Surprising Items You Can Toss in the Washing Machine


Are you tired of doing laundry the same old way? We’ve got some surprising news for you – your washing machine can do a lot more than you might think. From oven mitts to sneakers, the list of unconventional items you can toss in your trusty washer is longer than you’d imagine. Let’s dive into the world of laundry, but we promise, it’s nothing like you’ve ever seen before.

1. Oven Mitts:

You might have never considered it, but those oven mitts that have seen their fair share of spills and stains can often be thrown in the washing machine. Check the care label first, and if it gives you the green light, toss them in with your regular load.

2. Sneakers:

Has your favorite pair of sneakers seen better days? Fear not, you can give them a new lease on life by cleaning them in the washing machine. Remove the laces, place them in a pillowcase, and let the machine work its magic.

3. Small Toys:

If you’ve got little ones at home, you know that their toys can get pretty grimy. Small, plastic toys can be safely cleaned in the washing machine. Just put them in a mesh laundry bag, and they’ll come out looking good as new.

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4. Stuffed Animals:

Don’t let your child’s beloved stuffed animals gather dust. Most plush toys can handle a gentle cycle in the washing machine. Just remember to check the care instructions and opt for a low-spin setting.

5. Backpacks:

Your backpack has been on countless adventures with you, and it’s seen its fair share of dirt and grime. Many backpacks are machine-washable; just make sure to empty the pockets and remove any fragile items.

6. Lunch Boxes:

Lunch boxes often accumulate food spills and odors. For most lunch boxes, a spin in the washing machine is all it takes to make them fresh and clean again.

7. Mop Heads:

Dirty mop heads can spread more germs than they clean. Keep your floors sanitary by tossing mop heads in the wash regularly. Just remember to use a hot water setting to kill bacteria.

8. Reusable Grocery Bags:

Being eco-friendly is fantastic, but reusable grocery bags can get dirty. Most of these can be machine-washed, ensuring you’re not carrying around germs along with your groceries.

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9. Pet Beds:

Our furry friends deserve clean and comfy beds. Most pet beds are machine-washable. Remember to use a pet-safe detergent to avoid any skin irritations.

10. Shower Curtains:

Shower curtains are exposed to moisture daily, making them prone to mold and mildew. Fortunately, you can give them a deep clean by running them through a gentle wash cycle.

11. Pillows:

Pillows can collect dust mites, sweat, and other unpleasantries over time. Many pillows are machine-washable, so you can enjoy a good night’s sleep on a fresh, clean surface.

12. Yoga Mats:

Yoga mats can accumulate sweat and odors with regular use. Depending on the material, many yoga mats can be machine-washed or at least wiped down with a damp cloth.

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Now, let’s talk about what you shouldn’t put in your washing machine:

1. Electronics: Never attempt to wash anything that contains electronics, such as smartphones, tablets, or remote controls. These are not only expensive to replace but can be dangerous if submerged in water.

2. Delicate Fabrics: Items like silk, lace, and cashmere should be hand-washed or sent to a professional cleaner. Machine washing can cause irreparable damage.

3. Dry-Clean Only Items: Garments with “dry clean only” labels should always be taken to a professional cleaner. Attempting to wash them at home can lead to discoloration and fabric damage.

4. Leather and Suede: Leather and suede items should not be exposed to water in a washing machine. Instead, use specialized cleaning products for these materials.

5. Anything with Velcro: Items with Velcro closures, like baby clothes, can damage other fabrics in the washer. Be sure to fasten Velcro before washing.

6. Running Shoes with Memory Foam: Running shoes with memory foam should be spot-cleaned or gently hand-washed. Machine washing can affect the foam’s structure.

By now, you’re armed with the knowledge to transform your laundry routine. The washing machine is a versatile appliance that can tackle a surprising array of items, making your life easier and your possessions cleaner. Just remember, while the washing machine can be a superhero in your laundry room, not everything should go for a spin.

So go ahead, grab that bag of small toys, toss in your sneakers, and clean up those oven mitts. Your washing machine is ready for the challenge, and your items will thank you for it.