A washing machine is a household appliance we take for granted as long as it works. If you have ever wondered just how it works its magic with your clothes, take this quiz and find out.
Washing clothes can be done at home using a washing machine or at a laundromat, whereas dry cleaning is usually done at a dry cleaners.
The Union Washing Machine, a manual mechanical device, was patented in 1860.
Clothes were rubbed between two washboards by a hand-crank in a tub of boiling soapy water.
The Union Wringer was invented two years after the washer and was attached to it to wring out clothes, but the clothes line was the first dryer.
It's the same principle: loosen dirt with water and soap, rinse, remove excess water and move on to the drying process.
You'll see a perforated drum that can rotate.
You hook up one or two (if you are using both hot and cold incoming water) hoses from the appropriate spigots and another hose to a sewer drainpipe for the wastewater. You then connect the machine to the electric outlet.
Like any appliance, you should check those items you can readily access, such as belts, hoses, filters every year or so. You could pay a qualified technician to check for you.
Drain the water from the hoses when the temperature drops below freezing.
There are similar parts - motor, belts, hoses, transmission, clutch and brakes.
The automatic dispensers add the right amounts at the right times and ensure that they mix thoroughly with the water.
A combination of mechanical and digital parts control the working of the motor according to the program selected.
Basically, top loaders usually have an agitator to move the clothes, whereas front loaders have a rotating drum.
They use less water and detergent than the top loaders.
Unlike a front loader whose door is locked during the entire wash cycle, the lid of a top loader can be opened to check the wash or add something.
Wash -- add water and detergent to clean clothes; rinse -- add clean water to remove dirt and soap; spin -- remove excess water.
Usually a cold wash and rinse with a slower spin or no spin.
Colors should be washed and rinsed in cold water.
Some high-end machines have sensors that detect the amount of laundry and adjust water, cycle length and spin speed.
Not always. If you are concerned you can carefully use diluted bleach or one of the readily available disinfectants.