How can I optimize the use of my washing machine?

Home appliances

Tips to optimize the use of my washing machine

If you have a washing machine, it is a safe bet that you use it several times a week to enjoy clean laundry without making any effort. This major household appliance is one of the first to buy when moving into a house or apartment that has a suitable water supply.


However, using a washing machine well is more than just popping your laundry in, filling the detergent drawer and running a combination cycle to make sure your clothes come out clean. There are many tips that can optimize the use of a washing machine to make it more efficient with each wash, but also to increase its lifespan. Here are the ones you can apply now!

Optimize your machine wash cycle


Choose the right wash cycle


There is now, on most washing machines, at least one mixed program which allows you to wash all your laundry at 30°C or 40°C, without having to sort it. It is a very practical solution when you are short of time on a daily basis, but it is often not the most effective.

First of all, not sorting before washing your laundry puts you at risk of washing delicate laundry at an unsuitable temperature. Some pieces of clothing must even be cold washed so as not to alter their lifespan, such as swimsuits. It is therefore useful to sort your laundry out!

Conversely, some clothes and fabrics should be washed at higher temperatures. Sheets, tea towels and towels should generally be washed at 60°C to kill bacteria. This is also the case for some underwear. Therefore, the ideal is to take the time to sort your laundry, and wash it in the machine with the right wash cycle.

Choose liquid detergent


Powder detergent has its followers, liquid detergent too. In reality, both detergents have advantages and disadvantages. Powder detergent is more suitable for washing whites and heavily soiled laundry, but it can clog your washing machine more if you use a low temperature cycle. For its part, liquid detergent is suitable for lightly soiled laundry and leaves less residue on colored laundry.

If you tend to wash mostly mixed and lightly soiled laundry at 30°C or 40°C, it is better to use liquid detergent. You can use powder detergent to wash heavily soiled laundry at 60°C or 90°C, but remember to sort it well.



Use laundry balls


The washing balls are small round accessories, or in the shape of a pebble, which hit the laundry during the cycle, directly in the drum of the washing machine. This not only improves the efficiency of washing and rinsing to obtain cleaner laundry at the end of the wash cycle, but it is also of economic interest since you can opt for a half-load rinse or for a shorter wash cycle depending on the amount of laundry to be washed. Some people do not put detergent when using laundry balls, but it is still recommended to put half a dose of detergent in the machine.

Washing balls usually cost a few euros and they are very durable. If you buy a set, you will probably use it for decades. It is therefore a very good investment.

Optimize the operation of your washing machine


Clean your washing machine regularly


Opening the door of your washing machine and finding that, even after a wash cycle, bad odors come out, is a bad sign. This usually means that you need to carry out a thorough maintenance of the washing machine. Start by cleaning the various containers that hold the detergent and fabric softener: it is not uncommon for residues to accumulate and mold there. You can get rid of it with a mixture of hot water and white vinegar that you can use to scrub with a toothbrush.

Also use this mixture to clean the seals of your washing machine. In this case, use a sponge instead, to go inside the joints, where dirt tends to settle and create bad odors. Remember to rinse and wipe with a clean cloth after your cleaning session.



Descale the drum


Descaling a washing machine is strongly recommended at least once every three months, or even once a month if the water in your home is rich in limestone. This makes it possible to optimize the evacuation of the water but also to avoid overheating of the resistance of the machine and thus to optimize its electrical consumption.

To very easily descale your washing machine, you can fill the detergent drawer with white vinegar and add the equivalent of a glass of coarse salt inside the drum of the machine. The washing machine must be completely empty of any clothing. Then start a wash cycle at 60°C and let the cleaning take place on its own. You can carry out this cleaning before or after the maintenance of the seals of your washing machine and the cleaning of the detergent drawers.

Empty the filter from time to time


If you are the type of person who never thinks about emptying your trouser pockets when washing them in the washing machine, it is very likely that your washing machine's filter is full of old bits of handkerchiefs, receipts or even of coins. Buttons and other clothing fibers also tend to get lodged in this filter, and that is a good thing, since this filter is precisely meant to collect anything that should not be in the washing machine when it is running.

It is therefore necessary to empty the filter of your machine regularly. This is located at the bottom of the drum. It forms a cavity which is protected by a hatch that you must open to access it. Once you have removed all the debris that are there, take advantage of this moment to clean the filter thoroughly using a toothbrush and vinegar water. This will allow you to remove the rest of the residues and get a spotless washing machine.

It only takes a few good reflexes and a few tens of minutes of regular maintenance to keep not only your washing machine, but also your laundry, in perfect condition for a very long time. These are good reasons not to wait any longer to apply these good tips.