How to Choose a Washing Machine

A washing machine is not something everyone has at home, but you know that having one provides a major convenience and can save you a couple hours a week. The first thing to ensure is that you have adequate space and the right hook ups in your home or apartment. Once you complete this, you want to start exploring the washers themselves so that you can pick one that will ensure your laundry needs are properly addressed.

Size and Style Considerations

When it comes to width, most washers are approximately 24 to 33 inches wide. If you are using a front loading washer, in addition to the space the washer takes up, you also need to ensure that there is a minimum of 36 inches in front of it to open the door and remove the laundry. Use a tape measure to measure the space you are using for your washer. Make sure that you also measure the washers you are interested in to get an exact measurement, especially if your space is limited.

Combination and Stacked Units

Those who have 33 square inches of space to work with can look at the stacked units. This is also ideal for people who are not able to stoop or bend easily. It is more comfortable to load and unload when you put the washer approximately 15 inches from the floor.

A combination unit contains both a washer and a dryer. These units are often ideal for apartments and small homes since it is a washer and dryer one on top of the other. These take up a small amount of space and can even fit into a small closet.


You want to know how much laundry you can fit into your washer to ensure that it can accommodate your home’s laundry needs. Typical capacities include:

  • 7 to 2.3 cubic feet for a compact washer
  • 1 to 2.5 cubic feet for a medium washer
  • 7 to 3 cubic feet for a large washer
  • 1 or higher cubic feet for an extra large washer

If you live alone, a compact washer is generally enough to get all of your laundry done without an issue. If you have a large family, you might want to consider a large or extra large washer. Ensuring that you choose the right capacity makes sure that you get all of your laundry done as efficiently as possibly.

Speed and Other Options

There are a number of speed and other washing options that you need to know about. Different speeds and options are necessary for various types of laundry. For example, if you are washing some with difficult stains, you want to find a washer with prewash and presoak cycles. Consider the following information when picking out the washer with the right cycles and speeds for you:

  • When you look at basic washers, you will find up to four agitation speeds, but high-end washers might have more options.
  • If you need heavy-duty cycles, you might want to look at the high-end models. These models are also more likely to have options like a prewash cycle.
  • Preset wash cycles provide you with a variety of temperatures, agitation levels and speeds for various types of clothing. A basic washer might offer permanent press, regular and delicate cycles.

Use this as your quick guide for what to look for when you are exploring the washing machine options available. Make sure to really think about your lifestyle and laundry needs when you are seeing what is out there. This will ensure that the one you choose fits well and is able to handle your laundry.

Common Washing Machine Mistakes People Make

Laundry is a never ending chore and making mistakes while doing laundry can make it last even longer. There are a few mistakes that are common and you can easily correct these. Correcting these mistakes ensures that the task of doing laundry is simpler and you can get more done in less time.

Overloading the Washing Machine

You have to be mindful of how much you are putting in your machine when doing a load of laundry. If you are overloading the machine, the laundry does not get as clean because the detergent cannot possibly get to everything in the washer. Overloading can also wear out your washer faster because you are making it work far harder than it is designed to. Lastly, overloading can lead to excessive laundry wrinkling.

Make sure to read the loading guidelines for the washer that you have. It is best to take the load limit and go at least slightly under it so that there is no risk of overloading.

Never Flushing the Dispensers

Some washing machines have dispensers for detergent and fabric softener. Many people assume that they are always clean and never take the time to actually clean them. However, not cleaning the dispensers can allow for mold to grow and excess detergent or fabric softener to build up. This can eventually lead to odors that can transfer to the things you are washing. It only takes a few minutes to flush them and then after each washing cycle, leave the drawer open so that any residual water is able to evaporate.

Guessing on the Right Amount of Detergent

It is common for someone to load the washer and then just pour some detergent onto the load before closing the lid or door. However, there are measurements on bottles and boxes of detergent for a reason. If you use too much or too little of the detergent, you are reducing its overall cleaning power. Follow the measurement guidelines on the detergent label to ensure that you are using the right amount and getting the right level of cleaning power. If you are washing something that is extra dirty, adding a very small amount of extra detergent is generally fine.

Only Using One Setting or Cycle

Washing machines have a number of cycles that will help you to accomplish a number of different laundry tasks. In most cases, the Delicate or Regular setting is appropriate, but you should also know what the other settings or cycles do so that you can get the most out of your washing machine. Certain settings rinse more thoroughly and this is idea for things like bulky items that might retain more detergent.

You should also be aware of the water temperature settings. If you need whitening and stain removal, hotter water is a better option. If you want to remove wrinkles and prevent new ones, slower agitation is ideal.

Not Using a Braided Hose

When it comes to the water hoses, you normally get plain rubber ones as part of the hardware that comes with the machine. However, everyone would benefit by paying a little extra to get braided hoses to replace the rubber ones. The braided hoses are more durable. They are far more resistant to issues like cracking, splitting and drying out, so they will last a lot longer than the basic rubber hoses that come with your machine.

Use this information to ensure that you are getting all of your laundry done in a timely manner. This will also make sure that you do not damage any of your clothes while they are getting as clean as possible.

Choosing and Using the Right Laundry Detergent in Your Washing Machine

The laundry detergent you use has a major impact on the condition and cleanliness of your clothing and linens. There are a number of options, so it can seem really overwhelming to pick the best product. Learning some basics will ensure that you not only choose the best detergent, but that you are also using it to get the most out of your laundry time.

Sensitive Skin Detergents

Those with sensitive skin have to be mindful of the ingredients in their detergent or else they are at risk for skin irritation. Avoid any detergent that contains a fragrance and make sure to rinse clothing and linens twice to ensure all detergent residue is out. You also want to never pack the washer and avoid ingredients like lavender and citrus.

Do DIY Detergents Work?

For general washing, DIY detergents tend to be okay, but they rarely have stain-fighting power. The following is a common recipe used to create a DIY detergent:

  • Four pounds and 12 ounces of Borax
  • Four pounds of baking soda
  • Three Fels-Naptha soap bars
  • Four pounds of Oxy Clean
  • One box of super washing soda
  • Add some laundry softener crystals if you wanted a scented

High-Efficiency Detergents

High-efficiency detergents should be used when you are running a high-efficiency washer. This type of detergent ensures that your washing machine is able to properly rinse out the soap. Never buy a basic detergent for a high-efficiency washer because you will not get the same level of clean.

Less is More

When using laundry detergent, it is important to remember that less is more. Follow the instructions exactly to know how much to use. Never use more than the bottle states because this can actually harm your linens and clothes by clogging them with detergent residue. This can also tax your washer, so make sure to only use the amount indicated on the label.

Bright and Clean Laundry

There are bleach options to keep your clothing bright an clean, but you have to make sure that you are using the right bleach. For colored clothing, there are color safe bleaches that you can use. These are also referred to as oxygen bleaches and they remove stains and clean clothes without fading the color or making it spotty like regular bleach. For white clothes, regular bleach works to keep it bright and white.

Single Dose Laundry Pods

Single dose laundry pods work to make it easy to put the right amount of detergent into the water. These are pre-loaded and you simply toss one in when you are ready to do the laundry.

When you are using laundry pods, it is important that you never put them into a fully loaded washer. This can make it hard for the pods to completely dissolve due to not enough water getting to them. To ensure that the pods dissolve, you also have to ensure that you never use extremely cold water in your washer.

If you want a detergent that has a low-sudsing formula, the pods are ideal. This is a good idea when you want to make sure that detergent residue is not left on your clothes after a single rinse cycle so that they are fully soft and clean.

Use this information to ensure that you pick the right detergent, so that your clothes and linens are as clean as possible. Make sure that you are also using the right water temperature and washing machine options for the fabrics to increase the efficiency of your washing.

Quick and Simple Laundry Tips

Laundry is often called the Never Ending Story of adulthood and this is mostly true. However, when you know how to get your laundry done right, you can shave off how long it takes you to complete the task. This ensures that you have more time for fun things and rest because you will be able to get your laundry completed faster.

Maintain the Whiteness of White Clothes

Keeping your whites bright and crisp is actually a lot easier than it seems. Consider the following for the whitest whites:

  • Grab 180 grams of baking soda and mix it with four liters of water to create a natural soaking solution.
  • You can also use five tablets of 325 milligram aspirin in hot water to whiten. Then, during the rinse cycle, add 240 milliliters of white vinegar.

Keep Darks Their Darkest

White the distressed look is on trend, there are plenty of dark clothes that you want to keep looking brand new and free of fading. Use these to maintain the darkness:

  • Before your washer enters the rinse cycle, add two cups of brewed tea or coffee.
  • Take a cup of table salt and put it into the rinse cycle for colors like plum purple or navy blue to help them maintain their color.

Eliminate Laundry Odors

When you buy new clothes, they often have a scent to them that can be difficult to eliminate with just detergent alone. In this instance, you can grab the baking soda and white vinegar from your pantry to get the job done. Use the following instructions:

  • Presoak your laundry for approximately two hours in one gallon of water and a half cup of baking soda.
  • During the rinse cycle, drop a half cup of white vinegar into your washing machine.

Eradicate Yellow Stains

Issues like cigarette smoke, sweat and gas can cause white clothes and linens to take on a yellowed hue that you want to get rid of. Baking soda and table salt can be your best friend when it comes to getting rid of yellow stains. Take a large cooking pot, fill it with water and then place one-fourth of a cup of salt and then another of baking soda into the pot. Boil this for an hour and use it in the wash to whiten your whites.

Clean Your Washing Machine

To ensure that your washing machine always cleans your laundry perfectly, you need to keep your washing machine clean and disinfected. Grab your mouthwash and toss a half a cup into your machine. Simply run through a cycle to clean your machine. Make sure that the mouthwash contains alcohol so that it has the ability to disinfect.

Curtains and Rugs

While curtains and rugs are not a weekly part of your laundry regimen, you still want to ensure that when you clean these items, you are getting them as clean as possible. To keep the colors of both of these as bright as possible, you want to put your usual detergent into the washing machine and then toss in a half cup of salt. The combination of the salt and laundry detergent is sure to brighten your curtains and rugs, while also getting them as clean as possible in between the times you wash them.

In addition to speeding up how long it takes to get your laundry done, these tips will ensure that your laundry is as clean as possible. You can start working all of these into your laundry routine to make laundry feel like less of a chore.

Tricks for Easy Laundry Pre-Treatment

There are several stains that will not just come out with a basic cycle in the washing machine. In these instances, you have to pre-treat your laundry so that you can remove those difficult stains quickly and easily. There are a number of tips you can use to ensure that you are properly and productively pre-treating your laundry.

Remove the Stain ASAP

The longer you allow a stain to set, the harder it is going to be to remove. As soon as a stain starts, remove the garment or take the linen into your laundry room. Make sure that you pre-treat right away and then wash the garment or linen. If the item is something that is marked dry clean only, you should pre-treat, try to gently remove the stain and then ensure that the area dries. Never leave a pre-treated item wet for hours because this can result in mildew developing and causing a funny smell.

Hot Water and Detergent

Make sure that you are using a detergent that has enzyme pre-treatment products in it. Most of the big name brands do. Use a little detergent and the hottest water possible to soak the garment for approximately 15 minutes. Be very careful that you do not burn yourself with the water. After the 15 minutes, gently scrub or blot the stain, depending on the fabric and cause of the stain. Then, simply wash the garment or linen in the hottest water your washer allows and detergent to finish the stain removal.

Create a Pre-Treatment Basket for Easy Stain Removal

You want to have everything you need to remove stains in one spot so that when a stain occurs, you can quickly grab what you need and get to work. Keep the following handy for easy stain removal:

  • Acetone
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Enzyme pre-treatment spray
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Spot remover or another type of solvent
  • White vinegar
  • Ammonia
  • Color bleach
  • Eye dropper
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Soft brush
  • Spray bottles for the liquid products

Common Stains and How to Remove Them

Protein Stains

  • Examples include blood, sweat, milk and eggs
  • Presoak the items in tepid or cold water with liquid laundry detergent and enzyme products.
  • Run through a washing machine cycle with the appropriate bleach
  • Never use hot water

Grease Stains

  • Examples include oil and butter
  • Pre-treat with dish soap or a pre-treatment spray
  • Wash in the hottest water possible for the fabric

Plant-Based Stains

  • Examples include coffee, wine, grass, tea and juice
  • Immediately flush the stain and then use a pre-treatment enzyme directly on the stain
  • Wash the garment or linen with the appropriate bleach

Ink and Markers

  • Examples include drawing ink, ballpoint ink and felt tip ink
  • Use acetone or another solvent on this type of stain. To ensure that the stain does not spread, apply the solvent carefully with an eyedropper. Repeat this until the stain is gone and then put the linen or garment through a washing machine cycle

Inorganic Stains

  • Examples include mineral deposits and rust
  • Use lemon juice, white vinegar, rust remover or something acidic to treat the stain
  • Never use chlorine bleach for this type of stain because it makes it worse
  • Launder the garment

Use these pre-treatment tips to ensure that you can easily remove the stains from your laundry. These work for all kinds of stains, including those that can be difficult to remove, such as grass, red wine and blood. After using the pre-treatment method, wash the clothes as usual.