Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How to use a Washing Machine

Here's a step-by step guide on how to use a washing machine. Please note that for different type of washing machines, there may be a little bit of variation (but general rules still apply).

electrolux-ewf14108-washing-machine Electrolux EWF14108 Washing Machine

NOTE : Best is to READ your User Manual prior to using your Washing Machine.

Step 1 : SORTING

Separate your clothes into the following piles to be washed separately :

1. White (and Light-colored clothes) vs Dark clothes
2. Heavy vs Light clothes
3. Heavily-soiled vs Lightly-soiled clothes
4. Normal vs Delicate fabric
5. Dry Cleaning Only


Take note of the type of detergent that you can use for your washing machine.

For Top Load - normal detergent is ok

For Front Load - low sud forming detergent
Such as Persil

Softener & bleach is optional.
Note that NOT all type of fabric can use softener / bleach.

In order to determine the amount to be added in, please refer to your Washing Machine Manual and Detergent/Softener/Bleach packaging instructions.

However, here's some guidelines on the amount of detergent to use :

1. For heavily soiled clothes, add in some detergent into prewash compartment and fill up 100% of washing compartment.

2. For delicates, fill up 25% of washing compartment.

3. For delicate bedsheet material (such as Egyptian Cotton Sateen), fill up 25% of washing compartment.


Load your clothes loosely into the washing machine drum. This is to minimise tangling of clothes after the washing is done.

Look at your manual on how much amount (weight / volume) of clothings that you can fit into your washer per loading of each type of clothes.

Rule of thumb (for Front-Load) :
1. For normal clothing - up till 3/4 height of the drum
2. For heavy items like bedsheet - up till 1/2 height of the drum

Ensure the following before throwing in your clothes :
1. The pockets are empty (to prevent damage to drum).
2. The cuffs are unrolled (to prevent damage to clothes).
3. The zips and buttons are closed (to prevent clothes from getting out of shape).


It is recommended to refer to your Washing Machine User Manual for instructions on which settings to be used for different type of clothings.

Washer Settings

However, here's my recommendation :


1. White & Light-colored fabric
- Hot Water (min. 120 deg Fehrenheit / 50 deg Celcius)

2. Dark & Colored fabric
- Cold Water (around 60-80 deg Fehrenheit / 16-27 deg Celcius)

3. Different type of fabrics mixed together
- Use Synthetics Options

4. Very delicate fabric
- Use Hand Wash Option (this is the most delicate option for washing clothes)

5. Socks
- Cold Water

6. Bedsheet set
- Cold Water

7. To kill dust mite (for Asthmatic and Allergy prevenion)
- Hot Water (min. 130 deg Fehrenheit / 55 deg Celcius)


1. Delicate fabric
- No spinning

2. Normal clothes
- Around 600 rpm

3. Jeans and Linen
- Higher than 600 rpm (so that it dries easier)

4. Different type of fabrics mixed together
- Use a special bag to put in your delicate items (dunno what this is called though)

Optional Washer Cycles (Normally found in Washing Machines)

1. Extra Long

- A longer wash time, good for seriously dirty clothing such as sports uniforms.

2. Extra Rinse

- Adds another rinse to get out more dirt and detergent.

3. Extra Spin

- More spin time gets more water out of absorbent items such as towels or comforters.

4. Hand Wash

- If you own a number of fine washables and neither the time nor the desire to wash them by hand, this is a good option to have.

5. Prewash / Presoak

- A brief cycle before the main cycle, designed to help remove dirt and stains.

6. Quick Wash

- A shorter wash option for clothing that's only lightly soiled. It saves water and wear and tear on the clothes.

7. Sanitize

- Offers a few minutes of extra-hot water mid-cycle to kill bacteria and other germs. Good for families with frequent illnesses and allergies.


Do not that most of Front Loader door would not be able to be opened once the washing starts. This is not a problem for Top Loader though.

When the whole cycle end, it is best to open the door as soon as possible, so that the clothes inside won't get smelly over time.


Following are to be noted :

1. Prior to using the Washing Machine for the first time, run the washing machine in hot water setting (around 90 degree Celcius) without any loading of clothes. This is to get rid of debris and dust in the machine during manufacturing stage. This is to be repeated once in every 3 months.

2. When washing machines are not used for prolonged time, remove the water faucets (valves) as this will prevent any leakage occurring on valves and hoses.

3. When your washing machine has not been used for a fortnight, wash with hot water and this will eliminate the hydrogen gas collected in the water heater.

Enjoy your washings!

P.S. This post is dedicated to Ferene, for asking me how to use a Washing Machine

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