How to Use a Washing Machine

Published by John Martin on


Using a washing machine is not rocket science, but if you are new into this practical world of washing your clothes, then it may seem a bit intimidating on the first. Whether it is sorting out the laundry, or using the washer, it is easy. First, you have to know each step so that there is no mess in doing laundry.
In this article, we will discuss how to use a washing machine. We will discuss the whole process of laundry in detail for your convenience. So stick along as there is a lot to learn.

Before we give the detail of how to use the washing machine, let’s look at the types of washing machines.

These are the different types of washing machines


A semi-automatic washing machine can only wash the cloth in detergent, but it cannot rinse the cloth or dry them. These machines some times have a separate dryer with them, but you need to rinse the detergent out of clothes, and then you can dry the clothes in the separate dryer. It’s a bit old fashioned type of washing machine.
In the semi-automatic machine, you add the detergent and water, and they set the program. The agitator cleans the cloth, and you can take off the clothes and rinse them in freshwater.

Fully Automatic Washing Machine

A Fully automatic washing machine does everything for you. You just need to put in the clothes, and it will wash the clothes, rinse it with fresh water, and dries them in the end as well. So that means a lot of conveniences.

Fully automatic machines are further divided between the front loading and top-loading machines.

Front Loading Washing Machine:

In front-loading machine you put the clothes from the front, that’s the obvious difference. Other than that, it has an outer drum and an inner drum. The outer drum is mounted on a horizontal axis. The inner drum sloshes the clothes back and forth with a plastic paddle.

Top Loading Washing Machine:

Fully automatic Top loading washing machines are cheaper than the front loading machines. These washing machines are also fully automatic so that they will wash, rinse, and dry clothes automatically. They also come with many programs for cleaning the clothes properly.

Let’s look at how to sort out your laundry in detail.

Sorting out the laundry is an important part of your washing routine. Not all types of clothes can be washed together. You need to sort them out depending on these bases.

Fabric: Not all fabric should be dumped in a washer at once. The rough spin may not work well for very delicate fabrics. So you need to separate the shirts, denim, beddings, or separately for a hassle-free wash.

Color: Take special care of the color. You need to separate the laundry of different colors. Especially for dark color fabrics may leave some color behind in cycle that can ruin your other clothes as well. Especially the new denim leaves some color.

Weight of fabric: You should spate washable lingeries, pantyhose, and other such delicate fabric for a separate load. Putting them in with jackets, bedding, or towels can lead to tearing the delicate fabric.
Tough stained clothes: Tough stains like oil and grease should be washed separately. You should not put such clothes in the regular load of laundry. Some stains get tougher after treated with hot water.

Check the labels

After you sort out the laundry, make sure you check the labels of cloth to see if they can be machine washed or not.
Some fabrics are not recommended to be washed in the washing machine. They need to dry cleaned or steam wash. Labels are usually on the inner side of clothes, and it clearly states whether you can dump a fabric in the washer or not.

Set the Cycle Settings

Once you are done with the prep, not its time for the washing machine. Now different washing machines have different cycle settings, but here are what we generally see.

Normal cycle:
The normal cycle is for normal clothes. You can put in cotton, linen, beddings, towels and other such fabrics. It’s a fast action cycle that washes and rinse in speed.
Perm Press: This washes fast but rinses slowly. It suits the fabrics that should not spin dry too hard. The cycle is for synthetic cloths, knitwear, or jersey materials.

Delicate cycle:
As the name suggests, it is for clothes that you cannot risk putting in the normal load. It spins slowly and uses less agitation for moving clothes. The cycle is good for sequined clothes, lingerie’s,  chiffon or other delicate fabrics.

Special cycles: some machine offers special cycles for protecting fabric colors or making it easy for washing special clothes separately.

Setting Temperature

Ideally, hot water is great for killing all the microorganisms and sanitizing cloths. But hot water is not recommended for some special type of clothes. It toughens some stains, shrinks clothes, and also fade some colors.

So you don’t want to use hot water for all types of clothes. It is good to use warm water for normal washings, and you can use hot water for towels or kitchen cloths.

Adding detergent to the washing machine

Consult the manual of your washing machine to know does it require a special type of detergent, or you can pour any detergent in the detergent.
Some washers need only liquid detergents. Some allow you to use cloth softeners, and some even allow you to put some drops of bleach in the washer. So it depends on your washing machine.
Also, use the recommended amount of detergent for each cycle. You may feel tempted to add more to wash the clothes properly but using more than necessary detergent may feed the black mold in the washing machine.
So use only the recommended amount of detergent for each load.

Types of Machine

Front loading: Front-loading machines have special drawers for pouring the detergents.
Top-loading machine: For top-loading, you can add the detergent along with the clothes and water

Quantity of detergent

Quantity of detergent is also mentioned in the manual. It depends on how big your washer is and how many clothes you have on the machine for the wash.

Dump the Clothes

Once you have set the washing machine simply dump in the clothes. The number of clothes you can add at a time depends on the size of your washer. Look for the manual for clear instructions.
Simply turn on the washer, and you can do some other chores while the machine is doing its job.

Washing Programs

Washing programs help you choose the right time, temperature for the specific fabrics. Even automatic machine can’t guess what you put into it. So by selecting the programs, it will determine the speed of spin or other factors relating the washing.
So, not all the fabric needs the same type of agitation and time for cleaning the clothes. These programs are set by qualified engineers to protect the fabric of clothes.

Tips for enhancing the life of your washing machine

Here are a few tips that will help you maintain the washing machine.

Inspect the Hose

Check the hose from time to time to ensure the right supply of water. There should not be any cracks or bulges in the hose.
Load according to the size of the machine
Washing machines come in different sizes as well. Each size has a recommended number of clothes you should put into one load. Make sure you don’t exceed this limit and don’t overload the machine.
Overloading not only puts more pressure on your appliance, but clothes are not washed as clean as you want them to be.

Quality Detergent In the right quantity

Use quality detergent. Use the quantity recommended in the manual of your washing machine. Using more than necessary is not only a waste of money as detergents are expensive, but it may cause other problems in your washing machine as well.

Clean the Washing Machine

Keep your washing machine well cleaned. It will prevent foul smell and also the growth of mildew in the machine or pipes. At least once a month rinse the machine with water and vinegar solution to clean it properly from inside and for preventing the scale buildup.
Leave the door ajar for sometime
After each load leaves the door ajar for a few minutes. It will dry the machine properly from inside. The air circulation will prevent the foul smell from developing inside the machine.
Remove dry clothes as soon as possible
Don’t leave dried clothe inside the machine for long. Leaving wet clothes inside may develop mildew inside the machine.

Final Words

Washing machines are convenient home appliances and also a one-time investment.  You can enhance the lifespan of your machine by using it in the right way and taking care of its basic maintenance. Whether you are using a top-loading washing machine or a front loading fully automatic machine, knowing the washing machine setting will help you have better results.


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