Items to avoid putting in washing machines that can cause damage and scratches

How to clean a washing machine effortlessly

The average family of four in the UK does eight to 10 loads of washing each week.

The type of wash, the number of washes and the number of laundry items being washed will depend on the size of the family, the size of the machine and how soiled the items are.

With washing machines being such a necessity, and with a new A-rated washing machine averaging around £350, the appliance is something Britons want to avoid buying regularly.

With this in mind, appliance experts at RGBDirect have given their advice on what five items should never be put in the washing machine to extend its lifespan.

1. Shoes

While some shoes may seem durable, washing them in the machine “can cause damage to both the shoes and the machine”.

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The experts continued: “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.”

2. Backpacks or bags with metal parts

Washing backpacks or bags with metal zippers, buckles, or other hardware in the washing machine can damage the 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; this is a safer option.

3. Stuffed animals with batteries or electronic components

Lots of children’s toys come with electronic components these days, especially soft toys. If these components are accidentally put in the washing machine, it could damage them irreparably.

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Instead, if a stuffed animal needs cleaning, spot-clean it or use a damp cloth.

4. Pet beds with loose filling

Pet beds that have loose filling like foam beads or shredded foam should not be washed in a machine. The experts explained: “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.”

Instead, opt for spot cleaning or follow the care instructions provided by the pet bed manufacturer.

5. Waterproof or water-resistant items

Many people put their waterproofs in the washing machine but this may be a mistake. Items like raincoats, waterproof jackets, or water-resistant outdoor gear often have special coatings that can be damaged by washing machine detergent.

Using the washing machine may strip off the garment’s waterproofing which will make the item less effective in the rain.

When it comes to waterproof items, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning which usually involve hand washing or using specialised cleaning products.

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