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Beginner's guide: How to use a washing machine

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 A washing machine will cut your house chores by half (Photo: iStock)

Having a washing machine can change your life literally. They are super convenient, and that means no more backaches and long hours of handwashing each item one by one.

Although washing machines can be a little expensive initially, they can help you save a lot of time and money in the long run. There are machines at different price points, some fully automatic and others semi-automatic, so you have a variety to pick from.

If you’re planning to buy one soon or have recently bought a machine and you’re still learning how to operate it, these simple tips will come in handy.

What you will need:

The main thing you need is a soap that is suitable for your washing machine. They have been made with different formulas from other types of soaps so they will be gentler on your clothes and washing machine as well.

Therefore, make sure you have the right soap for machine use whether it’s in liquid or powder form. You could also decide to have some machine-friendly fabric conditioner for added fragrance and a machine-friendly prewash stain remover to remove tough stains.

Step one

The first step is to do the prepping. Confirm on the labels of your clothes if they are safe to be washed in a washing machine.

You also need to separate the light clothes from the dark clothes so that dark dyes don’t end up staining your light clothes.

The final prepping step is to choose an appropriate amount of laundry to wash in one go so that it’s not too heavy on your washing machine. This will depend on the number of kilograms your machine can handle.

Step two

Put your clothes in the washing machine and close the lid securely. That will be at the front if it’s a front loader or at the top for top loaders. Confirm once again that there is enough space for your clothes to move around.

Step three

Next, open the detergent drawer on your washing machine. This is the place where you pour in the soap, fabric softener and prewash. Confirm on the manual the correct section for each product and the correct amount to put.

In some machines, you could also use detergent pods. If that is what you’re using, just toss it in along with your laundry.

For semi-automatic machines, it will be a little different. You first let some water fill in then pour in enough detergent.

Step four

Ensure that the detergent drawers have been closed securely. Then, power on and select the appropriate options depending on the materials you’re washing, how heavy they are, how soiled they are and whether you want to do a prewash cycle, among other options.

You will also need to select your options for rinsing and drying or spinning. With this step, you have to follow the instruction manual for your specific machine because they are all different.

When you’re all done, start the cycle.

Step five

When the time is done, all you need to do is remove your clothes and fold them, if your machine is a washer and dryer combo that is. If it had a spinning option, you will need to hang your clothes outside to dry them properly.

For a semi-automatic, you will need to drain the water, add more for rinsing then spin before you hang your clothes to dry.

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