The modern electric washing machine is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. Back in the day, one would have to spend hours boiling water. Hand-scrubbing clothing, hanging it out to dry, ironing, folding, and finally putting it all away, only to start all over again.
The modern appliance transformed women’s lives, letting them get out of the laundry room and into the workforce or anywhere else they preferred to be. It’s a miracle product. That said, it can’t clean everything, and the machine can’t read the tag on an item to see if it’s safe to stick in the wash or choose the right settings without some help from us.
Things You Should Never Put in the Washing Machine
Pet Hair Clothes
If you keep a furry friend, then you can testify to the fact that their hair seems to show up everywhere- on your linen, your clothes, rug, and anything you could think of. You might then tempted to throw these pet-covered clothes into the machine for a good washing. Don’t! It can spell disaster. Pet hair when mixed with water can form clumps, and travel down to the drain to clog the pipe. Before tossing into the washer, give the clothes a good brushing or use a lint roller to get rid of as much hair as possible.
Moreover, you can also get rid of pet hair by first running them in a dryer cycle with no heat. However, this might require regular cleaning lint in dryer vent to avoid lint build-up and for your dryer safety.
The underwire and hook-and-eye closures can damage the interior of your washing machine, turning a $30 bra into a $600 mistake. Lace can also get damaged. Instead, either hand-wash your lingerie or invest in a protective mesh bag to keep your bras, garments, and machine safe. Don’t have a mesh bag? A pillowcase will do the trick.
Embellished, Wool and Velvet Cloth
All those glitters and sparkles are not washing machine-worthy. Whether the embellishments are hand-sewn or glued, those items are more likely to fall off during wash. Wool and velvet are also made of delicate materials that can’t withstand the intensity of the machine. They can get ripped, torn, or even shrink up. Your best bet is to handwash or reads the care label before anything.
Coins and Keys
While most of us wouldn’t intentionally wash our keys or change in the machine, almost everyone has accidentally left a few coins or a spare key in the pocket of a pair of jeans at some point. If the keys or coins stay put, it can be a harmless mistake, but if they get loose, they can do a lot of damage. “[Coins] can damage the fins on the drain pump if they make it past the filter,” James Peters, Kenmore Director of Product Management, told Business Insider. They could also get stuck in the washing machine’s drain (in turn blocking the water), damage the drum, or even shatter the glass of a front-loading washer. Luckily, the solution is easy: Simply check pockets while you load the machine.