The invention of the washing machine irrevocably changed the way we do housework, taking out much of the hassle of doing laundry. But are you truly using your washing machine to its full cleaning potential? You can clean any number of household items safely in your washer, saving you time, trouble, and leaving your home happier and healthier. Below is our list os 23 top items you may not have expected to be able to clean in your washing machine.
1. Baseball hats:
Our caps and hats tend to get a lot of use, but often not as much love when it comes to keeping them clean. Mot baseball style caps and hats can be washed using cool water and a gentle cycle. Read any tags for proper care instructions. You’ll want to avoid washing hats with torn stitching or are in need of repair, as the washing machine puts additional stress on these issues.
2. Yoga mats:
Yoga mats will absorb sweat and body odor when regularly used, just like any other gym gear or equipment. Throw your yoga mat in with your gym gear and towels to keep your washing machine balanced. Wash with a heavy-duty detergent on a gentle cycle with warm or cool water. Allow your matt to fully air-dry. To help your mat dry quicker, roll the mat up tightly with a clean towel to squeeze out excess water.
3. Oven mitts:
Oven mitts and hot pads have likely come in contact with food and liquid at some point. Washing them with your kitchen towels can keep them fresh and ready to go for your next meal.
4. Shower curtains & liners:
No need to regularly replace your plastic liners every time they start to get mildew. Instead, regularly run your shower curtains and liners in the wash with your bath towels. When you run into a bit of mildew add a small amount of bleach to the load to get rid of stains. Use chlorine bleach for whites and plastic liners and oxygen bleach for colors.
5. Small rugs and mats:
Fabric mats and small rugs like bathroom and kitchen mats can be washed on cold with a small amount of detergent. Evenly space mats around the agitator and add a few towels if you have a small load to keep your washer balanced. Use cold water and a liquid detergent. Don’t use chlorine bleach with any rubber or rubber back mats as it will cause the rubber to deteriorate.
6. Car mats:
Sure you might vacuum your car regularly, but unless you get your car detailed its unlikely that you’ve ever washed your car’s floor mats. Imagine how much built-up dirt, dust, and debris is hidden inside them. As long as your car mats aren’t too big and bulky they can be washed in your machine. Make sure to vacuum the mats before washing for the best results.
7. Patio cushions:
As long as they fit and the tag instruction doesn’t deter you go ahead and wash your outdoor cushion in the wash to keep them clean. Make sure when placing these items in the wash they don’t overfill the machine. You want the cushions to have some room to move in the washer drum to be properly clean. Typically you’ll want to use a normal cycle and detergent unless the tag directs you otherwise or the items are heavily soiled.
8. Hair ties:
Have you ever washed your hair ties? It might be time to start doing so. Hair ties come in close contact with sweat, body odor and dander the more you use them. Throw hair ties in a small mesh laundry bag and wash with your regular laundry.
9. Canvas shoes:
Make sure to read any labels or tags first to confirm your shoes can be washed in a machine. Start by removing laces and sole inserts. These pieces can be placed in their own mesh bag and wash separately. Pretreat heavy soils and stains with a good stain remover. Place your shoes in a laundry bag and wash them in warm water with a strong detergent. Wash with towels to keep your washing machine balanced. If you have some extra stinky shoes, add a cup of banking soda or disinfectant to combat odors and help rid your shoes of odor-causing bacteria.
10. Backpacks & soft lunch boxes:
Backpacks tend to get a lot of use and a regular wash can give them some new life. Start by opening all the pockets, remove any items, and either vacuum out crumbs and debris or shake it out. Place the backpack in a laundry bag or pillowcase if you don’t have a large enough laundry bag. Run your machine on a gentle cycle with cold water and a gentle detergent. Allow the pack to air dry.
Without regular cleaning, lunch boxes can be a breeding ground for bacteria, yeast, and mold. When in contact with your food these nasties can lead to you or your getting seriously ill. To wash, run soft lunchboxes in cool to warm water on a gentle cycle. Then let the boxes air dry.
When was the last time you cleaned or sanitized your kids’ toys? It’s easy to give larger items like play sets a quick wipe down, but cleaning all those smaller toys can be quite a tedious task. Throw small toys in a mesh laundry bag and run your washing machine using a cold wash delicate cycle. Try to avoid washing anything rubber or toys with batteries.
12. Pet accessories:
Our pets may be our best friends but that doesn’t stop them from getting dirty and their accessories with them. Fabric Leashes, collars, harnesses, and even pet beds can all be put in the washer for a refresh. For leashes, collars, and harnesses, simply place the items in a mesh laundry bag and run in your regular cycle. Many dog beds have removable covers that can be easily take off and thrown in your normal cycle as well. If your furry friends tend to shed a lot, try vacuuming the bed cover before tossing in the wash. This will help prevent excess debris from clogging up your machine and also help your laundry come out cleaner.
13. Stuffed animals:
Avoid washing vintage stuffed animals or any with mechanics or electronics. Repair and tares and pretreat stains and heavy soils. Then place the stuffed animal in a mesh laundry bag and run on a gentle cycle with cool or warm water. Allow the item to air dry after.
14. Sports gear:
Knee pads, shin guards, compression items, and other sports safety gear soak up sweat, bodily fluids, and dirt. Throwing these items in with uniforms and other soiled athletic gear will keep them fresh and ready to go. Close all velcro straps and clasps. Place the gear in a mesh laundry bag and run the gear on a gentle cycle with your normal detergent. Allow these items to air-dry.
15. Silicone kitchen gadgets:
If you’re feeling lazy baking mats, molds, tools, and oven it’s can all be thrown in a regular wash cycle. Rinse large particles of food debris off first. Place any small tools in a mesh laundry bag, and run in warm or hot water to melt the grease away. If possible use a gentle spin cycle to avoid distortion of these items.
16. Mopheads & rubber gloves:
Our cleaning supplies need to be cleaned too. Otherwise, bacteria and other nasties will grow and you’ll end up spreading them around the house next time you clean. Mopheads, rubber gloves, sponges, and scrub brushes can all go through the wash. Simply place these items in a mesh bag, throw in with a load of towels for balance, and run the wash with hot water and heavy-duty detergent. Allow these items to fully air dry.
Pillows weather from your bed or couch collect sweat, dirt, and debris like your clothes. Running them in the wash can give your pillows a good refresh. Wash with a decent detergent and make sure to give them space to move in the wash. It is easy to overfill your washer when cleaning pillows. Not only will this potentially unbalance the wash, but also not allow the machine to do its job to its full capacity, meaning your pillows won’t be as clean as they could be.
18. Reusable grocery bags:
Reusable grocery bags come into contact with more nasties than you might think. Between your car floor, grocery cars, conveyor belts, and the groceries themselves (especially raw meats and produce) your reusable bags are a perfect place for germs to grow. Regular washing will help ensure you’re keeping your food as safe as possible when transporting it. Some bags will have washing instructions on a tag or label, much like your clothes. Following label instruction will give you the best results. Make sure to remove any dividers if present and clean separately. Nylon bags should be air-dried.
19. Shower mats:
Your non-slip rubber shower mats can also be run in the wash to help remove soap scum, mold, and mildew. Regular washing of thee mats will help keep them spick and span. Run your mat on a regular cycle with some bath towels and air-dry afterward.
Your regular curtains can be run in the wash as well unless they are delicate or dry clean only. Simply wash with cool water in a gentle cycle. Then either hang dry, air dry on a flat surface, or tumble dry on low.
21. Couch covers:
Many couched have removable cushion covers which can be taken off and thrown in the wash on a gentle cycle. Make sure to read any tags for proper instruction, some covers many need to be dry cleaned. For best result vacuum cushion covers first to remove crumbs, pet hair, and any other large debris that may be stuck on.
22. Fabric belts:
Fabric belts can be thrown in a mesh laundry bag and washed in your next load. Air dry after washing to allow the belt to keep its shape.
High touch surfaces such as keyboards, cellphones, and remotes are some of the dirtiest items in our houses, imagine hoe dirty your mousepad is. Thow foam mouse pads in a mesh laundry bag and run in a gentle cycle on cool to clean. Allow to air-dry and your mouse pad will be as good as new.
Looking for more tips and tricks to keep your home sparkling clean? Check out our Facebook or Instagram. To help maintain the rest of your home discover our recurring cleaning service on our booking page or call us at 503-567-5404.