Is the washing machine damaging your clothes?

The thought that clothes can get damaged after washing them in a washing machine makes me sad. Delicate and stylish clothes are pretty expensive. And washing machines are also expensive. Nobody would like to see their favorite clothes ruined. Also, nobody would like the machine which is supposed to help, destroying the same very thing. Would you? But as a matter of fact, sometimes you will experience that. I did.

Cloths can get damaged, frayed, faded or ruined after washing in a washing machine. Sometimes some small holes appear in your clothes after washing is over. But is it your washing machine. Most of the time it is how we wash the clothes and not the washing machine. Let me explain it to you.

Types of fabrics

There are different types of fabric that are used to manufacture perfect attire for you. Some of the common ones are:

  1. Cotton: A soft, breathable and comfortable fabric.
  2. Linen: A comfortable fabric.
  3. Polyester: A fabric, which is lightweight, wrinkle-resistant, durable, easily washable and which also dries quickly.

These are some of the common qualities of the fabrics used in your clothing. Of course, there are others. To read about them you can read this article on Wikipedia.

Know the Tag

The tag that is attached to the clothes is very important. You will be able to find the tags along the seam. In most of the clothes, it is placed on the inside surface. That is the surface that will face your body.

The tag will give you short, to the point, important information. Like the size of the cloth, Brand name, which material is used, how to wash it and maintain it. These instructions are very important. Follow these instructions and your clothes will be fine.

Usually, when the seller tries, to sell clothes, they often refer to this tag and say, “See, this cloth is made of 100% pure new wool.” And if the material feels good and looks good we buy it, we buy it, maybe after a bit of bargaining. So, let us now take care of the cloth, that we bought, by taking the same information.

Let us take a quick look at the basic components of washing and maintaining it.

Machine Wash

This Machine wash icon will address how will you wash the cloth in a washing machine or should you only hand wash the cloth. It has 3 components,

  1. The Temperature.
  2. The Wash Cycle.
  3. Others or Special.

The Temperature:

This is the temperature of the water to be used while washing the cloth.

  1. Hot
  2. Warm
  3. Cold

The wash cycle:

The wash cycle or the modes that you will choose to set the timer in your automatic washing machine.

  1. Normal
  2. Permanent press
  3. Delicate

  Others or Special:

These instructions will tell you if the washing machine is required.

  1. Do not wash
  2. Hand wash

The first icon will give you entire information, regarding how to wash your clothes. The tag will have only one icon representing a combination of temperature and wash cycle settings. So look at it properly and also understand it. In some tags, they instruct it by explaining it in words along with the icon.

But it is always handy to know it. The first icon alone will help you maintain your clothes during washing. Let us look it to others.


The next icon in the line will be a triangle, which represents bleaching. Three information’s, that will be given there will be,

  1. Bleach when needed
  2. Only non-chlorine bleach
  3. Do not bleach.


The next icon will be hot to dry your clothes. The following will be in the instruction,

  1. Hang Dry
  2. Do not wring
  3. Dry Flat.

Dry clean

The next icon also represents drying.

  1. Dry clean
  2. Do not Dry clean
  3. Tumble dry


The last icon tells about how to iron the cloth. It instructs you to use what kind of temperature to use.

  1. High
  2. Medium
  3. Low

It also tells you if you need to iron it or use steam.

  1. No steam
  2. Do not iron

Now that we know what does that icon in your cloth tells, I am sure you will use the right way to wash the specific cloth. Follow them and your clothes will be fine.

Now let us see how different clothes can get damaged.

Types of damages and their prevention.

During washing clothes can be damaged in different ways. Well, some of them happened to me. So I am sharing my bad experiences. I am sure you will not repeat them.

  • Shrinking and sagging of Woollen Sweaters.

This is a common problem. I hated when my favorite sweater was oversized and a wash. This happened because I never bothered to look into the tag. But now I know and I look it to the tag and follow the instructions there.

Follow these simple steps to keep your woolens safe, preserve color, smoothness and its size.

  1. Read the tag and follow the instructions.
  2. The woolen cloth or sweater should be inside out in the entire process.
  3. Separate your darker woolens from your lighter woolens. Wash them separately.
  4. In Automatic washing machine: use the modes, wool, delicate wash with cold water. Pour the detergent in the tray. Not on your clothes.
  5. In a semi-automatic washing machine, 
  6. Pour cold water mixed with detergent,
  7. Then add the sweater or woolen cloth.
  8. Let it soak.
  9. Drain the water, use little agitation and rinse twice.
  10. Don’t spin it, gently press out excess water.
  11. After washing the clothes Do Not Tumble dry it.
  12. Place the woolen cloth in between two towels and soak the water.
  13. Leave it in a flat position to dry it.
  • Staining of light-colored cloths.

Once I accidentally washed my new white blackberry formal shirt with some colorful clothes. Guess what, I was saddened to see stains on my branded new shirt. Then I had to bleach it, running the quality.

It was not smart at all. I did make the mistake of not following the instructions.

So, if you want to avoid this saddening situation, read the instructions. And also wash dark colored cloths and light-colored clothes separately.

  • Small holes appearing

I have not seen these myself but hard it, so adding it also. Sometimes small holes appear in your clothes after washing. This can be due to the usage of hot water where it is not required. This loses the fabric of the cloths, which leads to the making of small holes.

To prevent it read the instructions and follow them.

  • Wear and tear

Take a good look at your jeans pants. You like them. I like my jeans. It is good and comfortable. So I wear them almost every wear except on works. They are made for rough use. But the rough use has made abrasions on their surface. Especially on those which are under constant pressure.

Check your jeans and find those spots. It is not only about the jeans but any other trousers or other cloths. If you wear them almost regularly, then they are bound to decay. This decay is what is referred to as wear and tear of the clothing.

In these locations, the fabric has thinned out exposing some threads. These locations or wear and tear can be ruined more if you wash them in a washing machine. To prevent them I suggest quick wash them. A better suggestion will be to fix them or replace them.

  • Problems related to the Washing Machine

Washing machines have drums. This drum has small holes. Sometimes small zippers or metallic objects get stuck in those holes. This results in an excessive stretch of that material during spinning. Resulting in tearing or damaging a part of the cloth. It is a very rare phenomenon. But it does happen.

 To prevent it, if you have clothes that have hooks, zips or other metallic objects, always wash inside out. So that the metallic object remains hidden while washing.

  • Things not to put in Washing Machine.

You also need to know what we should not put in the washing machine.  Things like leather belts, shoes, leather bags Big woolen blankets should not be washed in the washing machine.

What to do to prevent damaging clothes during washing?

Now you have read the entire post, you will be confident that your clothes won’t be damaged during washing in a washing machine.

Let us do a quick recap of the steps:

  1. Read the Tag with information.
  2. Follow the instruction to wash and maintain your clothes.
  3. Try to wash clothes inside out.
  4. Keep dark-colored and light-colored clothes separately.
  5. Small tears or holes should be repaired before washing.


Cloths can get damaged during washing in a washing machine. But there are ways to prevent it. Now that you have read the article. I am sure your clothes will be fine. Wash carefully and wear cool, smart, beautiful cloths. Let the clothes enhance your beauty and personality.