How to Stop Clothes from Tangling in the Washing Machine
You open the washer only to find your tank top twisted up in your jeans and your favorite tee tangled up in one of the washing machine parts. Is this just the price you pay for laundry day? We don’t think so! Tangled laundry is totally preventable. Learn why clothes, sheets, and everything in-between get tangled in the washing machine and quick tips for making sure it doesn’t happen again.
Sort Your Clothes Properly
One factor that can increase the likelihood of tangles is mixing heavier items with lighter items, like stiff denim jeans with lightweight cotton shirts. You can help prevent knotting by sorting your laundry into piles based on weight – plus, this is better for your clothing. A bit of trial and error may also help you discover what types of clothing tangle most; if you notice your long sleeve shirts are notorious for causing knots, mix various clothing types (of similar weights) in each load.
Use Mesh Bags When Necessary
Certain pieces of clothing – like hosiery, undergarments, and pieces with strings or embellishments – are tangle-prone. Before tossing them into the washing machine, secure them in a mesh bag. Not only can this help you avoid the dreaded tangling, but it can also prevent snagging and stretching.
Use the Proper Amount of Water for the Load Size
To get the most thorough and efficient clean, it’s important to use the proper amount of water for the load size. Modern washing machines – agitator and impeller alike – use less water to clean your clothes. High-efficiency machines are specifically designed to use less water per load. While this is great news for the environment, less water can also result in more tangles.
Most modern washers adjust the water level to the load size based on weight. However, you can change the wash cycle setting to add more water if you notice repeated tangling with specific types of loads. Selecting options like heavy-duty, bulky items, extra rinse, or deep fill can add more water and potentially prevent tangling. Keep in mind, however, that adding water can backfire if the load doesn’t actually call for it.
Don’t Overload Your Washer
Your washing machine won’t work properly if it’s overstuffed. Your machine needs to move the clothes freely to get them clean. It might be tempting to toss an entire week’s worth of dirty clothing into the machine, but this is a recipe for tangled disasters if the load. Sort your laundry carefully and split it into multiple loads to reduce the chances of knots.
Button Your Buttons, Zip Your Zippers, and Snap Your Snaps
An unzipped jacket or unbuttoned blouse becomes long and rope-like, increasing the likelihood of tangles. Undone zippers and snaps are also more likely to snag or get caught on other pieces. Before putting your clothing into the washer, make sure you zip, button, snap, and fasten all of the closures.
Load Your Washer Strategically
You may be able to prevent tangling simply by loading your washer more carefully. If you’ve got a traditional top load agitator washing machine, carefully add the clothing around the agitator and disperse the weight. If your top loader uses an impeller, you should still load it as if it is an agitator washing machine – carefully adding your clothing around the perimeter and not loading it too high.
Many of the same rules apply to front-load washers. Load the clothing loosely, making sure not to pack things in too tightly. Because front loaders fill at the bottom, put your most soiled clothing in first, so it soaks the longest. Add pieces one by one, making sure they’re not tangled going in. The general rule of thumb is to leave about six inches of empty space at the top.
Do Impeller Washers Tangle Clothes?
If your clothes get tangled in the washer every time you do your laundry, it might seem logical to blame your washing machine. And, as it turns out, using an impeller washer can increase the odds of this happening. Because impeller washers use less water and high speeds, creating currents to rub the clothes against each other, it’s not surprising that clothing can become knotted in the process. However, if you follow the tips above and take care when sorting and laundering your clothes, these tangles can typically be avoided.
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