7. Baby socks
You haven’t been imagining, the washing machine does eat up socks, especially small ones. “Small items like socks, baby clothes, and even small washcloths can get stuck in washing machines hoses and vents,” according to Stapf. To make sure no socks get lost in the cycle, put them, along with other small items in an enclosed mesh bag.
8. Throw blankets
Those cozy throw blankets are likely to get extra use this holiday season, as most of us are mostly staying indoors anyway. While it’s important to clean them every once in a while, bear in mind that most throw blankets are dry clean only. Always check the tag before you pop them in the machine. If you try to machine-wash a blanket that isn’t designed for it, it could lose its soft feel or shrink, depending on the material.
9. Pet hair
If you have a cat or a dog, or any other type of furry friend roaming around the house, you surely know that per hair can end up everywhere – on your jacket, on the rug, on the bedding, you name it. But before you put any of those items in the washing machine, be sure to shake off or vacuum the pet hair. If that hair clumps up in the washer, it might clog the drain pumps and stick to the sides of the wash cylinder, causing the machine lasting damage.
10. Excessive detergent
The old saying ‘less is more’ is applicable when it comes to the amount of detergent you use per cycle. While it’s easy to think the more detergent you use the cleaner the laundry will be, the opposite is true. Detergent residue can build up in the washer — and on clothes — resulting in unpleasant odors in the machine, clothes that are not completely rinsed, and over time, can cause machine components to fail.
11. Excessive loads
It can be tempting to stuff as much as you can into your washing machine, just to get it all done quicker. However, you won’t actually be doing yourself or your washing machine any favors by that. When the machine is too full there’s no wiggle room left for the laundry to move around and actually get washed. Moreover, overstuffing could damage the suspension and bearings of your washing machine.