There are two main types of washing machines: fully automatic and semi-automatic. The fully automatic washing machine has a single drum. The washing and drying of the clothes happens in this same drum. A semi-automatic washing machine needs you to physically remove the clothes from the wash drum and put in the spin drum. You have to drain the machine after every use. Semi-automatic washing machines are cheaper than fully automatic washing machines for obvious reasons.
Why Is It Important to Know How to Use a Washing Machine?
Each washing machine type has its own settings. Knowing how to operate washing machine correctly helps enhance your laundry efforts. In this article, we have 3 main types of washing machines - semi-automatic, top-loading and front-loading. We have also explained how to choose the best detergent for your washing machine and some useful do’s and don’ts to remember while using any washing machine.
Using a Semi-automatic Washing Machine
Knowing how to use a semi-automatic washing machine correctly will help you get optimum performance from your machine.
Ingredients to keep handy:
a) Laundry Detergent
b) Fabric Softener
Step 1: Setting Up Your Semi-Automatic Washing Machine
Place your semi-automatic washing machine near a sink with an electric outlet. In the absence of a separate laundry area, you can place the machine in your kitchen or bathroom.
A semi-automatic washing machine comes with a hose. You can use this pipe to connect the machine drum with a water source. Ensure that the pipe fits tightly onto the faucet.
Ensure that the drainpipe is kept securely over a sink or a bucket. Nobody wants to deal with dirty drainage water.
Step 2: Turn on the Tap
Read the machine’s manufacturer’s manual to be sure about how much water and detergent you need to use. Generally, filling the machine’s drum to 2/3rd of the capacity is a good idea.
Step 3: Adding Detergent
You must add effective laundry detergent to the drum before tossing in your clothes. We would recommend Surf Excel Matic Liquid as it is specially formulated for washing machines. Being in liquid form, it dissolves easily in water without leaving any residue behind (like powders do). It also helps maintain your washing machine’s life. Read the instructions on the product label to know how much you need to use.
Run the machine for 5 to 10 seconds to agitate the wash drum and mix the detergent in the water fully. You’ll find the settings panel on top of the lid of your washing machine. They are self-explanatory. However, refer to the manual in case of doubt.
Toss your load in the wash drum. Ensure that it is not cramped. Never run a machine to its full capacity. For best results, use 2/3rd of your machine’s capacity. If you have a larger load, spilt the laundry and run the machine twice.
Step 4: Start the Wash Cycle
You can set the timer on your semi-automatic washing machine using the settings panel on the top while washing clothes. The duration of your wash cycle will depend on the type of your load. For lightly soiled clothes, we recommend 6 to 9 minutes. If your load contains athletic wear with sweat marks and dirt, you must set the wash cycle to 15 to 20 minutes.
You also have to select the type of wash cycle. There are 3 main types: Normal, heavy and delicate. Use the normal setting to wash your regular clothes. Heavy wash is useful to wash bedsheets and curtains. A delicate wash is recommended for your intimate wear and finer fabrics like lace and wool.
Step 5: Transfer Laundry to Spin Tub
Once the wash cycle is completed, transfer every piece of your load into the spin tub. Ensure that you put the lid on your clothes in the spin tub correctly. Some models have a removable cover.
Step 6: Start the Spin Cycle
Change the settings from wash to spin. Set the time as per the type of fabric in your load. If you want to rinse your laundry, set the spin cycle to 2 minutes. You may have to connect the water hose to the spin tub, depending on the model of your machine. Set the cycle to 5 minutes if you want to spin dry your laundry. Run the water for the first 2 minutes to rinse your laundry with clean water.
Step 7: Hang Your Clothes to Dry
Remove the laundry from your spin tub and hang your clothing items on a clothesline. Let them dry in a well-ventilated room.
Step 8: Drain the Wash Tub
Change the settings on your machine to drain and let out the dirty water from the washtub.
Step 9: Wipe the Drum
Wipe off the excess moisture on the insides of your wash drum and spin drum using a clean towel.
Using a Top-Loading Washing Machine
Step 1: Add Detergent
You must add the detergent in the empty drum in a top-loading washing machine. Doing so will ensure that the detergent has properly dissolved in the water. Choose your detergent wisely. You can use Surf Excel Matic Liquid Top Load as it is specially formulated for top-loading washing machines and is easily available. It helps maintain your washing machine’s life. It leaves no residue (like powders do) as being a liquid it dissolves completely in water. Read the product label to know how much of the detergent you need to use.
Step 2: Add Your Load
Put the clothes on top of the detergent. Ensure that the machine is not crammed. Your clothes need space to move during the wash cycle. Overcrowding will result in an imperfect wash.
Step 3: Select the Wash Cycle
Refer to the clothing care instructions on your garments to know what temperature water needs to be used and what wash cycle you need to select. When in doubt, always use cold water to wash your clothes.
Step 4: Unload Your Washing Machine
Take out the clothes from the machine as soon as they are done. Leaving wet laundry in the machine for long duration can lead to the growth of mould and mildew on your clothes.
Using a Front-Loading Washing Machine
Step 1: Add Detergent
Front-loading washing machines have a separate laundry detergent dispenser. Read the detergent pack to understand the dosage. If you are looking for a detergent for your washing machine, we would recommend Surl Excel Matic Liquid Front Load. It is specially formulated for front load washing machines and helps maintain your washing machine’s life. It leaves no residue (like powders do) as being a liquid it dissolves completely in water.
Step 2: Load Your Laundry
Open the machine door and toss your dirty laundry in the machine. Ensure that there is enough space for your clothes to move around during the wash. After piling the clothes in the drum, check if your palm fits on top of the pile. If it does, the load is good. If it does not, reduce the load. You can wash the remaining clothes in the next cycle.
Step 3: Add Fabric Conditioner
You will find a fabric conditioner tray just beside the detergent tray in the dispenser box. You may use Comfort Core fabric conditioner. It adds a mild fragrance to your clothes. Makes your clothes feel smooth, soft and great to wear.
Step 4: Select the Temperature
Read the wash care label instructions on your garment and select the washing temperature accordingly. If there are multiple temperature recommendations in your load, select the lowest one.
Step 5: Select the Right Spin Cycle
Again, refer to your clothes’ care label for information on spin cycle. Generally, delicate fabrics need a slower cycle, whereas regular cotton garments can be washed in a faster cycle.
Step 6: Close the Door and Press Start
Be sure to unload the clothes as soon as it is done. You must not leave the laundry in the machine for more than 2 hours after it has completed its wash cycle.
Importance of Different Settings in Your Washing Machine
A wash cycle refers to the speed of washing and spinning. Some type of fabrics need more agitation to remove stains but a slower spin speed. You must, therefore, select the wash cycle as per the type of garments in your load.
Choosing the temperature of the water during a wash cycle is equally important. You may think that hot water is good for sanitising and washing your clothes. However, using hot water on delicate fabrics can result in them losing their shape and in some cases; hot water may even set a stain permanently into your garment.
Some machines allow you to choose the level of water. However, be sure not to use too much water. It will defeat the purpose of saving water. Top-loading washing machines are energy efficient and use low levels of water to give you the best results.
Do’s and Don’ts While Using Your Washing Machine
If you want to keep your washing machine in top-class working condition, you need to follow some do's and don'ts.
Do empty the pockets of your clothing items. You do not want small coins to ruin your machine’s motor. Do close the hooks of your innerwear. They can snag against other laundry items. Put delicate fabrics in a mesh bag while washing. Do sort your laundry in light and dark coloured piles to avoid colour transfer.
Don’t overuse detergent. Do not leave wet laundry in the machine’s drum for more than 2 hours. And if you suspect a serious fault with your machine, call for professional help immediately.
This guide will help you understand how to wash clothes in the washing machine properly. However, note that if you want your clothes to be clean, you must regularly clean your machine too. Invest time in learning the correct way to clean your washing machine.