Ordinary Items That Can Damage a Washing Machine

Fred's Appliance
May 8, 2014


According to EnergyStar.gov, the average American family washes approximately 300 loads each year –  which translates into roughly 1 load per day (a little less). It’s an essential item in today’s age that most people couldn’t live without. But throwing some otherwise ordinary items into your washing machine can place it at risk for damage. Here we’re going to reveal 4 common items that can damage a washing machine.

#1) Loose Change

Washing a pair of jeans with a handful of loose change in the pocket may seem insignificant enough, but those nickels and dimes can turn into violent projectiles when the unit begins to agitate. The centrifugal force of a washing machine will aggressively toss loose change around, placing its mechanical components at risk for serious damage.

This problem is easily prevented by checking your pockets beforehand. You can even pull the pockets out to ensure that each and every garment is coin-free. It only takes a couple seconds to check your pockets for change, but doing so could save you hundreds of dollars worth of repairs in the long run.

#2) Excess Detergent

When it comes to pouring detergent in a washing machine, it’s usually best to follow the “less is more” approach. Contrary to what some people may believe, more detergent doesn’t necessarily mean cleaner clothes. The excess detergent may get stuck down inside the cracks of crevasses of the unit, promoting the growth of mold and mildew.

Refrain from using no more than the amount specified on the detergent label. Whether it’s powder or liquid, you should measure each load according to the product’s specifications.

#3) Large Zippers

Another ordinary item that can damage washing machines is large zippers. Much like coins, the unit’s agitation will toss the zipper around, slamming it against the glass door and potentially even ripping other garments in the load. You probably won’t be able to remove zippers from your garments, but you can pull them up to reduce the risk of it snagging other clothes.

#4) Wet Clothes

I think we’ve all been guilty of leaving wet clothes in the washing machine at some point or another. When wet clothes are left in the unit, though, it encourages mold and mildew to grow. The moisture from the clothes will seep down inside the unit, leading to unpleasant odors that can linger for several subsequent loads. Try to get into the habit of immediately transferring your clothes to the dryer once they’ve finished washing.

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