Strange Things You Can Put in the Washing Machine

Most people think that only clothes can go in the laundry, but that isn’t true. We use countless things in our home daily that can go in the laundry and would benefit from a cleaning. Properly utilizing your laundry machine can save you hours of time and lots of effort. 

Here are a few unexpected things that can go in the wash:


Shower Curtain Liners

We go in the shower to get clean, but our tubs and shower curtains can get dirty during this process. Hair, soap scum, and mildew can all build up on our shower liners while bathing. This grime can be easily removed in the washing machine. Just use your regular detergent and a bit of baking soda. 


Car Mats

Car mats can get pretty gross, especially during the winter. Unfortunately, during this time of year, you probably won’t want to stand outside and hose them down. And it’s unlikely that a wipe-down will do the trick, fighting against all the dirt that comes off the bottom of your shoes. You can actually put car mats in the washing machine! Before putting mats in your machine, ensure they aren’t excessively heavy or oversized, as this can cause damage. You should also give them a shake to free them of any large debris. 


Reusable Grocery Bags

Because of Canada’s ban on single-use plastics, we’ve all had to transition to reusable grocery bags. While this is great for the environment, shopping can be a hassle. Food and spills can become lodged in the crevasses of these bags, leading to buildup. Vinyl and cloth bags can be put in the washing machine and air-dried. 


Mop Heads

Obviously, reusable mop heads get pretty dirty when we use them to clean our house. It can be difficult to clean something used to clean everything else, but the washing machine can get the job done. Run it on a hot, sanitizing wash. Then, let it air dry or put it in the dryer alone.


Mouse Pads

Whether you work from home or are really into video games, you have probably noticed your mouse pad looking a little worse for wear. But don’t throw it out just yet. Your mouse pad can go in the washing machine. Put it in with your next gentle cycle and let it air dry. 


Hair Accessories 

You wash your hair, so why not wash the things we put in it? Cloth headbands and large hair elastics like scrunchies can enter the washing machine. If your hair has been greasier than usual, dirty hair accessories could be the culprit. Just be sure not to wash any accessories that are too small and may get lost. 



Kids can get pretty rough on their toys. Their favourites, like stuffed animals, pick up dirt pretty fast. Thankfully, you can put various small children’s toys into the washing machine. Just put them in a pillowcase so they don’t get damaged (or cause damage) while in there. 


Exercise Equipment 

Unsurprisingly, exercise equipment gets dirty. We jump, crunch, and sweat all over it. Yoga mats can be washed on a gentle setting in most washing machines. You can also put some weighted bands directly into the washing machine, but take care to ensure they don’t get tangled. It’s best to wash these items by themselves.


Pet Collars and Leashes

If you walk your dog (or any pet, no judgement) using a nylon leash and collar, you can put them into the washing machine. Leashes tend to get pretty dirty. They drag on the ground and pick up lots of grime. You can get them fresh again with a quick wash.


Bed Pillows

Not only can bed pillows be washed, but they should be. Over time, all kinds of things get into our pillows. Hair, dead skin, and dust mites are all found in pillows. You should wash your pillows every three to six months. To do so, wash them on a gentle cycle and let them air dry. If you want extra fluff (who doesn’t?), put them in your dryer for a few minutes. 

While many people think the washing machine is strictly reserved for clothes, this isn’t true. Many things can get cleaned in a standard washer, even more than are on this list! The next time you want to clean something in your home, just search online and see if you can put it in your washer. 

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