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5 Things That You Need To Stop Putting In Your Washing Machine

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I don't know anyone that loves doing laundry. I have friends that find doing the dishes relaxing and some that even love vacuuming, but I don't know of a single soul that likes doing laundry.

Whether you're on your own or with a family, sorting, washing, drying, folding, and finally putting away laundry takes forever. It's amazing we don't have a simpler solution yet, but I bet those pioneers who used to scrub dresses in a river against a washboard probably think we're pretty spoiled.

Since it's such an annoying and time-consuming chore, it's tempting to just throw things in the washing machine. After all, with today's technology we shouldn't have to worry about things like we did twenty years ago right?

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Wrong. Actually you're probably risking your washing machine every time you do a load and it could end up costing you hundreds of dollars, or even more.

We're almost all guilty of some of these laundry sins, but here are five things you shouldn't be putting in your washing machine.

Underwear

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Oh come on!

I know, this seems annoying, but it's not all underwear, just underwear that has wires. Bras and lingerie often have underwires that can poke loose and damage the inner workings of a washing machine or other articles of clothing you've washed them with.

If you've ever found a little hole or rip in a shirt and can't figure out how it got there, well you might know why now.

To be clear, panties, briefs or boxers are still A-OK to be thrown in the wash, but if it has a wire you're better washing it by hand, or buying a lingerie bag to wash them in.

Keys

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Now where did I put my...uh oh.

We've all experienced the frantic search for our keys, rooting through purses, patting down legs even though we know there's nothing in our pockets, scanning through drawers, baskets, anything we might have put our keys.

Often times they can be found in the pocket of yesterday's pants. That means they could have been just one step from disaster.

Many keys nowadays are actually electronic fobs that control our car doors or even home doors. They short circuit in water, and a washing machine uses a lot of water. The wash is a bad place even for traditional keys however. They can scratch the inside of the washer and damage the drum which is a potentially costly fix.

Pet Hair

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This is a tricky one because if you've ever owned a dog or cat you know that their hair gets everywhere. Most of us know just how important it is to clean out the lint trap and pet hair is a big contributor to the lint problem, but pet hair damages washers too.

Pet hair has a tendency to stick together which means it can clog up a washing machine's drain pumps. That's a costly fix. Less expensive, but gross, is the fact it can stick to the sides of the wash cylinder.

It's a good idea to delint your clothes if you've been loving a furry friend a little too much lately. Don't rely on your washer to do it for you.

Coins

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There's nothing quite as frustrating as pushing start on a washing machine, hearing it lock and then hearing the metallic scratch that only ever happens when a coin fell out of a pocket. You know you'll be hearing that for the next hour.

Coins, like keys, are a danger for washing machines. They can scratch up the guts of your washer and even potentially break the glass on a front-load appliance. They can also damage the drain pump if they happen to make it through the filter.

Flammable Stains

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What do you do if you spill gas on yourself? Washing your clothes is going to be one of the first steps. Thing is, that could be dangerous.

Flammable liquids, like gasoline, pure alcohol or countless others, present a risk when thrown into a machine. It's safer to wash them out by hands.

Mixing two parts baking soda and one part water and rubbing the paste into a stain should be enough to neutralize the liquid. It's a pain I know, but so is a house fire.

I've been writing for Shared for 6 years. Along with my cat Lydia, I search for interesting things to share with you! You can reach me at Tristan@shared.com.