Understanding what can and can’t go in the local self-service laundromat is essential for protecting the washing machine and keeping your clothes in great condition. Typically, the label on whatever item you’re looking to wash should have instructions on how to go about it. Sometimes these labels are missing the information, have been cut off, or the text has faded away.

In this blog post, we break down what materials can and can’t be machine washed. Whether you use your machine or the laundromat, it’s important to use it properly to protect the machine and your clothes. Read on to learn what you should never put in a washing machine.

What Can be Machine Washed?

Most of your clothing will likely be fine to go in the washing machine. Cotton and polyester can be tossed in the machine and washed with no problem. If the fabric is durable, other synthetics like linen and acrylics can be machine washed with no trouble. If you’re not sure about your garment, refer to the label to see if there are any washing instructions, otherwise, you can wash it on a cold gentle cycle or hand wash, just to be safe.

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What Can’t Be Machine Washed?

Delicate & Embellished Clothes

Washing machines are an essential appliance for many homes, but if not used properly, fabrics and clothing can get ruined. Delicate clothing should not be machine washed. These are things like knitted or crocheted garments, where the shape or structure could be ruined throughout the spinning process. If your clothing is embellished with rhinestones, beads, or details that could easily fall off or get caught on other items, avoid machine washing.

Animal Fibres

Wool, cashmere, or mohair fabrics should be delicately hand-washed. This can be done very easily; all you need is a small amount of mild laundry detergent and some lukewarm or cold water—never hot. For the best results, cashmere and similar fibres should be dry-cleaned to maintain their quality, but you can wash it on a cold gentle cycle or hand wash.

Leather & Suede

Leather and suede are stronger materials, but they should never be put in a washing machine. These are materials that don’t require a lot of cleaning, especially if you’ve used the appropriate protection for them. This will help to make the suede or leather garments water and stain-resistant. If a suede item requires a wash, dry-cleaning is the only way to go.


Silk is a luxurious fabric, but the luxurious qualities sacrifice durability. Silk is a fragile fabric. Using specially designed silk laundry detergent, you can wash silk clothing by hand. This should be done very gently, and the garment should be hung out to dry. Obviously, for the best care, you’ll want to drop these more expensive and delicate fabrics, like silk, into the dry cleaners.

Items That Can Damage a Washing Machine

Aside from looking after your favourite items of clothing, you want to look out for the machine. Whether it’s at home or at a laundromat, there’s nothing fun about dealing with a broken appliance. The best way to avoid this is to put items in one-by-one, instead of throwing everything in at once.

Empty every pocket before doing a load of washing. Things like coins and keys can go unnoticed and give the machine a bit of a beating inside. The same goes for zippers; keep them zipped up and under control. Be mindful of clothing with hard elements such as metal buttons or other things that could potentially damage the drum or rubber seals.

Get Your Laundry Done with Liquid Laundromats

Now that you have a clearer idea of what does and doesn’t belong in a washing machine, you can get your laundry done! Whether you’re looking for the closest option to your place in the big city, or just looking at what laundromats Blenheim has to offer, you can get your laundry done with Liquid Laundromats.