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.
Read the care instructions tag on all clothing. Make sure the items are marked "Machine Washable."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Close the lid on the washing machine, and allow the washer to complete its cycle.