23 Sep

Laundry Hacks: 20 Life Changing Washing Machine Tips

The humble washing machine, where would we be without it? For most of us, it’s an essential device we rely on every day, but are you really getting the most out of your washing machine? From fixing problems with your washing machine, to how often you should be washing different garments, we’ve come up with some nifty laundry hacks to help you become a laundry day pro!

Laundry Hacks

Common washing machine problems and how to fix them

Washing machines are pretty sturdy devices, however, regular use can cause a little wear and tear which may result in you needing to carry out a quick fix. Here, we’ve taken a look at some of the most common problems and how to sort them out.

1. The washing machine won’t drain

Uh oh, the washing machine is full of water but it won’t drain away. This is usually caused by a blockage in the pump filter or waste pipe.

Solution: Turn off the washing machine at the isolation switch or unplug it and locate the filter on the bottom right-hand side of the appliance. To remove and clean the filter read our how to guide. If that doesn’t fix it, check that the drain hose has not been crushed, kinked or twisted and that the waste pipe the washing machine is connected to is not blocked.

2. The washing machine door won’t open!

The programme has ended, you can see your freshly washed clothes in there but the door won’t budge.

Solution: Turn the machine off at the plug, wait 60 seconds and then turn it back on again. If this doesn’t work, or there’s still water visible inside the drum, follow our how to guide.

3. The washing machine moves around when spinning

Is your machine making a thunderous noise and bouncing around the room? There are a few ways to fix this problem.

Solution: Check your washing machine is standing level and firmly on all its feet and adjust if necessary. Ensure the floor is firm and that your washing machine is not standing on carpet. A machine that’s not level or unstable is going to move while a spin cycle is underway, which could cause damage. Check the washing machine feet and ensure these are all level too. Also, try to avoid overloading the machine, as this can cause an imbalance.

Washing machine programs explained

Your washing comes with a lot of dials and settings but many of us stick rigidly to using just one or two of these. Here are some of the main washing machine programs explained:

Hand wash - Use this cycle to ensure any delicates aren’t damaged.

Whites - This cycle is ideal for when you want to keep those whites looking bright. Clothes are usually washed in temperatures of around 60°C - 90°C.

Fast wash - Great for small loads that aren’t heavily soiled, this setting washes clothes in half the usual time. You can wash 2kg of clothes in just 14 minutes!

Pre-wash - Trying to get rid of a stain? Use a pre-soak setting with a stain remover before putting the washing on a normal cycle.

Anti-allergy - Do you or does someone in your home suffer from eczema or hayfever? This programme, available on some Beko machines, reduces the number of allergens that can get into the machine. If you have eczema wash clothes separately to others, use a sensitive wash and wash new clothes before you wear them. Check out more useful advice with our washing machine tips for those with eczema.

Woollens - Great during the winter months when you’ll need it more, this setting allows you to wash your knitwear with minimal risk.

Anti-crease - Ideal if you can’t hang your washing up straight away, this setting reduces creases in clothing. Less ironing is always a bonus!

How to get rid of washing machine smells

There’s perhaps nothing worse than going to wash your clothes and getting a whiff of something smelly from the machine. Mould and mildew can easily build-up, resulting in a nasty smell, plus it’s not great for people who have allergies. Here’s how to get rid of it.

I'd recommend giving your washing machine a clean from time to time. Softener, detergent and dirt can build up, causing some unpleasant odours. Clean your machine with a washing machine descaler. Simply add this to your detergent drawer and run a high temperature programme with no washing in the machine.”

Tom McGarry – Beko Laundry Product Manager

Read more about the benefits of and how to descale your washing machine.

Clean out the laundry detergent drawer

Do this at least once a week to remove any excess detergent that could turn smelly and mouldy later.

Look out for self-cleaning functions

Many Beko washing machines come with a self-cleaning function such as DrumClean+ which removes the bacteria that builds up and cleans the drum at a hot 70°C.

Leave the door open after use

Leave your washing machine door open to allow air into the drum, if it’s closed bacteria will fester in the damp.

Wipe down the door seal after each wash

Remove any excess moisture from the door and seal with a clean cloth after each wash. Water trapped in the seal can quickly turn nasty and start to smell.

Washing machine tips that will change your life!

Follow these tips and add them to your everyday routine, for a perfect washing experience every time.

Wash tights and trainers socks in a mesh bag or old pillowcase

This stops tights from snagging and small socks from getting washed away at the end of the cycle.

Do zippers up

Ensure the zippers on trousers are pulled up before washing, this ensures they don’t snag other clothes while in the machine.

Always do an extra spin

This tip is especially helpful in winter. While most cycles end with a spin it’s a good idea to put your clothes through another spin cycle to squeeze those last few drops of water out.

Use vinegar on sweat stains

A little white vinegar rubbed into sweat stains on a white shirt before you pop it in the machine, is a simple but effective stain remover.

A handy trick

Overloading the drum will affect your washing machine’s performance and reduce its life. You should be able to fit your whole hand comfortably in the top of the drum once full.

Turn denim inside out

This stops it from fading and reduces the chances of dye staining other items in the same washload.

Do a dye test

Have you picked up something new but aren’t sure whether the colours will bleed or not? Then dampen a small area of the material and press a white tissue or clean cloth onto it. If any colour transfers, it’s a good idea to wash it separately from your other clothes.

Put fluffy wool in the freezer before washing

If you need to wash any clothing made of fluffy wool, then pop this in the freezer before putting it in the machine. This will reduce piling.

Check out more useful tips with our laundry advice from parents.

What do clothing care symbols mean?

Deciphering clothing care and washing labels can feel like deciphering an alien language. Here, we’ve broken down some of the most common symbols you’ll find on your clothing tags.

Tub with water - This means the garment can be machine washed.

Tub with water plus 30°C - You should machine wash the garment at a 30°C temperature.

Tub with water plus 40°C - This garment should be washed at 40°C in the machine.

Tub with water plus 60°C - You can wash this garment in the machine at temperatures up to 60°C.

Tub with hand - This garment should be hand washed.

Tub with a cross through it - Do not wash this garment.

Tub with water and a single line - Put this garment on a synthetic wash programme.

Tub with water and two lines - This garment should only be washed with a woollen programme.

Circle - This means dry clean only. It may have a number in it which is for the dry cleaner.

Circle with a cross through it - Do not dry clean.

Circle in a square - Tumble dry

Circle in a square with a cross through it - Do not Tumble dry

How often should you wash...

There are some items that simply don’t require washing each time you use/wear them - but when should they be thrown in the machine? What is the recommended amount of time you should leave between washes?

How often should you wash jeans

Every six months for raw denim jeans.

Many of us don’t worry about washing our jeans after each wear, especially if they’re raw denim. We carried out a poll and discovered that 59% of people actually wash their jeans every week! Only 8% wash their jeans once a year.

How often should you wash bedding

Once a week

We spend 8 hours (hopefully) a night sleeping in our beds, so it’s important we keep them clean. According to Microbiologist Philip Tierno  once a week should be the maximum time left between washes.

How often should you wash bras

Every 3-4 wears

Bras can be left a little longer than the other items in your underwear drawer. Plus, they’re expensive and excessive washing can weaken their elastic so you don’t get to enjoy them for as long!

How often should you wash shirts

After each wear

Shirts are lightweight and comfortable but as we sweat throughout the day, they can stain and appear less than fresh. Ensure shirts go into the wash as soon as you get home to keep them in tip-top shape. Pop them on a clothes hanger while they are still damp to encourage creases to drop out and to help them maintain their shape.

How often should you wash gym clothing

After each wear

It can be tempting, if you haven’t worked as hard as usual, to perhaps skip washing your gym gear but lycra and nylon can breed bacteria. So, this means you need to give your kit a wash no matter what exercise you’ve done.