If you’ve just purchased your first washing machine you might still be worrying whether you’ve bought a good washing machine, how to use the different settings correctly, and what type of detergent you should buy. You might even need some pointers for how to use a washing machine for the first time. But it couldn’t be simpler, just follow our step-by-step guide for how to use washing machines, below.
Make Sure the Machine is Correctly Installed
Whether you’re doing this yourself, or the service has been provided as part of your purchase, you’ll want to know that your washing machine is set up the right way from the start. Consult the manufacturer’s instruction manual and check the water and electricity are connected properly, and the machine is placed on a level surface in a dry, safe location.
Sorting Your Clothes
Before you load your washing machine, be sure to check the care labels on your clothes and divide them into piles of garments of the same:
- colour (darks/colours/lights)
- fabric (e.g.: cotton, synthetics, wool, silk)
- maximum temperature (hand wash/30/40/60/90 degrees)
A guide to the symbols on care labels can usually be found in the manufacturer’s instruction manual for your machine. Alternatively, check out our guide.
How to Load a Washing Machine
The majority of washing machines in the UK are fully-automatic: they do everything for you – washing, rinsing, and spinning. But they are made in different shapes and sizes: some are top-loading; others are front loading, drum capacities range from 5kg to 10kg. It’s important that you learn how many clothes your machine can wash at one time, since an over-loaded machine can malfunction, or damage you fabrics. Most manufacturers’ instructions contain a guide.
Choose the Right Washing Machine Cycle
Modern washing machines use intelligent technology and sensors to adjust the cycle to the type of clothes you are washing. However, you should take care choosing the right temperature water, the correct amount of agitation, and how fast the drum should spin. All these elements will effect how well your clothes are washed. Many machines now have the following useful settings:
- Hand-wash/delicate/dry clean
- Shoes/Sports clothes
- Cold wash (30 degrees)
- Variable spin speeds
- Opt-in/out rinse cycles
Add an Appropriate Detergent
Different brands of washing detergent recommend different methods of adding it to the wash – some suggest you add detergent directly to the drum, along with your clothes; others believe you should add it to the pull-out detergent tray in your machine. Whether you’re using liquid or powder detergent, always make sure it is suited to the fabric you are washing and follow the instructions on the packaging. Also check your machine’s instruction guide to find out what is recommended for your machine.