Have you ever washed a batch of clothes, only to have smelly ones with dirty streaks come out of the washing machine? This has happened to me in the past, and I would normally shout and kick the washing machine for wasting my time, water and detergent. But what if the washing machine isn’t at fault here, but you?
Before hauling your washer outside and leaving it at the curb, take a few minutes to read this article. Maybe all your washer needs is a little TLC and a visit from the home appliance repair service technician.
1. Cheap Detergent, wrong type of detergent, little to no detergent
Being a cheapskate and using cheap detergent or not using the recommended amount is the worst thing you can possibly do, not only to your clothes but to your washer! If you’re using hard water, read the packaging and only use the proper amount recommended. Using too much can cause your clothes to fade and have streaks.
Using too little won’t allow the machine to clean your clothes properly because detergents have a hard time forming suds in hard water. Check the level of dirt on your clothes and adjust the amount of good quality detergent based on the level of dirt.
There are biological detergents that need lower temperatures and a lot more time to clean laundry compared to regular detergent. It’s called “biological” because it contains living enzymes, which die in high temperatures so you have to keep cycles low. On the other hand, regular detergents aren’t so effective at low temperatures.
You also have your color friendly detergents that don’t contain bleaching agents. These will leave your whites “off white” and will eventually turn grayish. You have to know which detergent to use for any given situation and any scenario.
2. Your Clothes aren’t Sardines
Laundry needs space to move around and rub off on each other to loosen the dirt and grime. The detergent also needs room to circulate for it to do its job properly, and that’s forming suds. Overloading your washing machine causes poor wash results because of out of balance loads and little to no room for the detergent and the clothes to move freely. Lighten the load a bit and avoid overloading your washer for best results. You’re also adding less pressure on the mechanisms at work by doing things a bit lighter.
3. Wrong Button!
I know it’s boring, but you have to read the manual! Reading manuals on all my appliances has helped me save time and money because I know what I’m doing 60% of the time, all the time. Joking aside, you have to understand exactly what all those shiny buttons do before you operate it. You don’t want to have to launch a nuclear strike on your clothes by accident now, do you?
Choosing the wrong program for your current job won’t net you the results you want: clean clothes that smell nice. Some washing programs are fast and eco-friendly by using less water and low temperatures, but they won’t clean your dirty laundry properly! Use this setting for very light loads that have little dirt and grime on them. Ditto for ultra dirty laundry, which tend to need extra water and high heat to get the job done.
4. Don’t forget to Rinse properly
Automated rinsing is programmed in, but it always pays to check if the machine did its job right. You’ll know if the rinse was poor by simply smelling the clothes and looking out for a sharp odor. That’s detergent residue, and when sweat or water hits the clothes, this is where the “wet dog scent” comes from. If you suspect the batch of laundry to be improperly rinsed, do it again.
5. Maybe it’s the washers fault…
If you hear weird noises coming from the washing machine, or if a button gets you nowhere, or if a setting isn’t working properly, it’s time to call a professional. Also take the time to check if the washing machine has become dirty inside, or if there is mould or greasy film build up. Check to see if it’s not pumping properly, because there may be some blockage.
I know this is a lot to take in for a simple task such as washing your clothes, but trust me; you don’t want to have to re-do a whole batch because you did something wrong the first time. Read the manual, choose the proper setting for the job, follow the instructions on the detergent and sit back while your clothes get all clean and odor free.