empty pockets before washing clothes

Why Should You Empty Pockets Before Washing Clothes?

If you’re in a bit of a rush or you’ve got a lot to do, meticulously checking all the pockets of the clothes in your laundry might seem like a bit of a faff.

However, it’s a really important step and one that you should never skip, and below we’ll explain why. 


Why Do You Need to Empty the Pockets Before Washing clothes?

check pockets before washing

Pockets in clothes can be very useful, but when it comes to doing your laundry, they can hold a range of items which can be hazardous. 

The biggest concern is metal objects, such as coins or keys. Going through a wash won’t harm the metal, but the same can’t be said for your washing machine. 

As the washing machine spins, the metal item could either shatter or crack the glass on a front-loading machine or could damage the drum itself. The key or coin could also lodge in the pipe, causing a blockage and potential flooding.

You might be lucky and be able to remove the key or coin yourself at the end of the wash with no damage done. But that’s not the case for many people; keys or coins frequently cause significant damage which requires a professional repair. 

It’s not just your machine that could be damaged by metal items; it could affect your clothing too. As the metal objects spin round at high speeds, they could easily rip or tear your clothes. If they corrode, rust may also rub off onto your clothing.

Although metal objects are the most serious, there are other potential irritations. 

A pen in your pocket could leak and stain the rest of your wash; an errant sweet wrapper can do the same. 

A rogue tissue will disintegrate in the wash, covering all your clothes with tiny specks of lint which are impossible to remove without washing again.

And finally, you might have something important in your pocket that will be damaged by a wash. You wouldn’t want to accidentally launder your mobile phone or a stack of bank notes!


How Can I Protect My Washing Machine When Doing Laundry?

protect washing machine during laundry

Checking your pockets before you do your laundry doesn’t really take as long as you might think, and it could save you a costly repair. 

There are a few other things you can also do to help protect your washing machine and keep it in tiptop condition for as long as possible:

  • Use a laundry detergent which is recommended for your machine (if one is available)
  • Never overload the drum
  • Periodically check the hose for leaks
  • Clean the interior of your washing machine (check the appliance guide for the frequency)
  • Always leave the door open after you’ve finished a load to help moisture disperse
  • Zip up or button clothing to prevent damage to the drum or glass front

It’s also a good idea to only run your washing machine when it’s full so you maximise its energy efficiency.