Surprisingly enough, there are many things that you thought should not be washed that will actually make it through the washing machine just fine. In some cases, the item will come out cleaner and more sanitized than had you washed it by hand.
Here are 14 things that you didn’t know could be washed in a washing machine:
- Sports Uniforms And Gear – Yes, even those shin guards and knee pads can go in the wash. First, make sure that all Velcro straps are closed, and place all of the padded pieces in a mesh laundry bag before throwing them into the washing machine. Use a gentle cycle with regular detergent. Never put sports gear into a dryer with heat.
- Yoga Mats – If your washer has a center agitator, arrange the mat around the center so it does not become unbalanced. Balance the wash loadout by throwing in a couple of towels. Select the gentle cycle with warm or cool water. Allow the mat to dry on a clothesline or drying rack. If you need it immediately, roll up the mat in a dry, absorbent towel.
- Fabric or Vinyl Gym Bags And Backpacks – Unless it is made of leather, turn the bag inside out and throw the backpack or gym bag into a regular load of laundry. Just make sure the pack is completely emptied out first, checking every pocket. If necessary, add a disinfectant to the wash cycle.
- Canvas Sneakers – Remove the shoelaces to wash separately, remove the insole inserts, and put the shoes inside a mesh laundry bag. Wash them in warm water. If your dryer comes with a shoe rack, use it for drying on low heat or air dry.
- Toys – Small plastic toys, like LEGOs, bath-time toys, or action heroes, can be put inside a mesh laundry bag and washed in warm water. Add a disinfectant if desired. Air dry them when the load is done.
- Stuffed Toys – Provided the stuffed toy does not have inner electronic or mechanical components that cannot be removed, it is good to wash. Put the plush inside a mesh laundry bag to protect any button-style eyes, and wash in cool or warm water.
- Lunch Bags – Wash them in warm or cool water on a gentle cycle. Air dry when done.
- Reusable Grocery Bags – Some bags come with washing instructions. If not, be sure to remove any inserts or dividers, and then put them in the wash.
- Silicone Kitchen Items – Toss your silicone baking mats, molds, tools, and oven mitts into the regular wash. Place them inside a mesh laundry bag if they are small to keep them from becoming disfigured in the wash.
- Oven Mitts And Hot Pads – Throw in the cloth oven mitts and hot pads when you do a load of kitchen towels. Just make sure you never wash a mitt that is specially treated for heat resistance.
- Mop heads And Other Cleaning Supplies – Remove the mop head from the handle, and put small cleaning items in a mesh laundry bag. Throw them in with a load of towels, and use hot water with a good detergent.
- Small Area Rugs – Unless your rug is clearly marked with dry clean only, even those with a rubber backing can be washed. Never use bleach or disinfectant on a rubber rug since the bleach may cause the rubber to begin flaking off. Always air dry rugs.
- Shower Curtains – Toss your plastic or fabric shower curtain into the washer with a load of towels. Loofahs and bath poofs can also be washed in the washing machine using a mesh laundry bag, but allow them to air dry and never put them in a high-heat dryer.
- Pillows – Polyester-filled, as well as feather pillows, can be washed in the washing machine. Just be careful not to overfill the washer which will set it off balance.