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7 Clothing Items You Should Never Put In the Washing Machine

When it’s time to do the wash, there is nothing more convenient than just putting all your clothes in the washing machine. However, there are some items that should be washed in a different way, otherwise, they can get damaged, deformed, or last less time than you want them to.

The easiest way to find out whether a particular item can be machine washed is to check its label. If you see an icon that looks like a crossed out bowl of water, it’s best to not machine wash it. But if the label is missing, this article might just come in handy.

5-Minute Crafts would like to tell you about 7 clothing items that you should never put in the washing machine.

1. Memory foam pillows

Machine washing them can soften the foam, which gives the pillow its memory effect. In some cases, the foam can even break into pieces, and you’ll have to just throw away the pillow.

How to wash: Memory foam is usually hypoallergenic and dust-mite resistant, so it stays clean longer than a normal pillow. You can simply clean the stained areas by hand with a mild detergent 1 to 2 times a year. Alternatively, if your pillow can be hand-washed, you can wash it in a sink or a tub with water and a fragrance-free detergent. Then gently squeeze the pillow to remove the water and allow it to air dry.

❗ Some memory foam pillows can still be machine washed, but only if it’s indicated on the product label.

2. Clothing made from delicate fabrics

Items made from wool, velvet, silk, and cashmere are not machine washable. The abrasive motion of your washing machine can damage the structure of these delicate fabrics and deform them even after just one wash cycle.

How to wash: By hand, in warm water, and using a mild detergent. It’s best if the detergent is intended for delicate fabrics. In the end, wring out the garment slightly, but don’t twist it — so as not to deform it. Then wrap it in a dry towel and place it on a drying rack.

❗ Some silk items may say “dry clean only” on their tags. Thus, it’s not recommended to wash these items by hand. It’s better to get them dry cleaned.

3. Items with decorative elements

Garments with embroidery, lace, and decorative elements like beads and sequins may not withstand a machine wash. Lace can get torn should it come into contact with buttons, hooks, and other garment accessories, and other decorative elements can get damaged or fall off.

How to wash: By hand, unless there is a dry cleaning icon on the tag. If only dry cleaning is allowed, wrap the decorative elements in foil or cloth so that chemicals won’t damage them.

4. Bras

Machine washing can deform and stretch out the bra cups, and the hooks can snag on other clothes and damage them.

How to wash: By hand. Use cold water and a mild detergent for delicate fabrics. After washing, gently wring out the bra to avoid damaging the fabric. Then spread it out on a flat surface and let dry. Hanging a bra on a drying rack is not a good idea. This can also deform the cups.

❗ If you’re in a hurry, you can still machine wash a bra, but only if special precautions are taken. First, be sure to clasp it so the hooks don’t snag on other items. Second, wash it in cold water to reduce the chances of shrinkage. Third, put your bra in a special wash bag and choose the gentle cycle.

5. Coats, jackets, and suits

Putting coats, jackets, suits, and items with shoulder pads in the washing machine can be a mistake, even if the outer fabric is cotton, polyester, or another machine washable fabric. There are materials between the outer fabric and the lining that help these items fit. They can be seriously damaged and deformed due if they are exposed to water and the abrasive motion of the washing machine. Taking into account the price of most of these items, this may cost you.

How to wash: It is best to take these items to a dry cleaner.

6. Leather items

Leather can shrink when exposed to water. In addition, the surface of the item may get deformed and “wrinkled.”

How to wash: Individual stains can be removed with a damp cloth, and the entire garment can be cleaned with a special leather care product.

7. Clothes covered in pet hair

It’s not so easy to remove pet hair from clothes. But if you put these clothes in the washing machine, the hair can clump and adhere to clothing, stick to the sides of a washing machine drum, or clog the machine’s drain pipes making the machine less efficient over time.

How to wash: Remove pet hair before machine washing. This can be done with a lint roller or a rubber glove. Just moisten it with water and run your hand over the item.

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