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What You Shouldn’t Put in the Washing Machine

Are your clothes ruining your washing machine? What you wash affects this major appliance just as much as how you care for and maintain it. Before you do your next load, take a look at some of the common household items that can damage your washer.

Ladies Lingerie

The choice to hand-wash delicates is a win-win for both your lacy lingerie and your washing machine. Rough movements during the wash and spin cycles can split seams, exposing sharp underwire and cause hooks to fall off. These metal accents can scratch the inside of your washing machine or cause serious damage if they work their way into the interior of the appliance.

Placing these delicates into a mesh cloth bag before washing is an easy way to prevent damage — to both your delicates and the machine itself. If a stray hook or piece of wire does manage to make its way into the appliance, contact a qualified repair professional to find and remove it. The technician may need to make additional repairs, depending on what type of damage the hooks or wires caused.

Bath Mats

An all-fabric mat isn’t likely to damage your washer. But a mat with a rubber back can. If the rubber breaks down in the washer, pieces of it can move through the lint filter and into the machine. The stray rubber pieces can cause mechanical damage to your appliance, requiring a professional repair. Instead, handwash and air-dry all rubber-backed mats.

Tennis Shoes

Your athletic shoes aren’t always a no-wash item. But if you don’t prep carefully, your footwear can cause damage to your washer. Before washing, remove all accents or adornments. Like with delicate lingerie, metal pieces and fasteners can break free and make their way into the machine. Again, a mesh garment bag can help to reduce these risks.

Along with metal accent-related damage, shoes that bounce around a washing machine can knock it off balance. Aside from the loud noises that an unbalanced washer makes, tennis shoes can cause water to leak from the machine. Properly distributing the shoes inside the washer prior to starting the cycle can help to reduce this risk. Likewise, adding towels can help to balance the load.

Loose Change

Even though you didn’t mean to toss your loose pennies and dimes into the washing machine, change easily makes its way in. As it falls out of pants pockets, the change can cause dents or scratches inside of the drum. Like with bra hooks or underwire, it can also slide inside of the washer (behind or under the drum).

Front-loading washers can also sustain glass damage from loose coins. If the force is strong enough, change can hit the glass window and crack it.

Always search through pant pockets prior to doing a load of laundry. This can save you time, aggravation, and the cost of a repair bill.

Lipstick Products

Lipstick and lip moisturizer tubes are another item that often goes from pant pockets to the washing machine. Depending on what the tube is made from, it can come apart in the washer and cause cracks or other damage. These tubes can also work into the machine itself, resulting in mechanical damage.

If the tube doesn’t damage the washer, what’s inside it can. Lipstick or lip balm can clump together, coating your clothing and the interior of the drum. While it isn’t likely to cause serious damage to the appliance, it can create a sticky situation that takes time and effort to remove.

Did you accidentally wash something you shouldn’t have? Did it cause damage to your washing machine? Contact Capital City Appliance Service for more information on repairs and routine service.

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