Can You Put Metal in Washing Machine? Find Out the Surprising Answer!

It all started with a curious, “Can I put metal in a washing machine?” But through my research, I've discovered it's a bad idea. I thoughtlessly left coins in my jeans once and heard the ominous clanging inside the drum. Those coins could have damaged the fins of the drain pump! Even my keys can scratch the interior drum or jam up the filters and valves.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Metal Damage: Metal objects can damage your washing machine, leading to costly repairs.

  2. Garment Care: Some clothes and items with metal parts, like zippers, can be washed safely, but others, like suits or embellished garments, risk harm.

  3. Alternative Cleaning Methods: For delicate or metal-included items, consider alternatives like hand-washing, dry-cleaning, or using a Sonic Soak, a mini ultrasonic cleaner that operates without causing damage.

Ready to find out more about the dos and don'ts of washing? Let's dive deeper into how to keep your washing machine in tip-top shape and your clothes pristine.

What Occurs When You Place Metal in the Washing Machine?

Putting metal objects in the washing machine can have various consequences, depending on the specific item and the machine itself. While some metal objects may not cause any harm, others can potentially damage the machine or the items being washed.

It's important to consider the following factors when deciding whether to put metal in the washing machine:

  1. Scratching or Damaging the Washing Drum: Metal objects such as keys can scratch the interior of the washing drum, leading to cosmetic damage. Additionally, if the metal object gets stuck in the filters or valves of the machine, it can cause more expensive damages.

  2. Damage to the Fins of the Drain Pump: Coins are a common metal object that can find their way into the washing machine. However, coins should not be put in the washing machine as they can cause damage to the machine, such as damaging the fins of the drain pump.

  3. Heat and Rubber: Some metal objects may be partially made of rubber, such as certain types of belts. These items should not be put in the washing machine as the heat generated during the wash can destroy the rubber.

While some metal objects may be safe to wash in the machine, it's important to exercise caution and consider the potential risks before proceeding.

What Factors Can Harm a Washing Machine?

Apart from metal objects, there are several other factors that can harm a washing machine.

It's essential to be aware of these factors to ensure the longevity and proper functioning of your machine. Here are some common factors that can harm a washing machine:

  • Excessive Detergent: Using too much detergent can harm both your clothes and the washing machine. It can leave soap residue on clothes and build up mold on the interior walls of the machine, requiring extra cleaning.

  • Items with Rubber: As mentioned earlier, items partially made of rubber should not be put in the washing machine. The heat and agitation of the wash can damage the rubber, leading to potential leaks or malfunctions.

  • Overloading: Overloading the washing machine with too many clothes can put strain on the motor and other components. This can lead to excessive vibrations, noise, and even damage to the machine.

  • Foreign Objects: Apart from metal objects, other foreign objects such as loose change, small toys, or even jewelry can find their way into the washing machine. These objects can cause blockages and damage to the machine if not removed before starting the wash cycle.

By being mindful of these factors and taking the necessary precautions, you can help prolong the life of your washing machine and avoid costly repairs.

Is It Safe to Wash Curtains with Metal Rings in a Washing Machine?

Curtains with metal rings can generally be washed in a washing machine, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it's important to ensure that the rings are securely attached to the curtains.

Loose or damaged rings can become tangled or cause damage to the machine.

It's also a good idea to place the curtains in a mesh laundry bag to protect them during the wash cycle. This will prevent the rings from snagging on other items or the drum itself.

Additionally, using a gentle cycle and cold water can help minimize any potential damage to the curtains or the rings.

Can a Loose Coin Wreck a Washing Machine?

Yes, a loose coin can potentially wreak havoc on your washing machine.

As mentioned earlier, coins should not be put in the washing machine as they can cause damage to the machine, such as damaging the fins of the drain pump.

The spinning motion of the drum can cause the coin to move around and collide with various components, leading to scratches, dents, or even mechanical failures. To prevent this, it's important to always check pockets and remove any loose change before starting a load of laundry.

Can a Belt Be Cleaned in a Washer?

Belts, especially those made of fabric or partially made of rubber, should not be cleaned in a washing machine.

The heat, agitation, and water can damage the belt and affect its performance.

Instead, it's best to spot clean belts using a mild detergent and a soft cloth.

For leather belts, using a leather cleaner or conditioner is recommended.

If the belt is heavily soiled or stained, it may be best to take it to a professional cleaner for proper care.

Final Thoughts:

FAQ

Is it OK to put metal in the washing machine?

While some metal objects may be safe to wash in the machine, it's important to exercise caution and consider the potential risks. Metal objects such as keys or loose change can scratch the interior of the washing drum or cause damage to the machine.

It's always a good idea to check the manufacturer's guidelines for your specific machine and follow any recommendations they provide.

What should you not put in a washing machine?

There are several items that should not be put in a washing machine, including:

  • Coins

  • Keys

  • Items with rubber

  • Expensive purses

  • Precious stuffed animals

  • Lace items

  • Running shoes, especially those with leather accents

  • Suits

  • Sweaters made from delicate materials like velvet, cashmere, or wool

  • Garments with sewn-on or glued-on details

What items can damage a washing machine?

Apart from metal objects, other factors that can damage a washing machine include:

  • Excessive detergent

  • Items with rubber

  • Overloading

  • Foreign objects such as loose change or small toys

Can you put a belt in the washer?

Belts, especially those made of fabric or partially made of rubber, should not be cleaned in a washing machine.

The heat, agitation, and water can damage the belt and affect its performance.

It's best to spot clean belts using a mild detergent and a soft cloth or take them to a professional cleaner for proper care.

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