing them again. Hence, it is advisable to wash them in small loads. This will further help save water and energy.

6. Do not add too much detergent

Using excessive laundry detergent in the washer could leave residue on your clothes. You may not have properly cleaned clothes. Hence, measure the detergent before adding and use only, as required.

A Few Words To Conclude:

If you want to make the most of your washing machines, it becomes imperative to use them the right way. This will make your washer clean clothes efficiently and help you enjoy the best results. Furthermore, it will increase the lifespan of the machine and your clothes, as well.

If you have been using your washer the wrong way, the step-by-step process mentioned in this article should help you. Follow them diligently to have a perfect laundry routine.

Do share your experiences in the comments below and let us know how helpful these instructions were. Write to us if you have any questions or need more information on using the washing machines. We will answer all your queries at the earliest.

Share your feedback with us by letting us know if we missed out on any points. If you have any inputs to add, do not hesitate to let us know. We would love to hear from you.

Stay healthy and stay safe!!!

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