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Things you never knew could go in the washing machine

Things you never knew could go in the washing machine
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Stuffed animals and small toys? Sure. Yoga mats and baseball caps? Bring them on.

Stuffed animals

Stuffed animals
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Place each stuffed animal in its own mesh laundry bag and set your machine to wash and rinse. Use cold water (warm or hot water could melt the toy’s glue) and half the regular amount of detergent. Run the animals through a second rinse cycle to remove all the soap, and allow them to air dry. Fluff fur as needed.

Has your washing machine devoured half of your socks? Here are 65 absolutely brilliant uses for odd – and old – socks.

Mop heads

Mop heads
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Check the label on your removable mop head to see if it can go in the washing machine—most are made to be removable for exactly this purpose. If you’re using a Swiffer, give your wipes a simple hand wash to ready them for a second use.

Oven mitts

Oven mitts
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Add oven mitts and potholders to your load of dishtowels and washcloths.

Baseball caps

Baseball caps
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Spray caps with stain remover and let them sit for five minutes, suggests blogger MomCrieff. Run the hats on a short cycle using cold water. Reshape each hat and allow them to air dry.

Sneakers

Sneakers
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Remove the laces from canvas or nylon sneakers and slip them into a cotton pillowcase where they won’t get tangled. Take out any inner soles or padding from the sneakers and toss the shoes and pillowcase into your washer (if you’re concerned about the shoes causing a racket, throw in a few towels as well). Add the regular amount of detergent, plus a dash of vinegar to deodorise. Set your machine on a cold-wash delicate cycle. Allow the shoes and shoelaces to air dry.

Here are 11 chemical-free ways to clean your home. 

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Small toys

Small toys
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Load small toys such as Legos, bath-time puffers, or the ball your dog uses to play fetch into a mesh laundry bag. Run them through a cool delicate cycle to get them squeaky clean.

Pillows

Pillows
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Wash pillows two at a time in a warm-water gentle cycle. To ensure you’re washing out all the soap, add an extra cold-water rinse and spin, advises Good Housekeeping. To fluff things up, dry the pillows on low heat, along with a few rubber dryer balls.

Here’s the A-Z of fabrics and how to wash them. 

Plastic shower curtains

Plastic shower curtains
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Clean a plastic shower curtain with a regular amount of detergent. Add two or three bath towels for extra cleaning power. Hang to dry. Learn some more tricks to clean your bathroom more quickly and efficiently than you are now.

Here’s more great advice on cleaning the bathroom. 

Backpacks and lunch boxes

Backpacks and lunch boxes
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Open all of your backpack’s pockets and check for any items that might be hidden. If there are large pieces of crumbs or debris, use your vacuum cleaner’s crevice attachment to do a thorough pre-cleaning. Put your backpack into a laundry bag or pillowcase and wash it on a gentle cycle in cold water with a small amount of gentle detergent. Allow to air dry.

Learn some surprising things you didn’t know you could clean in the dishwasher.

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