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6 Unexpected Items You Can and Can't Wash in a Laundry Machine

by May Fitzgerald

6 Unexpected Items You Can and Can't Wash in a Laundry Machine

6 Unexpected Items You Can and Can't Wash in a Laundry Machine

You’ve been washing clothes your whole life. Deep down inside, you probably think of yourself as a washing warrior, and that you long ago mastered the secret art of what you can – and cannot – put in the washer.

Well, guess again. We bet that there are some things on this list that will surprise even the most hardened laundry veteran. Sure, everybody knows bras and bathing suits can’t go in the wash, but here’s a list of a few more unexpected items that you either can – or really, really can’t– put in the washer.

Do: Mop heads

Just because mops handle cleaning on their own, doesn’t mean that you can’t give them a little break and clean them, too. Double check the mop head just to be sure, but most removable mop heads can be thrown in the wash, and that way they can live on to clean another day.

Don’t: Flammable stains

6 Unexpected Items You Can and Can't Wash in a Laundry Machine

Unless you are trying to turn your washer and dryer into a Fourth of July fireworks celebration, flammable stains should be kept out of them.

That means things like paint thinner, gasoline, motor oil, cooking oil, and alcohol are all out. Again, unless you really want to launch your washing machine into outer space.

Do: Oven mitts

Oven mitts can easily become prime territory for caked-on, hard-to-clean stains. Lasagna, pizza, and most foods you pull out of the oven seem to be made to spill, and going in and out of the heat of the oven means those stains quickly become annoying to clean.

Don’t do it by hand! Throw those mitts in the washer, and let the laundry machine handle the hard work.

Don’t: Coins

That jingle-jangle noise you hear when you are moving your giant pile of clothes from the hamper to the washing machine? It’s not the pitter-patter of reindeer on the roof. That’s the noise of little armies of pain that are about to descend on your poor washing machine.

You always want to make sure to go through your pockets for any loose change – or gum or other stray products for that matter – before putting clothes in the washer. Coins can mess up your washing machine, and you’ll have to save a whole lot of pennies to go out and buy a new one. Keep a little coin jar by the laundry, and treat yourself to some coffee after a few months, instead.

Do: Yoga mats

After you’ve finished your daily downward facing dog and frequent frog pose, don’t just roll up your yoga mat. You could be tightly rolling it up with all the sweat and perspiration from your workout still in there, and if you use your mat frequently, there’s no reason to leave it with all those nasty germs that could easily be knocked out in a quick wash.

Again, you’ll just want to double check to make sure, but most yoga mats are A-OK to put in the washer.

Don’t: Car keys

Batteries + washer = bad idea. You always want to make sure to check your pockets – yes, all pockets on each item of clothing – before throwing a load in the wash, just to make sure that you didn’t leave anything in there that could damage other clothes, or the washer itself.

As for keys, any remotes or anything attached to them that have batteries are already a bad idea, but the keys could also pinch, puncture, poke, or otherwise destroy other articles of clothing. Check your pockets twice, if you have to.