Surprising things you can clean in a washing machine

A selection of items in a washing basket and a washing machine | Alternative items you can wash in the washing machine

Find out what else you can throw in the wash other than just clothes.

Pillows

If your pillows are down or fibrefill then you can throw them in the washing machine, two at a time, on a gentle cycle. Air-dry or tumble dry pillows on a low heat, but make sure that you fluff them up every now and again to stop the filling clumping together.

Trainers

Get your canvas trainers looking as good as new with a cold wash in the washing machine. Brush off caked-on mud first and remove the laces, then put them in a pillowcase and wash.

Air-dry the trainers, stuffing them with kitchen roll or newspaper to help them keep their shape as they dry out.

You can also use this method for canvas backpacks and baseball caps that have a plastic brim.

Shower curtains

Revive shower curtains by washing on a cool wash with half a cup of bicarbonate of soda thrown in to help kill any mould.

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Toys

Place soft toys into a pillowcase and add to a cool, delicate wash. A hot wash may dissolve any glue, so be careful.

Wrap plastic toys in a towel and then in a mesh bag (this stops them from breaking), then put them on a cool wash.

Yoga mats

To keep yoga mats smelling fresh, wash them on a cool wash (under 30°C) with mild washing detergent, and ensure the spin setting is on to help dry out the mat.

Bath mats and doormats

We all know bath mats and doormats can get grubby quickly, but a wash every week will help them last longer. Wash them on a gentle, hot cycle, then hang them up to air-dry.

Always check your garment's wash care label before washing.

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