Because there's nothing like a good cleaning hack to make household chores easier, Buzzfeed has come out with a list of 14 everyday items that you probably didn't know are actually machine-washable. Here are several things you can toss into the washer without worry (check the link for the full list):
- Backpacks: If they're made out of canvas or another washable material, you can wash them in cold water. Put them in a pillowcase or mesh laundry bag so the straps don't get tangled up in the machine.
- Gym bag: Follow the same steps to washing a backpack, but also turn your gym bag inside out before washing to make sure the grossest parts get cleaned.
- Pillows: It's good to wash these every couple months. Check the label for washing instructions, and note that foam pillows are not safe for machine-washing.
- Duvets: Also known as comforters or doonas, they are best washed with cool or warm water on a gentle cycle in a really big machine. (Visit the laundromat if your machine isn't big enough.)
- Shower curtains: Plastic ones can go in with a load of towels; wash like normal, or add a cup of baking soda or vinegar if they're extra-stained.
- Sneakers: Wash with a load of towels on a gentle setting.
- Yoga mat: So long as yours specifically tells you not to machine-wash it, and so long as you don't have an agitator in your machine, you should be good to go.
- Plush toys: Wash your kids' stuff animals in a pillowcase on a gentle cycle with a tiny bit of detergent. Then let them hang in the sun for a day to make sure they're dry.
- Rugs and mats: Persian rugs are a no-no, but your everyday rugs are made for the wash.
- Reusable grocery bags: Use cold water on plastic-coated bags, and mix them in with your regular cold wash.