5 things that shouldn't go in the washing machine

March 11, 2015

You may be damaging your washing machine and not even know it. Sure, you check your pockets for loose money, coins and jewelry, but other items that are fastened to your clothing can break during a rinse cycle and get lodged in the machine. Don't make this mistake or you might wind up having to pay for a washing machine repair or at the very least some new drab.

Here are five items that you shouldn't put in the washing machine.

1. Bras and other delicates with hooks
Undergarments should be kept out of the washing machine because the hooks could cause damage to it. Not to mention, the items themselves are so dainty, you'll end up shorting their shelf life, explained Sophisticated Pair. Solve this problem by cleaning your delicates in the sink or bathtub with some warm water and soap. Then, hang them to dry.

2. Knit sweaters
You've learned this lesson the hard way if you've ever fished a sweater out of your dryer only to find that it's better suited for an infant than yourself. According to Martha Stewart magazine, sweaters should be hand washed and soaked in the tub for about 10 minutes. Remember, heat destroys wool.

3. Purses
Washing machines may seem like a one-stop-shop to clean your clothing and accessories, but they shouldn't be used as such. Little buttons that adorn your purses and backpacks can come loose in the washing machine and jam it. The bag might even lose a zipper or a piece that serves an important function. 

4. Soap last
The Huffington Post pointed out that there is such a thing as putting too many dirty clothes in the washing machine. Be conscious of overloading. When you load the machine, put soap in first and then the clothes because otherwise your filthy shirts and jeans might not get cleaned at all. The soap won't be able to dissolve in the water if you pour it directly onto the clothes at the top of the machine.

5. Filthy running shoes
Even though sneakers are noisy in the washing machine, they won't necessarily damage it. However, you should refrain from putting sneakers in the washer if you've just returned from a muddy or intense running course because little stones on your shoes can do some harm. Not to mention, the washing machine will be a nightmare to clean. 

The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.