The unexpected culprit in your winter wardrobe that could be ruining your washing machine, revealed by laundry expert

According to a laundry expert, your winter jumpers just might be ruining your washing machine – here’s how to avoid this. 

As everyone knows, there is laundry routine protocol that is highly suggested for optimal results – for example, washing whites with whites, putting towels and sheets on hot water… the list goes on for how you can achieve a dream laundry room. However, did you know that certain clothes can actually decrease the lifespan of your washing machine if you’re not careful? We certainly didn’t.

According to Ian Palmer-Smith, appliance expert at Domestic & General, there are actually some rather sneaky ways that you could be unknowingly decreasing your washing machine’s life span – and one of them involves a beloved winter wardrobe favourite.

Read on for the five ways you could be slowly ruining your washing machine.

1. Not cleaning the lint from winter jumpers out of the machine

According to Ian, this is one of the most common laundry mistakes people make, especially in the winter time. “Whilst lint may not seem like a potential threat to the maintenance of your washing machine, over time the build up can begin to cause problems,” he said. “Washing machines have a lint filter to help gather and trap these fibres, but if not removed on a regular basis, this can leave the machine in need of a washing machine repair.”

If you needed advice on how to clean your washing machine, this is a good first step.

cleaning lint out of washing machine

cleaning lint out of washing machine

2. Loading your machine above 80% capacity

Point blank: don’t stuff your washing machine to the brim, says Ian.

“As a general guide, I’d suggest aiming to fill your machine so it is around 80% full. Your washing machine requires the right amount of water to wash effectively,” he noted. “If you stuff the machine too much, you may find clothes are coming out less clean and still with visible marks intact. Not only can this be frustrating, but also comes at a price.”

3. Using too much detergent

We know, the detergent smells so good – and you want your clothes to smell good too. However, you can, indeed, put too much in your machine, says Ian, and this could be detrimental to your machine over time.

“Excessive amounts of detergent could also damage your washing machine due to the build up and leftover residue. Over time, this can prevent the water from flowing as usual and may even result in a leak that calls for a washing machine repair,” he revealed. He also noted that using too much detergent could leave your clothes and linens feeling slimy or sticky – and no one wants that.

laundry room with laundry baskets for separates to show how to soften towels when washinglaundry room with laundry baskets for separates to show how to soften towels when washing

laundry room with laundry baskets for separates to show how to soften towels when washing

4. Not having the washer sit flat on the ground

It seems pretty obvious that you would want your laundry machines flat on the ground, but your machine may not be level, and you aren’t even aware of it. “One of the more important steps to take when you first install a washing machine is to make sure the machine sits level. This may seem obvious, but an uneven washing machine can shift around during a spin cycle which could potentially lead to damage or dents in the machine,” Ian said.

However, there’s a quick fix: “To avoid this mistake, check that all feet are touching the ground and adjust the front-levelling legs to the right height.”

5. Not cleaning your washing machine regularly

How do you clean the washing machine, you ask? It’s easy – simply run a hot cycle with no clothes in the machine, and put a small amount of white vinegar in to reduce bacteria and residue that’s built up over time.

This makes a huge difference, Ian said. “If it’s been a while since you last cleaned your machine, or have never done so, you will be able to spot a noticeable difference in the cleanliness of your laundry,” he noted.