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Washing machine experts explain which five items you should never put into the drum

Feb 28, 2024

The cost of a new machine can run into hundreds of pounds so it's important to ensure inappropriate items are not put inside the appliance

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These five items should never be put into a washing machine, according to experts.

Washing machines can last years if they are maintained properly. But making sure inappropriate items don't find their way into the drum is an important part of looking after the appliances.

The cost of a new machine generally runs into hundreds of pounds, reports Wales Online, and repairs can also be costly. Now, appliance retailer RGBDirect has given advice on things people should never put in the washing machine to help extend its lifespan.

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While some shoes may seem durable, washing them in the machine can cause damage to both the shoes and the machine. The tumbling action can scratch the washing machine's drum, and the shoes themselves may lose their shape or cause imbalances, potentially leading to loud vibrations during the spin cycle. Instead, it's best to clean shoes by hand or using a soft brush and mild detergent.

Washing backpacks or bags with metal zippers, buckles, or other hardware can damage the washing machine's drum and also harm the items inside. The metal parts can scratch the machine's interior, and the weight of the bag may cause balance issues. Instead, spot clean the bag or hand wash it carefully if necessary. Spot cleaning or using a damp cloth is a safer option.

Many stuffed animals today come with electronic components, such as sound or motion sensors, which can be damaged by water. If you need to clean a stuffed animal, spot cleaning or using a damp cloth is a safer option.

Pet beds that have loose filling like foam beads or shredded foam should not be washed in a machine. The filling can clump together, causing imbalances and potentially damaging the washing machine's motor. Additionally, pet hair and fur can clog the machine's filter and drainage system. Opt for spot cleaning or follow the care instructions provided by the pet bed manufacturer.

Items like raincoats, waterproof jackets, or water-resistant outdoor gear often have special coatings that can be damaged by washing machine detergent and agitation. Using the washing machine may strip off the waterproofing, rendering the item less effective in repelling water. It's best to follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning such items, which usually involve hand washing or using specialised cleaning products.

The washing machine may ruin these items on its cycle:

Delicate fabrics: Items made of delicate fabrics such as silk, lace, or cashmere should not be washed in the machine. The agitation and high-speed spinning in the washer can cause these fabrics to tear, stretch or lose their shape.

Leather or suede: Leather and suede items, like jackets, shoes, or handbags, should never be washed in a washing machine. The water and detergent can damage the natural oils in the leather, leading to cracking, discolouration, and irreparable damage.

Electronics or gadgets: Never wash electronics or gadgets in the washing machine, even if they get dirty. Water and electronic components don't mix well and can cause irreparable damage to your devices.

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