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TIPS WHEN USING A FRONT LOAD WASHING MACHINE

Laundry has never been an award-winning job, however, there are some habits everyone needs to adopt to minimise the rework mistakes create.

1. Check all pockets. You can tell them until you are blue in the face but you will be the one left with the problems a wayward pen, tissue or phone creates.

2. Wash any new garment on its own. No exception. It feels strange and wasteful to wash only one garment but follow the washing instructions and this will set the colour in the garment and avoid any laundry colour run surprises in the near future.

3. Separate lighter and darker garments. You may not always have a full load of lights compared to darks but you can achieve this happy balance with a half wash. Reset you water level if necessary.

These tips will avoid a great deals of laundry mishaps. It will increase the wearability and life of your clothes, again, savings you time and money.

Setting up

Although it is an exciting purchase, we are always a little weary of a new machine in our laundry. We don’t change machines very often and we get used to our old machine.

Front loaders are different to top loaders. They come with a safety device called a transit bolts. There are four of them, one in each corner at the back of the machine. Their purposes is to secure the drum within the machine when the machine is being transported from one place to another. These bolts MUST be removed before the first wash or your front loader could incur damage. Removal will require a spanner or some similar sort of tool. Refer to the manual for comprehensive instructions.

Check where the water hose is. It will probably be sitting in the drum when the washer is delivered. Again, check the manual for instructions for hose installation. It may require a plumber for installation.

Spin the inner drum to check it has freedom of movement.

It is always a good idea to put the machine though a cycle garment free to begin with. This will guarantee any small particles or dirt picked up at the time of manufacture will be washed away. You do not have to insert laundry liquid with this initial cycle.

Retailers sell washing machine stands which serve two purposes. It stops any marks being left of the floor from the machine. Also, it raises the machine so you don’t have to bend right over to load and unload the machine. Quiet a good investment at the time of purchase.

What program is best?

The newer machines have some standard washes across the board and barring you needing a specific cycle that isn’t offered, the new machine will have all your programs covered. Newer machines also have cycles that take a little longer. Research the companies have undertaken show that less water with a longer wash time can create cleaner clothes so the manufacturers have programmed machines accordingly. It also promotes water and energy efficiency.

Pre-wash

Designed for deeply dirty clothes. Offers a presoak to shift the embedded soiling.

Hot

Lighter coloured garments respond well to hot water, especially white. Make sure no coloured garments are caught in this wash. Their dye will run onto the lighter coloured garments.

Cold

This is the safest setting. It is always good to wash a new garment in a cold wash as it fixes the colour to the garment. It will also guard against your darker clothes losing colour.

Woolens

This is an important setting for all woolen clothes. Heat makes wool shrink so this is a very specific temperature setting to protect your woolens garments.

Quick wash

Designed to freshen clothes. This is a short wash and is more to remove odours than stains.

Delicates

Designed to replicate a hand wash, this cycle will slowly move the water around. It does not have the intensity of other washes, nor will it spin quickly. The aim is to keep the garments’ shape. As an added safety measure, put the garments in a laundry bag. This will further guard against its shape being compromised.

Heavy

It is important to remember; really dirty clothes need just as much care as delicates if you want to get the best outcome. The compromise with a heavy wash is that it takes longer because it requires an extra spin cycle. ¬ Normal/Regular This is the default cycle for most washers. Most items we wear are cotton and that is what this wash is designed for. The water is moved around quickly to dislodge as much dirt and grime as possible and the spin cycle should take the bulk of the water out of your garments.

Rinse

This cycle can be used for more reasons than you think. This can be used again after a cycle has finished to eliminate any extra detergent. Especially for those in the house that may have sensitivities or allergies. Perhaps you have an infant with sensitive skin that may benefit from the extra rinse cycle. If you wanted to freshen up a garment quickly, you could use this cycle as it would remove any odours.

Detergent levels

Front loaders do not require as much water as top loaders so the good news is you do not need as much detergent. The inbuilt detergent dispenser will gradually allow the detergent to flow into the cycle. In the event of adding the laundry detergent manually, it requires only 1 teaspoon. Laundry softener will be the same measurement. Top loaders generally have two dispensers. The first for laundry detergent, the second for softener. Do not expose the dispensers after the cycle has begun. Sticking to the instructions in the manual is key. Detergent levels are important and you may damage or clog the machine with the wrong levels so make sure you consult the manual. Most machines will display a maximum level for the detergent so look for this. If you see a build up of detergent in the dispenser wipe this out. It may add to congesting the machine or pipes with the excess.

Is softener required?

It has a couple of uses. It gives your washing that little bit of extra freshness, as well as combating static. Do not add softener to microfibre garments. It destroys the coating on the material and compromises the longevity of the product. Sporting clothing is also a no no for softener as they have technology that reduces sweating. This will damage the coating that the sweat reduction provides. Definitely do not use it on items that are flammable i.e. children night ware. It will increase the flammability.