With a little bit of care and knowledge, washing machines can clean a surprising number of unusual household articles. Here are a few that you may not have thought of.
Baseball Caps - Hand washing baseball caps to remove the sweat rings inside them takes a lot of work. An easier solution is to just spray the cap with stain remover and leave them for about five minutes. Then put them into the shortest wash in the washing machine in cold water. Pull the cap back into shape when it is wet and allow it to air dry in the shade.
Sports Shoes and Sneakers - Canvas and nylon sneakers do not need an intensive and tiring hand scrubbing to get them spotlessly clean. Just remove the laces and any removable insoles or padding and put them into a mesh laundry bag or cotton white coloured pillowcase. Toss them into the washing machine along with a few bath towels to balance the load and reduce the noise. Add the normal quantity of detergent and some vinegar to remove the smell and wash the shoes on a cold-delicate cycle. Air-dry the shoes and laces in the shade.
Small Toys - Small toys such as Lego blocks, bath toys, tennis balls and toys used by the pet dog can be given a thorough cleaning in the washing machine. Place equal loads into two or more mesh laundry bags, run them through a cold-delicate cycle and dry in the shade.
Pillows - Gone are the days when pillows had to be dry cleaned or thrown away when they got too dirty and stained with drool and hair oil. Most average sized washing machine drums can wash two cotton or down pillows at a time in a warm water gentle cycle. Remove the pillow covers and inspect the pillow to check for any holes or tears. Even if there is a very small hole, it is not advisable to wash it in the washing machine. Washing two at a time keeps the load balanced. To remove any traces of detergent, run them through an additional cold water short cycle. Dry them on gentle heat with a few tennis balls put into socks thrown in, to prevent the material from clumping together. Washed pillows can be dried in the dryer every two weeks to keep them fresh and clean. As a precaution, read and follow the care instructions on the pillow labels.
Sports Gear - Sporting gear such as gloves, knee, shin and elbow pads, shin guards etc. need frequent cleaning to prevent germ build-up. Before putting them into mesh laundry bags, close and secure all Velcro and buckle fasteners to prevent them from getting caught and tangled. Wash the load in a gentle cycle with half the usual quantity of a gentle detergent.
Gym Bags - It is not just the insides of a gym bag that houses germs, sweat, and grime. The outer surfaces pick up all the dirt from locker room floors and car floors. Gym bags of any material can be washed in the washing machine. Just open and empty all the pockets and wash the bag on a gentle cycle with cold water.
In case there are any other items you are not sure how to wash in your washing machine, read the user manual or call a licensed repair shop in your area. A small check of the sort can save you a lot of nerves from getting the washing machine repaired due to faulty use.