14 Surprising Things You Can Throw in the Washing Machine

| Living

Restrictions on what you can and cannot wash in the washing machine can pose a true inconvenience when it comes to keeping your house and belongings clean and germ-free. Maybe you spend extra money and time cleaning things that in truth can be maintained much more easily. There are several things that you can wash in your washing machine that you never would think could go in with your laundry. Here are some household items that have suddenly become much easier to clean!

washing laundry machine

Pillows: You might simply set your pillows aside when you wash your bedding but you can probably agree that pillows should be washed every now and then. You don't have to just replace them when they get gross! Apartment Therapy has very helpful instructions on how to wash them properly in the washing machine.

Plastic shower curtains: Dirt and mildew can build up on your plastic shower curtains, but that doesn't mean you have to just toss them! Put them in the wash with a couple towels, bleach and laundry detergent and they'll be as good as new.

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Car mats: Sometimes vacuuming doesn't keep your car mats up to par. When you just can't get rid of that coffee smell from the coffee you spilled months ago, just toss them in with the laundry. Find more instructions here.

Yoga mats: Sweat and germs build up on your yoga mat so you should be cleaning your mat at least once or twice each week. Even then, you should toss it in the wash to get a thorough clean. Well+Good has more detailed instructions on yoga mat care here.

Stuffed animals: You never know where those stuffed animals have been and yet your little one snuggles up and buries her face in them every night. Put those guys in the washing machine to make them snuggle worthy.

Bags: Book bags, lunch bags, gym bags and fabric bags, you name it. They can all go in the washing machine, too! Just make sure you take everything out and follow instructions closely. Click here for more on how to wash bags in the washing machine.

not a plastic bag
(Photo: Cafe Press)

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Rubber-backed rugs: Bathroom mats with soft rubber backing can also go in the washing machine. But be careful, because if you don't wash them properly, they could fall apart faster. Here are some tips for how to do it.

>> Click here to find out what can and can't go in your dishwasher.

Tennis shoes: Don't be afraid to toss dirty tennis shoes into the washing machine to get rid of dirt and odor; however, sometimes washing tennis shoes can change the shape so make sure you pay attention, especially if they are running shoes.

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Curtains: Dust and dirt can collect on your curtains over time and it's important to take them down and wash them every now and then. Opening windows and dusting can circulate dirt particles so toss them in on a delicate cycle to keep them crisp and elegant looking.

Legos: The task of wiping down every single Lego block is probably daunting and you likely don't even want to bother. Instead, put them in a pillow case, secure it, and put it on a short cycle. Easy!

colorful pile of small legos

Down comforter: You don't have to take your down comforter to the dry cleaner to wash it. Throw it in with tennis balls and mild detergent for a fresh comforter. (via Apartment Therapy)

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Bath toys: Especially toys that hold water can get gross and mildewy when they sit there for awhile. Toss them in the washing machine with bleach to agitate those germs and get that yucky water out.

Chair cushions: Just like pillows, your chair cushions can get dirty and collect sweat. Put them in the wash for fresh cushions around your kitchen table.

Dry clean clothes: The tag on your clothes might tell you that they need dry cleaned, but sometimes you can get away with washing them on a delicate cycle or by purchasing your own at-home dry cleaner's kit. That way you are saving time and money!

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