10 Things You Should Never Put in the Washing Machine
Some items can shrink in the washer, while others can be totally destroyed or even break your machine!
When you have a heap of dirty laundry to tackle, it can be tempting to throw it all in the washing machine to get it over with. However, certain clothing and household items should never go in your washer. These can be damaged or even damage your machine, causing more problems in the long run.
So the next time you prep your laundry, make sure to leave the following items out of the basket.
Leather or Suede Shoes
Contrary to popular belief, you can put certain kinds of shoes in the washing machine — but not those with leather or suede accents.
Sarah Armstrong, new product brand manager at Maytag, told Consumer Reports washing machines will damage these materials, as well as wool, velvet, silk or cork. So check those shoes carefully before tossing them in the wash! Here are a few moe tips that you should know before you wash your shoes in washing machine.
They’re called delicates for a reason! Lace, silk, beading and embroidery can all be ruined in a harsh washing machine. And the underwire and hook-and-eye closures on bras can even damage the interior of your washer.
According to Southern Living, always hand-wash your lingerie. However, you can throw them in the washer if they’re placed in a mesh bag.
Clothes Covered in Pet Hair
Leanne Stapf, vice president of operations at The Cleaning Authority, told the Cincinnati Inquirer, “[W]et fur can clump together and stick to the sides of the machine, get on other clothing items, or even clog the drain pipes.” With that in mind, if you have a furry pet, always lint-roll your clothes before washing them
According to Southern Living, “[B]aby socks are so tiny that they can be sucked into the hoses and vents on your washer and dryer.” This means expensive machine damages, as well as an ever-dwindling supply of socks! Always place baby socks in a machine-safe garment bag before tossing in the washer.
Suits and Ties
Yes, suits really do need to be dry-cleaned. They’re made of especially high-quality materials like wool, silk or velvet, all of which can “shrink or tear, even in a delicate cycle,” according to Stapf. Bring those silk ties to the dry cleaner, too.
Coins and Keys
We all know we need to empty our pockets before tossing an item in the wash, but just how bad are the damages from these errant metal items? According to appliance company Sonic Soak, pretty terrible. Coins can damage the fins of the drain pump, while keys may scratch the washer drum or stick in filters or valves.
Memory Foam Pillows
Jon Chan, senior lab technician at Reviwed, tells Consumer Reports: “Most memory foam pillows have an open-cell structure that will turn them into soggy bricks if socked in water, and they might fall to pieces after getting subjected to a spin cycle.” Best to spot-clean your memory foam pillows and keep them far from the laundry room.
According to Sonic Soak, waterproof items like raincoats will “trap water and have a balloon-like effect, which will eventually explode during the wash cycle.” To make matters worse, pieces of a rain jacket could get stuck in valves or filters. Therefore, never machine-wash rain jackets. Check their labels to determine a better course of action.
Wool or Cashmere Sweaters
Wool can shrink in the washing machine and cashmere can easily pill.
While it’s true that some wools and cashmeres are machine-washable, always check the tags before attempting to wash them. Rich Handel, the lead washing machine tester at Consumer Reports, suggests turning wool and cashmere items inside-out and washing on a cold water or delicate cycle.
Many well-loved stuffed animals can be placed in the washing machine, according to Sonic Soak. But with each wash, small pieces like buttons or bead eyes can fall off. They recommend only washing stuffed animals when really necessary, and hand-washing the most precious ones.