It looks like you have purchased a brand new washing machine (felicitations for that!) or perhaps you have started washing clothes.
With so many new washing machines launching days after days, they are sure loaded up with a ton of tech. And not knowing how to operate one then you are not alone my friend.
So if you are looking at how to use a washing machine, then we have you covered. Relax, we know those buttons and wash settings seem a bit overwhelming, but it is relatively easy to wash clothes in the washing machine.
We have not only mentioned washing clothes in automatic or semi-automatic washing machines, but we’ve also provided some exclusive tips to ensure that you are correctly cleaning your clothes.
So what are we waiting for? Let’s get started!
What’s the Importance of Knowing How to Use a Washing Machine?
Every washing machine comes with its settings. Being able to know how to operate them not only saves more time but also effort and energy as well as helps you in enhancing your laundry efforts.
Besides that, it also aids in operating the machine more effectively while cleaning your clothes more efficiently. So in this article, we have mentioned fully automatic washing machines and semi-automatic washing machines.
Pro Tips to Effectively Wash in a Washing Machine
Before we hop into cleaning your clothes with a washing machine, there are a few things along with some tips that we want to share with you that will help you clean your clothes more effectively regardless of the washing machine.
Sorting the Clothes
First of all, you should prepare and sort out the clothes before washing. Ensure that you are not putting them altogether in the washing machine.
Every fabric is different. Therefore some of the materials might require special treatment. Also if you are washing new clothes, make sure that they do not lose colour. You can do this by checking the garment label.
Separate your clothes with light-coloured, dark-coloured, and white, so even if they lose colour, it will save your white clothes from getting spoiled.
One more essential thing is to turn the garments inside out, mainly if they are dark-coloured. This way, it will keep off the lint on the face of the garment.
Checking the Pockets
How many times have you heard some weird noise coming from your machine? Probably it is because of the coin that you forgot to take out from the pocket.
Before washing empty the pockets of all your clothes, often, we put coins or money or other items in the pockets that might cause some problem to your machine.
In addition to this, make sure to zip the zippers and remove any pins, removable such as ribbons, sashes, rosettes, badges, etc.
Checking the Labels
This is also a crucial thing to keep in mind before washing clothes, especially the new ones. You will find this label on the side seams inside the garment.
They contain information and specific instructions about wash and dry. Make sure that you are washing your garment according to the mentioned instructions.
If you want to increase your clothes’ lifespan, always read the label diligently every time you purchase one.
Some of the garments will also provide you with information about bleaching and which detergent to use.
Treating Dirt or Stain
Most people do not put any effort into pre-cleaning some stains or dirt from their clothes unless they are the Precious Ones, mostly at their own peril.
Be that as it may, some stains, especially the stubborn ones, might get permanent after wash. So you will have to go through a ton of trouble just to remove them.
If your garment is covered up with dirt, you can use a brush with some water to clean it. Make sure that you are very gentle while doing-especially if your cloth is made from silk, wool, delicate fibres, or has some beadwork or embroidery.
Armpits of clothes, hems of pants, collars, and so on are places where you will find more stain and dirt. Pretreat these areas for effective cleaning so your clothes will look new.
Setting the Water Temperature
This is a personal preference some people like to use cold water and others prefer hot water. You can set the water temperature accordingly.
As a basic rule of thumb, you should opt for hot wash and cold rinse for white and soiled clothes. For permanent press clothes, you should choose for hot wash and cold rinse. For delicate clothes, you should go for a cold wash and cold rinse.
You can use a hot wash to clean diapers as it will remove stains and destroy germs. For individuals doing physical work such as construction sites, machines, farms, cars etc., a hot wash is perfect. Kitchen towels and hand towels also demand a hot wash.
The washing cycle is as per your washing machine and also depends on the clothes you are washing. It shows the agitation given by your machine.
You will find the details about the machine cycle on your washing machine as well as in the user manual. Some of the common ones are delicate, quick-wash, deep clean, fabrics such as wool, silk, etc.
You will not find many options in the semi-automatic washing machine.
Selecting the Detergent
When it comes to detergent, there are two types available out there in the market liquid form and powdered form. Though it is a choice of personal preference, liquid detergent wins the show here.
They are great for washing clothes and dissolve well in water, plus effectively clean clothes. Moreover, they are also gentle on fibres.
As far as the powdered detergent is concerned, if you use it in the separate compartment offered by the washing machine, make sure you are cleaning it frequently.
Since powdered detergents are not so well soluble, they can get clogged and cause problems. You can even put the powder manually once the water gets filled.
Warning:- DO not put the powder directly on the clothes — it can cause discolouration. Ensure to dilute the detergent before you plan to use it. (You can dilute by adding the detergent to hot water) Also, do not use too much detergent as it can weaken the fibres.
Using the Fabric Softener
Fabric softener is generally added in the last cycle of rinsing. Softener is a great way to keep your clothes soft and wrinkle-free. Do not use more than the required amount; you can check that on instructions mentioned on the box or the softener. For satisfactory results, add it manually at the last cycle of the rinsing.
People often get confused with the washing settings that are available in their washing machine. A single washing machine does not provide all wash settings; thus, different brands offer several wash settings. Here are the most common ones.
The fast cycle is designed for small clothes that need to be washed quickly. It will wash and dry your clothes within 30 minutes since it is so fast you can only add a limited amount of clothes to it. We would recommend using only half a detergent dose to ensure that the washing doesn’t leave an excess residue. Generally, you can use this cycle to clean clothes without stains.
This wash cycle is an all-rounder meant to use for dirty, sweaty, soiled, and other daily essentials such as undergarments, and so forth. This cycle is efficient both in terms of water and energy.
Pre-soak is an excellent cycle for those who clean filthy clothes. It allows the clothes to be soaked in water for some time and then agitates. This way, it removes most of the dirt before even starting the washing cycle.
As the name suggests, this option allows you to clean bulky items like curtains or blankets more effectively. Although you can choose to wash them in standard settings; if your washing machine has this option, opt for this cycle for more efficient and better cleaning.
You can opt for this option for the clothes that lose colours or might fade like deep blue and red. This is also a suitable alternative if the standard settings are harsh. Generally, we would recommend you separating the loads — one for dark and other for colour.
Delicate cycle or also known as Gentle cycle or Hand Wash cycle is — you guessed it — for your precious, delicate clothes. This cycle prevents damage to your clothes by lowering the degree of agitation and spin cycle. It is less abrasive so you can clean your delicate garments without the fear of them getting damaged.
We can agree that cotton needs special attention and handling as it is one of the lightest fibres. You can opt for this cycle to clean all the cotton clothes that you pull out during summers.
Otherwise known as Synthetics cycle is the milder version of the cotton cycle. This cycle is the blend of the regular and delicate cycle, where it provides the agitation of the regular cycle and slow spin of the delicate cycle. It is suitable for clothes made from nylon, perlon, polyester, silk, linen, rayons, knits, etc. In case, if you do not have this option, you can use the delicate one also.
As the term suggests, this one is for all the woollen garments. It protects them from shrinkage and distortion whilst providing you with a gentle clean. With that being said, it is recommended that you cross-check the label of your woollen garment to ensure that it is appropriate for a washing machine wash.
Now that you are equipped with all the necessary information, let’s look at how you can wash your clothes in your washing machine.
How to Wash Clothes in an Automatic Washing Machine?
Before we look at washing clothes, let’s give us a quick insight into what an automatic washing machine is.
As the name suggests, an automatic washing machine does everything by just pressing a bunch of buttons. Though buttons might seem to confuse you at first glance, they make life a whole lot easier.
There are two types of automatic washing machines, namely, Front-Load and Top Load.
How to Wash Clothes in a Front-Load Washing Machine?
A front-load washing machine is a bit different from the top load. For one, obviously, you are adding clothes from the front, and secondly, it has more buttons and knobs that are both providing more options and seem a little daunting.
But they are as simple as they can be when it comes to running them. So here’s a step by step guide.
Step 1:- Dosing Correctly
Check the instruction on the box of your detergent and add it accordingly. In case you are washing dirtier clothes or have more laundry, you will need more detergent. You will find a separate dispenser for the detergent, and if you are using it, then make sure to clean it frequently to prevent clogging.
Step 2:- Loading
Start by adding your dirty clothes to the washing machines drum. But be sure to leave some space for them to move around while washing. For this purpose, you can follow this simple guideline, 1-Palm Trick.
If your palm fits between the machine and the clothes, you are good to go, but if it doesn’t then remove some clothes out.
Step 3:- Set the Temperature
Next, depending on the fabric and the clothes you are putting in select the appropriate temperature. If you are confused and find many temperatures, then go for the lowest one.
Step 4:- Wash Cycle
Now, select the right wash cycle according to the clothes you have added, make sure to check their labels to forestall any mishaps. As a general rule of thumb, delicate clothes need slower spin and the durable ones can work well in a faster cycle.
Step 5:- Wash and Dry
Once you have selected all the necessary settings, it’s time to close the door and press go. After the wash cycle, ensure to remove the laundry for maximum freshness. At least remove the clothes from the machine within 2 hours after the cycle has ended or else it will leave some permanent wrinkles.
How to Wash Clothes in a Top Load Washing Machine?
A top load washing machine is just similar to front-load, but you just add the clothes from the top, and you don’t deal with a bunch of confusing buttons and knobs. Hence it is comparatively easy to operate.
Step 1:- Dosing Again
Make sure to enter the detergent in the empty drum to dissolve properly in the water, especially in powdered form. Read the label of the detergent to figure out how much you need to use.
Step 2:- Loading
Add your laundry on the top of detergent, make sure that you are keeping enough room for the clothes to wash as overcrowding will result in an imperfect wash.
Step 3:- Wash Cycle
Select the appropriate wash cycle according to your clothes and garments. Do check the label on the garment’s seams to find out about the cycle, temperature, and washing. If you are confused or dubious, use cold water to wash your clothes.
Step 4:- Wash and Dry
Now, press the start button and relax till the machine washes your clothes. Once done, take your clothes out as soon as you can. Leaving them in the machine is not the best idea especially for a long time.
How to Wash Clothes in Semi-automatic Washing Machine
Semi-automatic machines are affordable and small, and pretty much do the same job as the automatic machine. Still, you will have to connect the hoses, add water, and switch the clothes to the dryer manually.
Though they require a bit of hard work, they are generally easier to use. But with that being said, they don’t have different wash settings or features. Here’s how to wash clothes in a semi-automatic washing machine.
Step 1:- Setting Things Up
Place the machine near any electrical outlet and the sink or any other faucet. Plug the wire into the outlet for electric supply. Ideally, semi-automatic machines are placed near the kitchen or the bathroom so that you get both an electrical outlet and faucet to fill water.
Step 2:- Connecting the Hose to the Machine and Faucet
Now, connect the filling hose to the machine’s water inlet and the faucet. Generally, the filling hose that comes with the machine will be of adequate length and fit snugly over many faucets. If it doesn’t, you will need something to hold it till the water fills.
Step 3:- Hook the Draining Hose in the Kitchen Basin or Bathroom
You will find another hose on the backside of the washing machine, that is the draining hose. You will have to place at someplace where water can flow out like a basin, bathroom, or even toilet.
Tip: If the hose is short, you can place it or hook it in a large tub or bucket.
Step 4:- Filling the Water
Now done with all the settings, turn on the tap and let the water flow. Let the water flow in till it fills ⅔ of the tub. You will find marking on the tub, and if not, then ⅔ is your best shot. You can also check the manual to find the filling details.
Step 5:- Detergent
Once the washing tub is filled with water, add detergent either powdered or liquid. But make sure to add it before you add any clothes so that it gets properly dissolved. Agitate the water to ensure proper dissolving.
Step 6:- Loading Laundry
Now add your clothes to the soap water, make sure that the weight of clothes you are adding does not exceed the washing machine’s mentioned capacity. If you are not sure about how many clothes to add to your washing machine, then a general rule of thumb is
1KG of Laundry = 1 Shirt and 1 Pair of Jeans or 5 Shirts and 2 Towels.
Step 7:- Wash Setting
You will find mostly three types of wash setting in the semi-automatic washing machines, “Normal”, “Heavy”, and “Gentle”. You can choose the one according to your clothes, for example, heavy for bulky items and gentle for delicate garments.
Step 8:- Turn the Timer On and Close the Lid
Once done with the settings, it’s time to turn the timer. You can turn it to 6-10 minutes for regular laundry and for the heavy ones you can go with 10 to 15 minutes or more depending on how many clothes you are adding. Generally, washing clothes for less than 6 minutes will not clean them effectively and appropriately.
Note:- If you have a higher number for washing, you can select it accordingly, for example, you can wash your garments for 20 to 30 minutes or even 40 depending on the stain and clothes.
Step 9:- Draining and Switching
Once your clothes are washed, turn the drain switch to start draining the water. Once the water is completely drained, take the wet clothes out and put them in the dryer tub.
Step 10:- Turn the Spin Switch
Turn the spin dial to 2-5 minutes if you want to rinse then keep it on 2 minutes or nearby and if you’re going to dry then turn the dial at 5 minutes.
Note:- For rinsing you will find a separate switch in some semi-automatic machine, so you will have to turn it on.
Step 11:- Rinsing and Drying
Run the tap for around 2 to 3 minutes while rinsing so that your clothes get washed with clean water. Make sure that your drain button is turned, this way the water will automatically enter from the tap and drain out from the spin tub. After your rinsing, turn off the tap and let the machine spin to dry the clothes.
Step 12:- Unload
After the spin cycle is completed, take out your clothes and hang them dry. Also, do not forget to turn off the drain switch, so that next time your filling water doesn’t get wasted. Moreover, once the wash cycle and spin cycle are finished, leave the machine open for a few hours and dry out. Then close the respective lids.
Now that you are acquainted with all the crucial information, we are sure that you will wash your clothes correctly. Having said, if you wish to have clean clothes, then be sure to clean your machine as well.
Before leaving, remember not to overuse detergent and don’t put the detergent directly on clothes. If you are using the semi-automatic machine, turn off the drain switch after each use to not accidentally wastewater. Lastly, after the wash cycle, do not keep the clothes in the dryer or washtub for a prolonged period.
That said, if you have any doubts or concerns, you know what to do.