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5 Household Items You Can Clean in a Washing Machine

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Whenever we share laundry tips and tricks, we always recommend that you first check the care label of your item before trying to clean it. In addition to learning all of the things you can’t use to clean something, sometimes the care label reveals a welcome surprise: it’s safe to clean in a washing machine. To help you make the most of your laundry day, we came up with a list of 5 common household items that you can add to your next load.

1. Shoes

While not all shoes are machine washable, sneakers and canvas shoe that are made of cotton, polyester, and nylon are generally safe to wash in a machine. If your shoes fit the bill and are safe for the wash, make sure to carefully follow care instructions – some shoemakers even have step-by-step guides on their websites. Most recommend removing insoles and laces, and using a mesh laundry bag for items that are machine washable. Keep in mind that if you’re washing your shoes, they could take days to dry, and that machine drying is typically not recommended. Even if you can’t use a washing machine to clean your sneakers, you may be able to use a liquid laundry detergent like Persil® ProClean® to spot-treat any visible dirt or stains.  

2. Oven Mitts

Kitchen linen tends to get a lot of mileage, but things like aprons, cloth napkins and tea towels seem to take priority on the laundry list over less obvious things like oven mitts which can be stained, smelly, and left with raw food remnants. How to wash oven mitts will depend on the level of soil, but in general, you should start by checking the care label. Many standard fabric oven mitts without delicate embellishments like lace or embroidery are likely safe to wash with other kitchen textiles in cold water. If you’re dealing with heavy amounts of stain and soil, you may want to wash your items separately. If it’s been a while since you last cleaned your oven mitts or kitchen towels, you may want to consider laundry stripping.  

3. Pet Beds

Your furbaby may nap and lounge on several surfaces throughout your home, but if they take up residence in a dedicate pet bed, it’s a good idea to give it a regular clean. Some washing machines and dryers even have dedicated settings for pet beds. Vacuuming is helpful for keeping hair at bay, but washing your pet’s bedding at least once weekly is a good practice. Check the bedding for care instructions, and use a detergent that’s hypoallergenic, free from perfumes or dyes and consider putting the bedding through an extra rinse cycle to help minimize any potential irritation with your pet’s skin.

4. Stuffed Animals

Washing plush toys is a good idea, but extra care should be taken if the toy is worn or has delicate embellishments. For a standard stuffed animal, check the care tag which should indicate if the item is machine washable. If so, inspect it to see if any areas need special care like stain treatment, otherwise, wash according to the care tag instructions and consider using a mesh laundry bag for added protection. It’s best to air dry stuffed animals, and for an extra special touch, groom them using a brush or comb with soft bristles. 

5. Tote Bags

Tote bags are versatile by nature. They’re great to have on hand for groceries, books, toys, etc., and that’s all the more reason to wash your tote bags regularly. Always make sure to examine the care label first, and if it’s machine washable, empty your tote bags before cleaning. You should also consider turning the bag inside out to help prevent damage to any damage to vinyl designs or embroidery.

Household Items You Can Wash in a Washing Machine