How to Wash Clothes With a Washing Machine

A washing machine may seem like a simple, no-hassle way to wash clothing, but you actually need to follow a few guidelines to make the washing machine work its best to clean your clothing. Washing clothing has come a long way since the days of the old barrel and laundry scrubber, and when you are able to use a washing machine efficiently, you will quickly learn how easy it is to wash clothing with this modern technology.

Using a washing machine is easy.

Step 1

Read the care instructions tag on all clothing. Make sure the items are marked "Machine Washable."

Step 2

Separate clothing colors into two piles, one pile for white clothing and a separate pile for colored clothing. Never mix colored with white clothing, as one red sock will quickly ruin an entire batch of white clothing.

Step 3

Place one batch of clothing into the washing machine. Fill the machine no more than three-fourths full, making sure to allow room for the clothing to move freely during the wash cycle.

Step 4

Turn on the washing machine, and select the load setting. A few items needs only a small wash load setting, one-third full should use a medium setting and anything larger should use a large washload setting.

Step 5

Adjust the water temperature. Use cold water for colored clothing to prevent fading, and also use cold water to prevent clothing from shrinking. Heavily soiled items should be washed in a hot water or warm water setting.

Step 6

Pour a capful of laundry detergent into the washing machine for a large wash load, or a half capful of detergent for small or medium loads.

Step 7

Pour oxygen bleach into the washing machine as well, to add a safe bleaching agent that is usable for both whites and colored clothing. Use a capful for large loads, or a half capful for medium to small wash loads. This is a safe alternative to harsh, chlorinated bleach products.

Step 8

Close the lid on the washing machine, and allow the washer to complete its cycle.