how to select the correct washer cycle for clothes

how to select the correct washer cycle for clothes

Washing machines have come a long way since the first wringer washers. While today's machines make the task easier, the choices that must be made before starting the washer have increased dramatically. The choices you make will affect the cleanliness and longevity of your clothes.

Small, Medium, Large, or Super Loads. What do they mean? Before you try to guess, read your washer manual. You'll find information to help you make choices about load size. The most accurate method of determining load size is by weight in relation to thewasher'scapacity. There are general rules about which setting to use based on the levelof clothes in the drum.

Choosing the correct water temperature for each load canprevent clothes from fading, stretching, or shrinking. Again, you have a guide on the labels of the clothes and linens. One of the keys to success is sorting your laundry correctly and washing similaritems together.

the best washing machines for your dirty laundry - bob vila

the best washing machines for your dirty laundry - bob vila

A quality washing machine should last at least 10 years, but many things happen to a brands technology over the course of a decade, which can make choosing a new one challenging. In addition to ample power and excellent cleaning ability, the best modern washing machine models offer an array of other features. There are machines designed to use water and energy more efficiently, ones with a wide range of functionality for different fabrics and soils, and some even offer smart technology. Ahead, youll find the important considerations to bear in mind while shopping for a new washer, and why these picks rate as some of the best in their class.

Washing machines come in two basic forms, front-loading and top-loading. Top-loading washers were the standard for decades, and still hold a strong place. Old-fashioned front-loaders had a reputation for maintenance problems and mildew growth, but the new crop has largely outsmarted these issues while packing in plenty of helpful technology.

Front-loaders clean more thoroughly and efficiently, using less water and electricity than top-loaders. Plus, front-loading washers remove more water at the end of the cycle. And if the units stack, they save space.

Unlike the twisting action of top-loading machines, front-loaders use a tumbling motion to clean laundry. No space is lost to the agitator, the vertical center arm that provides motion in many top-loading washers, so the whole interior is available for laundry. The tumbling action is more gentle on clothing than an agitator, which can pull, twist, and snag. They also require about five fewer gallons of water per load, which adds up to about 2,000 gallons per year.

While the machine itself is more energy-efficient, it also saves energy that other appliances use. A reduced wash water requirement translates to a reduction in hot water usage, so the water heater isnt working as much. Also, because the washer removes more water from the clothes at the end of the cycle, the dryer doesnt run as long.

On the downside, front-loaders are not as durable as top-loaders. Overloading the machine can wear out the rear bearingthe part that supports the weight and movement of the drumwhich will mean a pricey repair bill. They require more maintenance, such as cleaning the door and gasket after every use, to ensure that mold and mildew dont build up inside the drum or on the door. Whats more, anyone with back problems may find bending over to load and unload the washer uncomfortable.

Most folks find top-loading washers clean adequately and are pleased to avoid some of the maintenance issues associated with front-loaders. In some situations, opening the lid on a top-loading washing machine can be a smarter use of space than swinging the front door of a front-loader. Also, they may be less of a back strain for some users.

High-efficiency machines, which use multidirectional wash tub movement instead of an agitator, are the best bet for cleaning ability and water usage in the top-loading category. The wash-cycle runs longer, but the energy and water savings are significant. By pre-treating stains, top-loaders can produce similar cleaning results as front-loaders but cost less.

The perfect washer will fit its allotted spot, hold lots of dirty laundry, and have plenty of cleaning options for different fabrics and soils. Heres what to factor into your search for the best washing machine for your space, stuff, and lifestyle.

While shopping for a washer, consider the dimensions of the laundry room or other space available for the machine. For a side-by-side washer and dryer setup, the minimum space requirement is 54 inches wide. Standard height ranges from 38 to 43 inches, and depths between 28 to 34 inches.

Compact washers measure about 24 inches wide, while standard machines are 26 inches or larger. If space is limited, a compact washing machine may be the best choice. Compact washers are about the size of a dishwasher and fit within different cabinet configurations.

Washer capacity refers to the internal volume of the drum. The size determines the amount of laundry that can wash per load. For one or two people, a small- to medium-sized washer with a capacity of 1.8 to 3.5 cubic feet is ideal. Families need the larger 3.6 to 5.1 cubic foot capacity of a large washing machine.

The washing machines with the highest capacity are front-loaders, mostly between 4.2 and 4.5 cubic feet. Some go as high as 5.0 cubic feet. Top-loaders range from 3.1 to 4.0 cubic feet. Compact washing machines have a capacity of just over 1.5 cubic feet.

Washer/dryer combinations can be configured either side-by-side or stacked. In stacked combos, the heavier washer supports the dryer. Stacked units save floor space, but require bending and reaching to access the front loading machines. Also, the swinging front doors dont work with every floor plan.

Side-by-side washers and dryers offer the flexibility to use either front-loading or top-loading washing machines. In this configuration, front-loading washers can be placed on a pedestal for easier access without bending.

The basic washing machine cycle is wash-soak-rinse-spin, but plenty of other options are available. Older machines used mechanical controls to select for water temperature, water level, wash action, and run time. Most current models use electronic programs that conserve water and energy while providing a better quality wash. The following are the cycles to look for in your next washer.

While part of a washing machines cost is the upfront price, a much larger aspect is the operating expense. Using 40 gallons or more of water per load, a washing machine quickly adds to the monthly water bill. Much of that water must be heated first, increasing the gas or electricity bill as well. To greatly reduce the overall cost of owning a washer, look for a water- and energy-efficient model.

Older washing machines used between 30 and 45 gallons of water per load. Modern high-efficiency washers only use from 15 to 30 gallons to wash the same amount of laundry. The high-efficiency benchmark is now 5 gallons per cubic foot of capacity. A highly-efficient 3.5 cubic foot washer uses about 17.5 gallons of water per load.

To make it simple, look for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys (EPA) Energy Star insignia. Energy Star qualified appliances are proven to operate 10 to 20 percent more efficiently than their non-Energy Star peers. Additionally, the Consortium for Energy Efficiencys (CEE) Super Efficient Home Appliance Initiative provides tiered ratings. Tier I is approximately equivalent to Energy Star qualification. Washing machines with higher tier ratings, up to Tier 4, show increasing levels of efficiency.

If you want quiet and convenience in your washing machine, the LG 4.5 Cu. Ft. 14-Cycle Front-Loading Washer is a worthy option, offering superior washing capability without added noise. Fill with detergent once a month and allow the easy dispense system to dispense the right amount for each load. Unique wash technology moves the load in six different directions for an aggressive cleaning cycle that is safe for delicates. An updated balancing system ensures that the machine operates quietly and efficiently.

This machine is wifi capable and works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Should a problem arise, remote assistance and diagnosis are available through the app. A monthly tub clean cycle keeps the machine smelling clean and fresh. Some reviewers struggled with too many options or didnt like the app, but customer support has proven helpful when needed.

For those more comfortable with a top-loader, the GE 4.8-cu. ft. High Efficiency Top-Load Washer is one of the best in its category. Its FlexDispense detergent system automatically releases liquid, powder, or pods at the right time for faster activation and optimal wash performance. Dynamic balancing ensures a quiet wash and less vibration.

The system offers pre-programmed wash settings, or you can customize your own. A deep fill option allows you to fill the tub with the amount of water you choose. Choose from rinse options for detergent, fabric softeners, and hard-to-remove soils by selecting deep rinse, extra rinse, or warm rinse. A sanitizing wash cycle uses an Oxi additive to boost the cleaning power of your detergent and remove 99.9 percent of bacteria. If youre in a hurry, use the speed wash cycle.

This high-efficiency washer uses very little water, compared with older machinesperhaps one reason some reviewers used the deep water option more often than they expected. Although washing is quiet, the spin cycle is a bit louder.

Many shoppers are satisfied with a basic, effective, and budget-friendly washing machinethe Amana 3.5 cu. ft. Top-Load Washer fits the bill. Choose from either the automatic water level sensor setting or deep water setting, with or without an extra rinse, and five water temperature settings. Basic wash cycles include normal, bulk, and delicate cycles. The dual-action agitator cycles the laundry to the bottom of the washtub for a thorough cleaning.

The GE 5.0 cu. ft. Front Load Washing Machine includes a reversible door, for placement on either side of the dryer. It is wifi-enabled so you can start, stop, or check the status from anywhere. Use the smart dispense detergent system to automatically apply the right amount of detergent at the right time. An onboard water heater increases the heat of hot water for added cleaning power. Use the sanitizing/allergen cycle to kill 99.9 percent of household bacteria and allergens.

This washing machine also includes a 37-minute time saver cycle that washes any size load fast or a 20-minute quick wash for small loads. Keep laundry day moving with the one-step wash-plus-dry feature that allows the washer to function as a dryera convenience best for overnight or during a workday.

The GE 4.8 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Front-Loading Washer is large enough to hold comforters, sleeping bags, or the whole familys dirty clothes. It uses dynamic balancing technology to rebalance loads for better washing and increased stability. A power steam cycle helps lift heavy stains, and there are dozens of options to customize and personalized wash cycle settings can be saved in the system for future use. The smart dispense detergent system washes up to 32 loads before needing to be refilled.

This machine is Energy Star and CEE Tier I rated. It is wifi-enabled and works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistantuse the app to keep track of your laundry from anywhere. Bonus features include a reversible door, a 20-minute quick wash cycle, a sanitize cycle, and an ultra-fresh vent system to eliminate excess moisture from the machine after use.

Save water and energy with the Electrolux 4.4 cu. ft. Front Load Washer, which is a competent washer rated Energy Star Most Efficient and CEE Tier III. Unlike with other machines, the detergent premixes with water before the cycle begins for more efficient and effective cleaning. Perfect Steam rises from the bottom of the drum to permeate fabric and lift stains. Automated water level adjustment fills the drum with just the right amount of water for each load.

The Electrolux offers five soil and spin cycles to choose from and customize your wash preferences. Additional features include a 15-minute fast wash cycle, delay start feature, reversible door, interior light, and an optional pedestal with storage drawer.

Pair the Maytag 4.8 cu. ft. Stackable Front Load Washing Machine with a stackable dryer for efficient use of space. This washer provides powerful cleaning capabilities, especially when using the heavy-duty cycle combined with the extra power function. Plus, a steam cleaning option can be combined with the extra power function or used with select cycles to lift stains.

A 16-hour fresh hold option keeps clean laundry fresh while in the drum with an internal fan and intermittent tumble. This stackable washer is made with Maytag commercial technology, including a direct drive motor and stainless steel wash basket. Overall, this unit receives high grades for its features and energy efficiency.

The Whirlpool 5.0 cu. ft. Front Load Washing Machine keeps you connected with wifi capability and a mobile app. Operate and check the status of your washer wherever you have your smartphoneso you dont have to stop what youre doing just to change the laundry.

35 unique cycle settings give you total customizable, programmable control of washing. A load-and-go automatic detergent dispersal system allows you to fill up once per 40 days of laundering. Use the tumble dry function to slowly dry your laundry while youre away. Additional features include a steam clean cycle, sanitize cycle, and 15-minute quick wash cycle.

Disclosure: BobVila.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

soil washing equipment | environmental xprt

soil washing equipment | environmental xprt

According to recovery and decontamination requirements, it becomes usefull to plan and build small plants, easily handed, in order to remove contaminants from sand and from soils. The experience in mineral concentration is translated in planning and building of soil washing plants. According to soil ...

By ECOMIN s.r.l. based in Genova, ITALY. from Plants Product line

Through the washing of the inert materials with water and appropriate chemicals and separating their different particles by size, the soil-washing process allows the extraction of the pollutant as a floater in water, with its consequent isolation in the finest fractions (clay and silt fraction). The ...

The TW300 is intended to be the mainstay of our Soil Washing Units (SWU). The TW300SWU will have a production capability of 30 CY/hr (22.94M3/hr) of -12IN (-304.2mm) diameter soil particles/rocks. Larger units can be built, but daisy chaining TW300s can provide greater capacity. Road mobility is the limiting ...

By Terra Resources, Ltd. based in Palmer, ALASKA (USA). from Terra Wash Product line

The effectivenes of soil washing is based on the fact that most organic and inorganic contaminants tend to bind preferentially to clay, silt, and organic soil particles. In the washing process, the fine clay and silt particles are separated from the coarser sand and gravel soil particles. The separated ...

The salient features common to all SWU systems are mobility and processing efficiency. Fines processing capability was demontrated in the TW75 prototype testing in 1991 and in the more recent 2009 invert R&D at Nexen Drill Rig #19 in British Columbia and in Alberta, Canada. Mobility is the emphasis in the basic design philosophy. These systems are designed to traverse any terrain, anywhere in ...

By Terra Resources, Ltd. based in Palmer, ALASKA (USA). from Terra Wash Product line

A high solids liquid natural orange cleaner and degreaser with the added cleaning power and the freshness of natural orange solvents. It is water dilutable and will instantly dissolve greasy, oily soils and wash dirt away. May be used by hand or with a high-pressure machine. Heavy duty all purpose cleaner ...

By Interstate Products Inc. / Interstate Products based in Sarasota, FLORIDA (USA). from Cleaners and Coatings - Cleaners and Degreasers Product line

By Finn Corporation based in Fairfield, OHIO (USA). from Straw Blowers and Krimpers Product line

Soil washing equipment for stationary or mobile solutions. Baioni has been active in the remediation of soil and groundwater. Remediation concepts are developed and implemented for public authorities and private companies. Baioni has, at its disposal, a whole range of remediation techniques, ranging from ...

By Baioni Crushing Plants Spa based in Monte Porzio, ITALY. from Waste Treatment Plants Product line

DIEMME Soil Washing designed and realized an Industrial Pilot Plant in order to perform the activities of applied research and testing on industrial quantities of polluted matrix. This plant is arranged for remediation of sea-fluvial sediments and soils and is built with modular units of the most advanced ...

The original Mk142D was delivered to a mine on the Hammond River 250 miles north of Fairbanks towed by a 1 ton Chevy 6.2L diesel dually truck. A Mk142D was reconfigured to become the Terra Wash TW10HM SAFR soil washing ...

By Terra Resources, Ltd. based in Palmer, ALASKA (USA). from Arctic Miner Product line

Recovering Method of Contaminated Soils(soil washing method). In many cases, contaminated substances in soils are attached to relatively small-sized clay and earth particles which are often called silt. This soil washing method can reduce the volume of contaminated ...

Erosion Solutions Inc. 'DOT Silt Fence' comes in a 3' by 600 foot roll and has a tensile strength of 124 lb. Silt fence needs to be installed stake facing away from the silt flow and contouring to the hillside. Place silt fence along the dirt side edge of a sidewalk to prevent soil washing into the street. ...

By ESI Resource Services based in Oakland, CALIFORNIA (USA). from Silt Fencing Product line

The Baioni Company is able to provide the new technologies among which are the soil washing, thermal desorption, inertization of solid waste taking care of the project design, raw materials processing, the construction of steel structures, sandblasting, painting, the construction of electrical systems, ...

By Baioni Crushing Plants Spa based in Monte Porzio, ITALY. from Waste Treatment Plants Product line

DIEMME Soil Washing is a qualified interlocutor with innovative solutions for marine-fluvial sediments treatment and recovery by polyfunctional platform. DIEMME Soil Washing designs, develops, produces and installs complete sediments treatment plants by means of the Soil Washing technologic ...

Ethyl acetate process extraction Pre-treatment (soil washing) (in order to obtain two different products: one that can be recycled immediately and the other which will undergo the extraction with solvent process). Extraction section (mix of fine material - clay/silt - with ethyl ...

possible but also allows you to perform full scale testing before shipping it to the field. We have built several Soil Washing Systems, Tank Cleaning Systms and Mud Systems for the oil field. The photos below represent these different type of ...

By DEL Corporation based in Scott, LOUISIANA (USA). from Others Product line

with absorbed impurities or pollutants, results of project design of soil washing plants. In this process, the individual particles are stirred intensively in high-solid slurry, which causes any adherent pollutants or extremely fine particles to be rubbed off the particle surfaces. Attrition scrubbers basically consist of ...

By Baioni Crushing Plants Spa based in Monte Porzio, ITALY. from Crushing Machines - Fines Recovery Machines Product line

can i use 32mm waste pipe for washing machine?

can i use 32mm waste pipe for washing machine?

A 2-inch drain pipe is required for all washing machines. The former requirement of 1 1/2-inch pipe is not enough to handle the fast drainage of modern washers. As with all plumbing fixtures and appliances, a washing machine drain pipe must also contain a P-trap.

Beside above, do all washing machines have a waste pipe? A washing machine or dishwasher waste is usually made with 40mm plastic pipe. We always prefer to use solvent weld or compression fittings with the waste pipe because once it is made, it stays together and there is no chance of leaky joints.

The manual does state: "We advise against the use of hose extensions; in case of absolute need, the extension must have the same diameter as the original hose and must not exceed 150 cm in length. Ensure that if the drain hose is pushed into a standpipe, that the end does not go down more than 15cms (6 inches).

Both soil and waste pipes will run from your toilet, sinks, shower, washing machine, urinal, bidet and any appliance that voids water and join the soil stack. The stack will run directly into your underground drain. Using the right pipe is critical, especially for soiled water.

The plumbing code limits the length of a tail piece to 24 inches. The one exception to this rule is the stand pipe, [washing machine drain]. An auto washer station stand pipe must be at least 18 inches long but no more than 30 inches including off sets.

Actually, it is foolish to discharge washing machine water into your septic system, considering the wear and tear it will subject your system to as the single largest depositor to it. Just plumb it outside and use a biodegradable laundry detergent.

Test the flow of water through the outlet pipe while the hose is disconnected. Use a longer (up to 25-foot) snake to locate or loosen clogs. Double the amount of baking soda and vinegar, using the baster to squirt vinegar as hard down the pipe as possible. Follow with very hot water.

Drain and Sewer Pipe Slope Install horizontal drain and sewer pipe with a uniform slope and alignment. Install pipe not more than () 2 inches diameter with at least () a unit in 12 units (2 percent) slope. Install pipe at least () 3 inches diameter with at least () a ? unit in 12 units (1 percent) slope.

Plastic waste pipe is available in 4 basic sizes (external diameter) for different plumbing uses: 21.5mm - for overflows such as cold water tank, cisterns etc. 32mm - for hand basin waste pipe. 40mm - for sink and bath waste pipe.

Without the upper vent portion of the pipe, water locks can form in the drain system. The sink vent serves both the sink and the toilet. The configuration depends upon your bathroom layout and the direction of the floor joists, but connect the sink drain to the toilet drain within 6 feet of the toilet, if possible.

A boss fitting uses an adaptor (32mm, 40mm or 50mm depending upon the waste pipe size) to connect into the side of the soil pipe. Bosses are included on some fittings, such as soil branches, but to connect a waste pipe into the side of a plain soil pipe you can either use a Boss Pipe or a Strap-on-Boss.

Plumbing-in your washing machine and dishwasher Hook the waste hose into a standpipe with a P-trap. A dishwasher normally just has a cold water supply. The mini stop valve that connects the supply pipe to the machine's hose lets you isolate the machine without turning off your water.

Since washing machines use a large amount of water and a small plumbing mistake can result in serious home water damage, we recommend hiring a professional plumber rather than trying to install the plumbing yourself. Here is a basic overview of the plumbing process: Turn off the main water supply to the house.

The waste pipe for a washing machine or dishwasher must connect to the foul water sewer and not the rain water soakaway. The Foul water sewer can easily be identified as this is where the waste from the toilet goes.

When hooking up a new washing machine, some people look for a convenient drain line and simply install a pipe that extends to the washer. The lack of a P-trap exposes the area to sewer fumes and the lack of venting will cause the drain to run sluggishly and overflow. Washers, like all fixtures, need a trap.

How can I get greywater into the garden? using a bucket or siphon to transfer water; connecting the washing machine discharge hose to a diversion hose leading to the garden. fitting the laundry tub waste pipe with an approved hand-operated diversion valve.

Your immersion heater or boiler will heat up hot water which is stored in a tank. Modern washing machines, dishwashers and electric showers take cold water and heat it themselves so you don't need a supply of hot water waiting for them in the tank.

how to buy a washing machine - cnet

how to buy a washing machine - cnet

If you're searching for a good washing machine, you have your work cut out for you. Our latest count has the number of different clothes washers sold in the US at about 176 distinct models. This sizable group contains products with all sorts of shapes, sizes, features and capabilities.

But a lot of factors come into play in today's appliance market. From washers with built-in sinks to dual units with two cleaning tubs, laundry really doesn't look like it used to. Fortunately, we're here to help. Think of this article as your laundry spirit guide, leading you to the perfect washing machine for your home.

Beyond the obvious -- that front-load washers open from the front and top-load washers open from the top -- there are some significant differences between the two styles. These distinctions will help inform your purchase, as every washing machine you'll look at will be either front- or top-load.

While the majority of traditional front- and top-load washers measure roughly 27 or 28 inches wide and 30 to 35 inches deep, their height dimensions are quite different. That's because front-load models have front-mounted displays (much like a slide-in front-control range) and top-load models have back-mounted displays (much like a freestanding back-control range).

Because of this design difference, many front-loaders have optional stacking kits so you can literally install your matching front-load dryer over your washer (always stack the dryer on top of the washer because it weighs less).

Stacking is ideal when you have limited square footage for your laundry pair, since you can take advantage of vertical space. The last place I lived had a closet set aside for the water heater, the HVAC system and a small washer and dryer. In that case, the decision was easy -- it was either a compact front-load stacked laundry pair or nothing.

But that doesn't mean front-load washers are only suitable for tight spaces. If you find a stackable front-load washer and dryer you like, it's also common to install them side-by-side. For top-loaders a side-by-side install is (perhaps obviously) your only option.

In addition to a washer's external dimensions, you will also want to think about the size of the washing drum inside the unit. Excluding compact units, most of which have a drum somewhere in the 2-cubic-foot range, the majority of standard-size front- and top-load washer drums today range from roughly 4 to 5 cubic feet. That's a great range for a typical 8-pound load.

Of course, as a washing machine drum gets closer to 5 cubic feet, the more easily it can handle larger loads. You'll also find subtle drum size differences when you compare front- and top-load washers. Most front-loader drums range from 4.2 to 5 cubic feet (with the odd sub-4-cubic-foot exception from GE and some 5-plus-cubic-foot exceptions from LG and Samsung).

Top-loader drums are all over the map, ranging from 3.2 to 6.2 cubic feet, and they're complicated by the fact that less expensive models still rely on a traditional agitator -- the plastic rod that extends from the bottom of a top-load washer to the top of its tub. Agitators are a legacy feature left over from the last generation of washer tech and they suck up precious cubic footage from your washer tub. So, a top-loader with an agitator is almost guaranteed to have less than a 4.5-cubic-foot capacity, simply because the agitator is hogging some of the space typically reserved for clothes.

In the US, most washer manufacturers have replaced their old-school agitators with a lower-profile alternative called an impeller. Less intrusive than traditional agitators, impeller-style washers typically have larger capacities because you don't have that agitator spindle in the way.

No matter what, you're probably going to shell out a minimum of $500 on a new washing machine, but there are also clear cost disparities between front- and top-load washers. Here's a table to help guide your budget:

As you can see, front-load prices tend to start around $800, whereas top-load prices start lower at around $500 (with the exception of LG). High-end top-load models also tend to cost around $200 less than their high-end front-load counterparts.

We've reviewed dozens of washing machines. While we still have a long way to go before we've tested all of the models on the market, top-load washers have earned our best (and worst) stain removal performance scores so far.

We found this to be *mostly* true during our testing. Specifically, we used two flow meters (one each for hot and cold water) to calculate how many gallons of water a washer uses during a normal cleaning cycle, with normal soil, hot water and high spin settings.

That means those specific top-load models used two times more water than the front-loaders we tested on average. Clearly the extra water didn't help out the top-loaders very much either, since their performance results are all over the chart.

In contrast, the front-load models we tested were much more consistent, and frugal, in their water consumption. They ranged from about 7 gallons on the low end, to over 10 gallons on the high end of the spectrum.

According to the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), a trade association whose mission is "to support the sustainability of the cleaning product and oleochemical industries, through research, education, outreach and science-based advocacy," all front-load washing machines are high efficiency (HE).

In contrast, not every top-load washer earns the HE designation. ACI explains that, "Top-loading washers that are labeled 'HE' use low-water volume wash cycles. They have either no center post or a smaller-sized center post instead of a traditional agitator." That means traditional agitator-equipped top-load washing machines don't qualify as high-efficiency appliances.

You have to be careful with labels, though, because some models may have an HE logo, even though they have agitators too. That's because you can use low-sudsing HE detergent in these machines. Doing so will reduce soap residue and clean your clothes more effectively.

Note: You can use HE detergent in a non-high-efficiency top-load washer, but you should always use HE detergent in a front-load washer. Most of the Tide liquid detergent available today comes in both regular and HE varieties -- look for the HE logo to be sure, or check the price marker.

When in doubt, check the user manual. If it says something like, "Note: This is a high-efficiency washing machine with infusor wash action." Then, bingo. You have your answer. Other brands make it easier. Whirlpool's 4.2 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer with Agitator mentions the HE designation right in the product name, for example.

Here's what the ACI says on the subject of HE detergent: "As a result of extensive research, HE detergents are formulated to be low-sudsing and quick-dispersing to get the best cleaning performance with HE washers. Excess suds can cause problems in HE washers by 'cushioning' -- or even preventing -- the tumbling action. This can impact proper cleaning. HE detergents are also formulated to hold soils and dyes in suspension in low water volumes, so they don't redeposit onto cleaned laundry."

All washing machines today perform the same basic function. That's why their control panels look similar. You'll always have a normal cycle and usually at least eight or nine more specialty cycles and a way to adjust temperature, spin and soil settings.

Certain mid- to high-end washers work with apps that let you start, stop and pause a cycle remotely or simply view the status of a cleaning cycle from your phone. GE even offers IFTTT integrations so you can time your Philips Hue LEDs to flash when a wash cycle ends, as well as a voice control integration with Amazon Alexa. Select Whirlpool appliances work with Alexa, too, so you can say: "Alexa, start the washer."

We're seeing companion apps and voice control partnerships more and more, but most of the integrations are still pretty limited today. Laundry apps, too, still have a long way to go -- with a couple of small exceptions.

Case in point: the GE Laundry app for Android and iPhone. Follow the steps to connect compatible GE washers and dryers with the app and it will display a nice readout of the time remaining on your wash/dry cycle. It looks great, but you can't actually initiate a cleaning cycle remotely.

LG's Twin Wash washing machine is app-compatible, but the software was extremely glitchy during testing. The same goes for the wonky Samsung Smart Home app that's designed to work with its Wi-Fi-enabled washers.

Whirlpool's Android and iPhone app is our favorite laundry software so far. You can start/pause runs remotely, as well as view the time remaining on a cycle. The app can even alert you when a cycle ends and provide energy usage stats based on info from your local electric company.

There's one significant drawback, though. You have to enable a feature called "Remote Start" on your compatible Whirlpool washing machine before you leave your house. That means you have to anticipate when you'll want to access your washer remotely, rather than just pulling up the app and start a cycle on-demand.

It's an exciting time for the laundry industry. Companies like Samsung and LG are taking more of an interest in the US market and we're seeing a lot of new features and technology as a result -- things like mega-capacity washing machines, app integration, models that come with sinks and even some that have secondary washers hiding in a traditional-looking front-load pedestal or a shallow top-load compartment.

That's forcing other manufacturers to reimagine products that have been around for generations, leading to innovations like GE's voice control via Amazon Alexa. It also means that you have more options than ever before.

So before you start dreaming about adding a supersize washer (and companion dryer) to your house, measure your laundry room space (and your doorways), weigh your cubic-foot-capacity needs against front- and top-load performance and efficiency trends. Think about your budget, too. And if you have more than $1,000 to spend on a washer, you might just be able to enjoy some of the new and innovative things we're seeing in the laundry market today.

how to clean your washing machine | washer care tips | tide

how to clean your washing machine | washer care tips | tide

Ultimately, if your washer drum is dirty, it doesnt matter how good your detergent is. Caring for your washer will not just give you a more efficient clean, but also an increased longevity. So, were sharing our best washing machine care tips, including how to clean your washer and how to clean a smelly washing machine to help you get the most from your laundry.

If your washer starts to smell, its probably due to a buildup of odor-causing residues left behind from laundry soils, detergents, and hard-water minerals stuck in the drum. Dirt removed from clothes can stick around in the drum after washing and create a bacterial breeding ground.

In this dark, warm and damp environment, these residues not only make your washer smell unpleasant, but also can transfer these odors onto your clothes. So, if you notice your clothes starting to come out of your washer a little dingy and smelling off, its a sign that you should stop asking questions like What happens if I don't clean my washer? and start looking for solutions on how to remove odors from your washing machine.

Are you relatively new to the world of washing machines? Then take a look at our Washing Machine 101, where we cover everything from common washing machine problems to how to use a washing machine correctly.

When it comes to removing unpleasant odors and lifting away soil, mineral, and detergent residue from your washer, nothing beats the power of Tide Washing Machine Cleaner. For a front-loading washing machine, pour one pouch of Tide Washing Machine Cleaner into your detergent dispenser drawer, then run the washer on normal cycle with the hot water setting, without any clothes inside the drum.

Cleaning your top-loading washing machine is very similar to the process laid out above: You remove every clothing article from your washers drum, set it to normal cycle and the highest water temperature, then pour one pouch of Tide Washing Machine Cleaner directly into your washer tub, and let the cycle run its course.

If you have a front-loading washing machine, what you need to do first is to clean the gasket by spraying it with white vinegar and wiping it with a damp microfiber cloth. Next, add two cups of white vinegar to the detergent drawer, set the washer to the hottest water temperature, and run an empty cycle. After the cycle is completed, add one and a half cups of baking soda directly to the drum, and run it through another hot wash. When the second cycle is done, give the drum a thorough wiping and let it air out.

Do you have a top-loader? Again, youll want to set your washer to the highest level and hottest water temperature. Add four cups of white vinegar to the washer tub and start the cycle. Wait a few minutes, then hit pause, and allow the mixture of water and vinegar to sit for an hour. You can use this time to wipe the top of your machine clean with a microfiber cloth dipped in hot vinegar water, and to scrub the fabric softener and bleach compartments with an old toothbrush. After the one hour has elapsed, continue the cycle, then run another wash, this time adding one cup of baking soda to the washer tub.

Its generally recommended to clean your washing machine once a month, especially if you want to prevent musty odors from forming inside the drum and keep your clothes smelling great. Sometimes, however, you need to pay your machine a bit more attention, and it may be necessary to thoroughly clean the washer.

There are a few other things you should look out for. The rubber door seal can easily pick up residues in your washer from laundry soils, detergents and hard water minerals, so give it a good wipe down every now and then. It's also a good idea to check the filter, water-supply hose and other parts for any buildup. Remove these deposits and residues, and you can give your washer a new life.

In addition to giving your washing machine a monthly maintenance clean, another great way of preventing mildew and bad smells is leaving the door and dispenser drawer slightly open after each use, so that any remaining moisture will be dried out.

Remove your clothes from the machine immediately after the wash. If theyre left to sit in the damp drum, then unwanted smells could start to appear. If you cannot take them out immediately, try to do so within two hours for the best results. Many washers come with a timer or delay switch, so you can time it to start automatically and end when youre due home.

For garments that smell nice and fresh all day long, use Tide Plus A Touch of Downy Liquid or Tide Plus A Touch of Downy Powder in your washer. It not only rids your laundry of lingering odors, but also helps tackle difficult stains and leaves your garments with a gorgeous, subtle fragrance.

Rinse out any traces of detergent and softener in the dispenser drawer. Softener or detergent can cause blockages that can damage your machine and prevent your clothes from being properly and thoroughly cleaned. Some washers allow you remove the drawer completely, so you can clean it out more easily.

If you put too much laundry in your machine, then you could throw the drum off balance, leading to costly repairs. So, make sure you leave a space at the top of the drum about the size of a hands width to give it enough space to tumble the clothes for the most effective cleaning. Overfilling can also cause garment residues.

Make sure your washer is levelif not, it wont work efficiently, and you can increase the risk of it breaking down. If your machine hops around while its washing, then it probably isnt balanced correctly. The easiest way to check this is to use a spirit level, and then adjust the feet as necessary until its straight.

Who said that you cant protect the environment while giving your clothes a great clean? Did you know that heating the water takes up 80% of the energy used during a wash? Thats just one reason why weve given Tide outstanding cleaning powers at low temperatures. Tide Cold Water Clean cleans thoroughly at cold settings, which reduces the energy used in your wash by up to 40% (compared with washing at a normal setting).

the 10 best washing machines of 2021

the 10 best washing machines of 2021

A washing machine isn't just an investment in your home. It's also an investment in yourself. When you pick one out at the store or online, you're really selecting a sidekick that'll help you tackle your chores quickly and efficiently, so you can get back to living your life. Looking at the different front-loading, top-loading, all-in-one, and portable options, you may not be sure what type of sidekick is best for you. That's completely fine.

To start, you have to decide on what design will pack the biggest punch for your household. Front-load washers can be easier to load and unload, while a stackable one is ideal if you have a matching dryer and limited space to do laundry. Washers with a large drumwhich is the inner tub where you put your clothes prior to cycle selectionare best suited for families, or anyone who'd like to wash a comforter right at home. There's also high-efficiency models that are pros at conserving energy and minimizing water waste, but still effectively clean your dirty clothes.

Once you've decided on your "type," you can dig into other specifications like cycle options, the drum material, smart features, and the kind of washing mechanism the washer uses: an impeller plate or a central agitator. Here, the best washing machines for you to consider.

Front load washers have a reputation for being gentle on clothes. For that reason, many households like to opt for this newer design, which features a swinging door and front control panel. If you fall under this category, the Samsung WF45T6000AW is your best option, as it's a powerful, gentle, and savvy machine. With a 4.5-cubic-foot drum, it is pretty standard when it comes to space to clean your clothes. However, it has 10 preset washing cycles, six additional options, and five water temperature levels for you to use.

It also has a self-clean cycle which will ensure that the drum stays sanitary and aromatic. (Although, you can leave the door opened a crack after each cycle, and that'll also help a ton.) In front-load models, self-clean cycles are a lifesaver, as mildew and bacteria can easily build up in the drum and around the rubber seal. Paired with its Energy Star certification, this washer is a savvy and proactive member of any laundry room, and will save you time, energy, and money in more ways than one.

Now, it is important to note that this appliances comes with a learning curve. It's worth perusing the user manual for information on the cycles, in addition to what you need to do after installing the machine. The delivery and installation team may help you hook up the washer, but neglect to remove the shipping bolts or run the necessary calibration cycle. If you don't mind sitting down with your manual for the first cycles, you'll certainly enjoy what this appliance has to offer, including quiet, peaceful operation.

The Whirlpool WTW7120HW is a superstar top-loading washer. This machine is easy to use and includes desirable features like 36 different wash cycles, as well as a 5.3-cubic-foot, stainless steel drum that is able to hold a king-sized comforter with total ease. It's lacking in both a steam function and CEE rating, but makes up for it with a Load and Go dispenser. This dispenser holds 20 loads worth of detergent and dispenses the proper amount into each load, saving you a ton of time and energy on laundry day.

In addition, this Whirlpool model uses an impeller plate to help shift your clothes gently. A pre-soak cycle lets you treat stains for up to 120 minutes, without taking up precious sink space, and there's a pre-treat brush and dual temperature faucet built into the appliance for tackling tougher spots. When you're ready to start a cycle, head to the sleek back panel that's home to digital controls, and select your settings with the washer's guidance or on your own.

This appliance can be controlled remotely using an app on your phone. However, a subscription is needed to take advantage of this feature. In addition, the Whirlpool washer can unbalance easily in the face of big and bulky items like rugs. If you can't evenly distribute the weight of what you're washing, you should still plan to take it to the laundromat to avoid any long-term issues.

It's no secret that a washing machine can be an expensive purchase. The Amana NTW4516FW is a wallet-friendly option for a household who's unexpectedly changing out their machine, renovating their laundry room and looking to save money, or wants something basic. It performs very well, despite featuring a few "compromises" like a 3.5-cubic-foot, porcelain enamel tub. (This is smaller than average, and the material has the risk of chipping and snagging clothes.) The control knobs let you easily pick from eight cycles, as well as five water temperatures.

Among these selections, the Amana washer also has a deep fill setting that'll override the automatic load sensing technology, and make sure your items are thoroughly saturated. There's also an auto-clean cycle to help keep the tub smelling and looking fresh. Given the price tag on the washer, this cleaning cycle is a rare find. However, you will have to deal with a weak spin cycle. The unit has a top spin speed of 700 RPM, so thick items can be left dripping wet. Keep this in mind when running a cycle with "deep fill," so you can avoid wringing out the items for yourself.

"Be careful not to spend beyond your means. I always recommend that people maintain an emergency fund, which is a savings account made up of three to six months of committed monthly expenses. If splurging on a large appliance significantly eats into your emergency savingsor even worse, you dont have enough saved to cover the purchase and need to take on credit card debtthen consider buying a more affordable appliance or saving up until you can make the purchase with more financial breathing room." Brittney Castro, Mint CFP

This high-end washing machine from GE is a modern and fresh option for your home. It's outfitted with a 5.0-cubic-foot drum that's very spacious, especially for a front-loading machine, and 12 cycle settings. It has a steam function for when you need to remove tough spots and wrinkles, and can be stacked with its matching dryer with the purchase of a compatible stacking kit. Notably, the GE front-loader also includes an in-door venting system to dry out the appliance in between cycles. Thisalong with parts made with a bunch of different materialshelps address mold and odors that build up in this type of washer.

Aside from the sanitary design, the appliance is also equipped with WiFi and compatible with smart home systems. It can sync with its matching dryer to transmit settings, which is particularly convenient for any household on the go. The washer finishes, and the dryer is ready with the best settings for what you have placed inside. What if you frequently wash small loads? Skip the dryer altogether, as this machine can dry up to two pounds of laundry using an internal fan.

The only complaints you may have with this machine is that it can be noisy at times, and comes with a bit of a learning curve. Like any new appliance, definitely take the time to read through your user manual and make sure it's set up in a flat location.

"Get familiar with the features of the washer and dryer that you own. Newer models may have many cycles to choose from, but understanding the purpose and content of each washing load will help drive your decisions and help you avoid cycles that are not necessary or will shorten the life of your clothes." Marilee Nelson, certified building biologist, environmental consultant, and co-founder of Branch Basics

A household with supersized laundry needs will love the 5.8-cubic-foot capacity of the LG SIGNATURE WM9500HKA. As one of the largest capacity models on the market, it can manage a king-sized blanket, several towels, or a family of four's weekly laundry with ease. It's also a high-efficiency model, meaning each cycle is thoughtful with how much water it uses to wash your clothes. This is particularly great for those who run their washer at least four or five times per week, and want to save money with a planet-friendly routine.

In addition, the LG SIGNATURE washer has a steam function, which tackles stains and wrinkles set into your clothes in a gentle fashion. If you have a smaller load to washsay, of dish towels, or socksyou're also able to purchase a separate LG SideKick model that's able to sync with the washer and complete a smaller load at the same time as a larger load. Other notable features include a versatile dispenser, and large viewing window on the front of the machine. The brand's app also keeps you updated on any cycle remotely, and serves as a hub on laundry day.

In total, you can make use of 14 unique settings if you own this washer, including one that's designed to remove allergens from your clothes. Just be aware: Since this is a high-capacity model, it does measure at nearly 30 inches wide. You may have trouble fitting it in your laundry room and sliding it through your door frame post-delivery. It'll be in your best interest to measure for this model, before you go buy it.

A stackable washing machine saves space when paired with a compatible dryer. But, the convenience of a stackable model isnt only in its space-saving abilities. The Maytag MHW6630HW, which can be stacked with its matching dryer with the separate purchase of a stacking kit, is also incredibly quiet. Install it near a bedroom, and you won't be disturbed when a cycle is going. This washer also has 12 wash cycles, and a 4.8-cubic-foot drum which is much more spacious than other front-loaders on the market.

Is your schedule jam-packed, or do you often forget about your laundry? With this Maytag model, you can also rely on the Fresh Hold option. This option tumbles your clean clothes every once in a while after your cycle has wrapped up. It'll also run the internal fan here and there, to ensure the clothes don't develop an odor. Other notable features of this washer include a 15-minute quick wash cycle, a sanitize cycle, and an extra power button that activates a dual-temperature wash to fight stains.

High-efficiency models use less water and energy to clean your clothes. That means, owning one can cut your bills down greatly and make your home more eco-friendly. If this type of washer seems like a good fit for you, check out the LG WM3600HWA. It has a 4.5-cubic-foot drum, which is pretty average and not the "ultra large" capacity that's advertised. However, it can handle loads of up to 20 pounds of laundry, and is a great pick for households large and small.

After loading your clothes in through the front of the machine, you can select one of 10 wash cycles. You can also choose to use cold water instead of hot water, thanks to the cold wash setting, which allows you to save even more energy and money. (Not to mention, cold wash cycles can be great for colored clothes, and help extend their lifespan.) Other notable settings include an allergen cycle, a self-clean cycle, and a speed wash setting that'll complete a load in just 15 minutes.

Now, if space is an issue in your home, this washer can be stacked on top of its matching dryerwith the purchase of a separate stacking kitand also has a closet-depth build. The only issues you may find with it is that the cycle times are anything but efficient, and one load can take an hour and a half to finish. You may also miss an interior light that helps you see the inside of your drum, if your space isn't already well-lit. Ultimately, this piece will treat you to the works, though, and be a quiet and powerful member of your home.

A portable washer works well for small spaces, and as an alternative to the laundromat. If you're living in an RV, condo, or apartment without laundry services, you'll want to consider the GE GNW128PSMWW as it still has many of the same features of a full-sized washer. For example, you'll load your clothes into a 2.8-cubic-foot, stainless steel drum. This is enough space to wash one or two outfits at a time, and the drum material will prevent rust from collecting after many months of use. Plus, there's an automatic dispenser for your detergent, fabric softener, and bleach.

Now, you can't expect a portable washing machine to do everything a full-sized model can do. This piece will require more hands-on care, since you need to hook it up to a sink when you'd like to use it. While it's set up on caster wheels, the machine is still quite heavy and can be hard to move around. However, there are eight wash cycles to help you give your clothes the best care, so it's worth the extra effort. The cycles included with this washer are delicates, heavy duty, rinse and spin, soak, speed wash, towels and sheets, and whites.

When it comes to the price tag, the GE portable washer costs almost as much as many traditional, larger machines. But, it's worth the investment if you need a more flexible, compact option to get your laundry done.

Seeking more space in your laundry room? An all-in-one machine may be for you, as this type of machine combines the two appliances into one, giving you more room to store detergent, hang clothes to dry, and sort your loads. The GE GFQ14ESSNWW is the best all-in-one machine on the market, as it has 14 settings for you to choose from and a dispenser for detergent. It's compatible with detergent packs, if you'd like to use that form of detergent instead. You're also treated to a 2.4-cubic-foot, stainless steel tub, which isn't very big, but won't create wear on your clothes.

No external vent is required for the dryer function, so you can install this model anywhere a conventional washing machine would go. In addition, it has a steam function, which will allow you to tackle wrinkles or stains head-on. You will need to pencil out an entire afternoon to do a load of laundry in this machine, as the cycle times can be incredibly long, especially if you need to run a second drying cycle. However, you'd run into this issue with any all-in-one machine. This particular model at least provides a timed dry setting and will leave smaller loads completely dry.

The key is to follow the instructions in the manual, and be thoughtful when loading the drum. Items like a pair of jeans may require extra time, so put them with other jeans who need the same treatment. You can also divide your towels into smaller loads. At the end of the day, an all-in-one machine works best for one or two people, and will serve you well if you're not in a rush and can take time to learn its ins and outs.

"I suggest investing in functional and beautiful baskets or containers. Theyre a great way to keep laundry closets tidy and organized, all while concealing essentials that tend to be a bit of an eyesore." Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy trend expert

Balancing your budget with your chores can be difficult, but the Electrolux EFLS627UTT has an efficient design that'll make things simple on your end. Its drum may only be 4.4 cubic feet large, but it's made of stainless steel, and is plenty big enough for a family of three or four. There are dispensers for detergent, fabric softener, and bleach, and a specialty StainSoak feature helps you eliminate grass, oil, red wine, or whatever stains may be setting into your clothes. StainSoak works by mixing water, detergent, and stain remover before your chosen cycle starts. Then, it'll use the mixture within your cycle to remove the type of stain you choose.

Aside from fighting stains, this washer is also thoughtful with its energy and water usage. It has a CEE Tier II rating, and is estimated to use only 85 kWh per year, which is equivalent to $10 per year when it's used with an electric water heater. When it comes to cycle options, there are nine different settings for you to choose from, including a 15-minute cycle that'll help you get clean clothes when you're in a rush. Other notable settings include hand-wash, steam, and sanitize.

The only major downside with this Electrolux washer is that, like most front-loaders, it's prone to mildew and mold. You'll want to be vigilant and leave the door open after every load so the interior drum and the seals can air out. You'll also want to check for any leaks around the door. They can develop after months of use.

For a quiet, powerful, and front-loading washing machine that will suit most peoples needs, the Samsung WF45T6000AW (view at Lowe's) is our top pick. It aims to treat your clothing items with precise care, and has vibration reduction technology so that laundry day doesn't overwhelm your space. Looking for a top-loading model? You should shop for the Whirlpool WTW7120HW (view at Home Depot). It has a deep drum for tending to bulky loads, as well as a detergent dispenser that doesn't need to be refilled with every cycle.

The best type of washing machine for your household is determined by the layout of your living space, your lifestyle, and your preferences. If your home doesn't have a dedicated laundry room, you should consider a stackable, all-in-one, or portable model that will save space, and can potentially fit in a closet. If you have a large family, or are frequently washing bulky items like a comforter, then a high-capacity washer is the best option for you. From there, you'll want to pick between a front-loading or top-loading design. A front-loading washer can require more maintenance to avoid mold and mildew, but a top-loading model doesn't typically have a stackable design.

The size of your washer's drumor interioris measured in cubic feet, and can range from as little as 2.5 cubic feet to nearly 6.0 cubic feet. The more space you have, the more laundry you can tackle at once, and the more flexibility you have to wash items like towels, comforters, or backpacks. Those who live in a small space, or only have to do laundry once a week, can likely consider a model with between 2.5 and 4.5 cubic feet of space. Larger households should opt for a high-capacity washer with between 5.0 and 6.0 cubic feet of space. Keep in mind: a top-loading washer is typically more spacious than a front-loading one, too.

Although most washers will have basic cycles like whites, delicates, and permanent press, it's important to consider what other settings your household could benefit from. Other cycle options on the market include towels and sheets, heavy duty, speed wash, activewear, allergen, and sanitize. Front-loading washers can also have a self-clean option, which makes maintaining the freshness of the drum much easier. How much you want to spend on a new washer will determine how many cycle options you have. High-end machines typically have more settings, and allow you to customize your own.

A bulk dispenser is most commonly found in high-capacity washers, and allows you to fill a dispenser once with detergent and/or fabric softener, and not have to fill it again for 20 to 40 loads. This feature is most helpful for households who run at least four or five loads per week, due to children or athletes. When a cycle begins, the washer will use load-sensing technology to read your load, and then tap into the bulk dispenser and dispense the correct amount based on your load's size.

Wrinkle care technology tumbles clothes in a washer periodically after a cycle is complete. It uses a bit of steam and the tumbling motion to prevent wrinkles from developing, while youre at work, handling other chores, or waiting for a load in the dryer to finish. This feature is typically seen in smart or high-end washers, and is made for a multitasking household or someone who is comfortable with their appliances running while theyre away. It essentially gives your washer the capabilities of a dryer.

Theres technology in washers that reduces the amount of vibration they produce during a spin cyclewhen the drum is typically moving very fast to extract water from clothes. This is known as vibration reduction technology, and keeps a washer from shaking, shimmying, and creating a ton of noise. If your laundry machines are set up near a bedroom, this is a particularly suitable feature for you.

Dust, pollen, and dander can easily latch onto clothes, no matter what fabric type they may be. Although water inactivates pollen, an allergen cycle is made to specifically target these triggers and gently release them from every fabric type using steam. This new setting is typically found in higher-end models, and is ideal if you live in an area with a high pollen count, or have someone in your household who suffers from asthma.

To keep your washing machine fresh and mildew-free, you'll want to add two cups of vinegar or lemon juice to the tub, and run the hottest and longest cycle your machine has. Some machines have a self-clean cycle, which will cleanse the tub for you. No matter which way you choose to clean you washer, you should plan to do so twice a year, or more often if your model is a high-efficiency or front-loading model. For more cleaning information, check out our guide on how to clean a clothes washer.

Shoes can easily collect stains from grass and dirt. You'll only want to put athletic shoes in a washer, as they're usually made out of durable fabrics that won't get damaged in the machine. To start, use a vacuum and attachment to remove any loose debris. Then, remove the laces and put them in a mesh laundry bag, and remove the insoles and wipe them down. Place your shoes in a mesh laundry bag as well, and then into the washer with a load of similar-colored towels. Select a lower spin speed for your desired setting. For the step-by-step process, check out our guide on how to wash tennis and athletic shoes.

If you care for your washing machine properly, it should last for at least 10 years. You can maintain it by using the right detergent, since some washers aren't compatible with detergent pods or require a high-efficiency detergent, and cleaning the drum periodically. In addition, don't overload your washer with clothes and towels, and make sure your machine is balanced at all times.

Not all pillows can be washed in a washing machine, so you'll want to check the laundry tag on yours before putting them into the drum. Typically, you can wash a polyester-filled, down, and feather ones. You must wash two at a time to keep your machine balanced or add white towels, if you have a front-loading washer. Pillows should be washed with a couple teaspoons of detergent, and on a gentle cycle with cold water. For polyester-filled pillows, go to our washing guide here. For down or feather pillows, go to our washing guide here.

You'll know your washing machine is off-balance if it's excessively vibrating, making a lot of noise, and shifting around your laundry room. To bring it back to a balanced state, first check your load, and see if the items are evenly laid out. Bulky items should be on opposites sides of the tub. Next, make sure the legs of your washer are at the same height, and the floor below it is even and flat. If your machine is on a pedestal, apply the same steps to the pedestal.

Having tested and researched dozens of laundry machines, we looked at reliability, functionality, and value when recommending the best washing machines on the market. We considered each washer's capacity, cycle options, and type of agitator, in addition to dispensers, drum material, efficiency, and advanced technology. For insight, we spoke with: Brittney Castro, certified financial planner for Mint; Marilee Nelson, certified building biologist and environmental consultant, and co-founder of Branch Basics;and Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy trend expert.

Marisa Cascianois the large appliance expert for The Spruce, and has researched the ins and outs of air purifiers, dishwashers, and more in the home space. She adores her Whirlpool high-efficiency, top-loading washer that's thorough and conserves water. For this piece, she read through dozens of user manuals to select the most effective washers. She also looked at verified customer reviews on major retailers' websites, compared the specifications, checked out the recommended washers in-person, and vetted the newest features for actual usefulness.

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