A young child grabbing a bottle from a cupboard full of cleaning products.

How to Use a Washing Machine Safely

Household safety is on every mum’s mind, and making sure you know how to use a washing machine safely is important for everyone. Sadly, washing machine accidents happen more frequently than you might think! Follow these three tips on how to use washing machines correctly to ensure the safety of you and your family.  

Ensure your washing machine is installed properly

Ideally, you should have a professional install your washing machine, but if you attempt to do this yourself you consult the manufacturers’ instructions first. You can find manuals online for manufacturers like Godrej and IFB. Here are a few guidelines for installing your washing machine:

  • Don’t install your washing machine in a damp place. Water and electricity should never come into direct contact. Your washing machine should be installed indoors in a dry area.
  • Don’t use an extension cord or overload a socket with multiple plugs. Washing machines require a heavy charge to operate. Overloaded connections can cause fires.
  • Do install your machine on a level surface. If you position it on a slope, the drum may not spin correctly, or it might jump across the floor in high spin and cause damage.
  • Do make sure the temperature of the water entering the machine isn’t too high or too low. Temperature extremes could damage your machine or the connection pipes and cause injury.

Regular washing machine maintenance

There are plenty of things that you can do to help keep your washing machine running well. Keeping your machine in good working order will not only prolong its life, but may also prevent a washing machine accident.

  • Register your purchase with the manufacturer. If there are any faults discovered with your machine, or product recalls, you’ll know straight away.
  • Check rubber connection hoses and replace as required. Keep an eye out for any cracks, leaks, or bulges in the rubber hoses connecting the water supply to your machine.
  • Clean out any filters regularly. Not all washing machines have accessible filters, but if they do – only if the manufacturer’s instructions say are designed to be cleaned by the owner – make sure you keep them clean. Otherwise, leave this job to the professionals!
  • Keep front loading door seals clean. Built up grime or soggy tissues will affect the way the door of your machine closes – you don’t want it to leak!
  • Call a professional to fix any serious problems. If you hear any weird noises, or it starts doing something strange, don’t attempt to fix the machine yourself. You could invalidate your warranty, not to mention seriously harm yourself in the process.
  • Unplug your machine, and turn off the water if you’re going away. This will minimise the risk of an accident happening while you’re away.
  • Be attentive when the machine is in operation.

Washing Machine Safety Advice

If you’re wondering ‘how do I use a washing machine safely’ on a day-to-day basis, here is some important washing machine safety advice:

  • Never leave a running washing machine unattended. Of course you can pop into another room, but don’t leave the house when the machine is running, as you will not be on hand if your machine suddenly starts malfunctioning.
  • Keep the area around the washing machine clear and clean. If dripping water or detergent gets onto your floor it will become slippery and dangerous. It should be mopped up straight away. A trailing power cord could cause someone to trip up!
  • Keep detergents out of the reach of your children. Many detergents contain chemicals that could be dangerous if consumed or if they come into contact with skin. Keep them out of harm’s way.
  • Keep the door of your machine closed when not in use and check it is empty before loading. Children and pets are frequently attracted to washing machines and could be hurt if they climb inside. If your machine is in a room with a door, keep it closed when the machine is not in use. Some Samsung washing machines have a Child-Proof Display Lock System, which also helps make sure that your little ones do not change the cycle after the machine has been turned on.
  • Do not allow children to sit on top of the machine. They might fall and injure themselves.
  • Empty the pockets of garments before putting them in the machine. Loose objects like coins, pins, and hair clips could cause damage to your machine.
  • Only open the washing machine door when it is safe to do so. The majority of frontloading machines have a door lock to prevent you from opening the door when it is full of water. Many top loading and semi-automatic machines can be opened during a cycle. If you’re using a washing machine like this, make sure you never reach into the drum of the machine while it’s agitating or spinning as this risks serious injury. Many models now have a washing machine safety lock, designed to be difficult for children to open.

Tips for Using a Washing Machine Safely from Our Matic Mums

Our Matic Mums have plenty of experience in using washing machine safely! Here are some of their experiences and tips:

Lalitha Kiranmai : "While starting the washing machine, read the instructions carefully. Don't allow the kids near the machine while it is running because it could be dangerous. Use the best detergent like Surf excel for washing the clothes. For best results before washing the clothes soak for one hour then wash them so that the clothes will be more neat and perfect."

Dipali Singh : "Do not open the dryer suddenly. Keep the area around the washing machine clean and clear. Children should not peep into the machine when it is working"

Veena Vinyas : "I usually remove the plug from the socket when I go on vacation, for safety." 

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