10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know You Could Clean in a Washing Machine

If you’re part of the many Filipino households with a washer and dryer at home, you’ll know full well how valuable such an equipment is. Instead of spending hours washing clothes by hand or hiring the services of a labandera (laundress), you can simply throw your soiled clothes in your washing machine, and you are practically done.

However, if you think that your unit is only suitable for washing garments, you have another think coming. This equipment is so practical that you can buy a washing machine from any appliances store these days. Indeed, there are numerous items you are probably cleaning by hand that you can conveniently pop in the washer to maintain its good condition. From stuffed toy animals and pillows to reusable grocery bags and backpacks, here are ten things you probably didn’t know you could clean in your washing machine.

Stuffed Toys

If you want to keep your children’s stuffed animals free from dust and dirt, you don’t have to spend your precious weekend brushing each one by hand. All you need to do is put all the toys inside the mesh bag and use the gentle cycle to get rid of deep-seated dirt and germs. After rinsing, be sure to air-dry the toys to keep their fluffiness. Avoid drying them in a tumble dryer and on a heated setting as these could damage their fur and other parts.. You can also use an electric fan if you want to speed up the drying time. 


You may not realize it, but airing out your pillows is not enough to keep them fresh. You must also wash them every three to six months to get rid of foul odors, bacteria, , and dust mites. Cleaning your pillows is a breeze. Just put them in the washer, add a bit of mild detergent, and wash using a gentle setting. You can choose to dry on low heat or let them air dry for a few  hours under the heat of the sun.

Mop Heads

Modern mops have removable heads to make cleaning more convenient. Stop washing them with your bare hands and let your machine do all the work for you. First, dip the mop heads into a bucket of soapy water to get rid of excess grime and dirt. Leave them in there for at least an hour. Then, chuck them into your washing machine, and wash them on a normal cycle using a mild detergent. Afterward, rinse, remove excess water, and hang them up to dry.

Backpacks and Lunch Bags

Make sure that your kids’ backpacks and cloth lunch bags are always ready for the school week by giving them a thorough wash at least every other weekend. Before placing them in the washer, make it a point to check every pocket to remove coins, pens, and other items that can harm your unit. Put the bags in a laundry bag or pillowcase, and run the machine using a gentle cycle with a bit of mild detergent. Opt to air dry after rinsing to protect the material from heat damage.

Canvas Grocery Bags

Your reusable grocery bags are exposed to dirt and germs as they go from the shopping cart to the trunk of your car and later to the top of your kitchen table. Be sure they are clean enough to carry your food items by throwing them in the washer—as you would your ordinary garments—after each use.


Slipcovers and cushion covers made of cotton, chino, denim, hemp, and linen are safe to throw in the washing machine. Just use cold water and mild detergent, and set the program to gentle wash. Don’t use bleach to maintain the integrity and color of the fabric. Air-dry the covers until slightly damp, and put them on your sofa immediately for a secure fit.

Shower Curtains

Did you know that you don’t have to brush your plastic shower curtains manually to clean them? All you have to do is place the dirty shower curtain in the washer and use warm water and a mild detergent. Afterward, hang the clean curtain to dry, and you are all set.

Table Linens

Ensure that your fabric tablecloths, placemats, and cloth napkins are always ready for family reunions, birthday parties, fiestas and other special celebrations by throwing them into the laundry machine after each use. Use a standard wash cycle, but skip the fabric softener and the heated dryer setting to prevent the possibility of blackish or brownish marks forming on light-colored fabrics. . Just hang the items to dry naturally.


Dirty sneakers used to be in style in the 90s, but not anymore. Fortunately, you don’t have to clean your favorite pair using a toothbrush since—believe it or not—you can use your washer to freshen up your kicks, as long as they don’t have leather or false leather trimmings. Sprinkle your shoes with baking soda and leave overnight. Next, remove the laces and put them in a separate laundry bag. Wipe mud or dirt from your sneakers before placing them inside the machine with a couple of towels to balance the load. Use the gentle cycle and always air dry to prevent heat damage.

Baseball Caps

Impress your teen or husband who loves baseball caps by cleaning their collection. Just spray each one with a stain remover and let the solution sit for about five minutes before throwing the caps in the washer. Wash them using a gentle cycle and air dry to make them look good as new.

The next time you go checking out your local retailer for appliances for sale, consider getting a high-quality washer. It’s quite clear that a washing machine is a must-have versatile appliance. With this sturdy machine, you can ensure that your family has fresh, clean clothes to wear every day without breaking a sweat, and you also don’t have to ruin your soft hands cleaning many other items you probably never thought you could clean in a washer in the first place. So, the next time you need to clean everyday items—especially those that are made of fabric—check whether your reliable unit can do the dirty work for you. Chances are, it probably could.

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