Articles Home Cleaning and Organizing Non-Clothing Items You Can Clean In A Washing Machine

Non-Clothing Items You Can Clean In A Washing Machine

Bet you didn't know this! Say goodbye to unnecessary cleaning labor and find out what else you can put in your trusty washer aside from your clothes.

Delicate clothes often don't go in the washer, let alone bulky, big belongings. Throwing sensitive materials like tulle, organza, or silk in a continuous spinning motion along with cotton, polyester, and nylon clothes in strong detergent and cold water just doesn't seem right.

But what if there are household items that are actually suitable for a washing machine? It may be hard to believe at first, but you have to see it for yourself. Just make sure to triple check what your household items are made of to prevent permanent damage to them. Meanwhile, here are 20 items that your washing machine would gladly accept and spin clean.

Foreign Money

A person handing out American dollars.

Unlike our local bank notes, foreign money is more durable and even washable. The secret to a good money wash is a gentle cycle and cold water. Better yet, take a lingerie laundry bag and repurpose it. Put your money inside the small lingerie bags. Their fine mesh material is intentionally designed for sensitive pieces of clothing, so your US dollars would do absolutely fine under the protection of the mesh bag. Make sure to also pick a mild detergent to prevent your money from being tarnished.

Stuffed Toys

Pink monkey and bear stuffed toys.

Some young adults have attachments to their childhood toys and can't sleep without them. However, stuffed toys spending too much time uncleaned and undusted calls for a good washing. Just like foreign money, put your stuffed toys in a zippered pillowcase or a mesh laundry bag, but pick a bigger one this time around. You can also tie the end of a zipperless pillowcase to prevent unintentional wear and tear. Use a delicate or gentle spin cycle, and wash it in cold water to prevent its colors from bleeding.


Pillows with designed covers on top a pink bed.

Some pillows last years untouched (and unwashed). Filthy pillows can irritate your skin and cause unwanted acne, so it's best to have them cleaned up as well. Allot a separate time of wash for your pillows as they would take up a lot of space. If they're too big, wash half the pillow first before proceeding to wash the other half of the pillow.


Pink fur rug with chocolate rock candies and lavender petals on top.

Accumulating quite a lot of dirt, rugs also deserve to be cleaned in the washing machine. However, rugs with extremely sensitive materials like faux fur or fuzzy faux wool need extra care.


Baby pink rubber shoes with matching pink socks.

Before putting your favorite pair of sneakers in your washer, scrape off any mud, dirt, or substances that could possibly ruin your machine. When the preliminary cleaning is done, you can now let your shoes soak and spin away.


An L-shaped desk with view of the window draped with heavy curtains.

Several years pass before some curtains get a decent wash. Don't let your curtain age in a permanent spot at home. Throw them into the washer monthly, so it doesn't absorb dust and dirt that could affect the air circulating in your home, and cause unwanted allergies and irritations in turn.

Exercise Mats

A woman in workout attire sitting on a colorful yoga mat.

Sweat, grime, and oil fall down our exercise mats every time we work out. But instead of manually scrubbing them clean, we can actually make use of our washing machines! Just make sure the material is strong and non-sensitive. If you could remember the washing instructions for your mat from where you bought it, then that's even better.

Makeup Bags

A pink makeup bag with makeup displayed outside.

Lipstick smears, eyeshadow stains, and loose powder often stick to the inner walls of our makeup bags. To wash it properly, flip your makeup bag inside out and let your washing machine work its magic.


A woman wearing a pink cap and a hoodie.

Dirt that has stuck to light-colored caps is often scrubbed clean with a toothbrush, but only a few practice the best substitute to this labor-intensive method. Put your light-colored caps into the washer and then put the darker ones after. This is done to prevent the darker caps from staining the lighter caps.


A pink curly wig on a mannequin head.

If you have a funny bone (or you're just a wig enthusiast), then you must own a couple of wigs at home. However, swearing by handwashing them isn't the most efficient way to clean them. Let your washer take care of your wigs while you do other chores at home.

Furry Table Mats

A pink and white fury table mat with notebooks and a phone resting on top.

Flatlaying products for your online business? Your trusty furry table mats are always there for your cute and colorful photoshoots. But these mats aren't immune to dirt and dust collection, so it would be ideal to dust them off manually or use a small vacuum tool, then get rid of extra dirt by using the washer. Just don't do it haphazardly and use mild detergent as well.

Reusable Bags

A reusable canvas string bag with fruits inside.

Your grocery staple absorbs dirt from the environment, and even the repeated exposure to the goods you buy contribute to its drab and dull appearance, especially if it has a light color (which makes dirt more visible). Toss it in the washing machine and see the difference for yourself.

Mouse Pads

A table-wide mousepad with a keyboard, mouse, notebook, and pen resting on top.

Depending on the material, mouse pads are also good items to clean through the washing machine. Instead of scrubbing with your own two hands, you can just use powder detergent and cold water for your mouse pad. Let it soak in all the soapy water to get rid of the stains and grime on it.

Mop Heads

A person mopping the wooden floor.

All the dirt and grease from the floor are absorbed by the mop head, so it deserves some love too. Some people's stomachs may turn at the thought of the dirt from the mop going to their clothes. Wash your mop separately from your clothes, because it's unsanitary to mix them. After washing the mop head, scrub the inner walls of the washing machine and disinfect it as well.

Seat Covers

A symmetrical setup featuring marble tables and velvet chairs.

Velvet or suede seats? Your washing machine can wash them too! Seat covers that have a special spot in our hearts often aren't washed properly because we fear damaging them. However, the more they don't go into the wash, the harder it will be to remove stains and coating of dirt on them. So go ahead and put them in your washer!

Artificial Flowers

Desk with plastic roses, notebooks, eyeglasses, paper clips, and a keyboard.

Vinyl and plastic flowers are your ideal candidates for machine washing. Silk flowers however, need more care and protection, so you're going to have to handwash them. You can put a microfiber washcloth over your flowers too, to be safe. To prevent the dye from bleeding, use a mild detergent and cold water.

Rubber Gloves

A person wearing a rubber glove while holding a specimen holder tube.

Along with your scouring pads, kitchen sponges, and rags, you can also let your rubber gloves join the cleaning party! You can use stronger detergent for these cleaning tools, as these are exposed to more dirt than your average household items, and they are also built for exposure to strong cleaning chemicals.


Three velvet scrunchies stacked on top of each other while resting on top of a flower stem.

Your trusty hair ties and scrunchies must also be washed. While these can be done with smaller basins or water scoopers, save time and put your scrunchies in the washer along with smaller pieces of clothing so they don't get lost. Wash your scrunchies along with handkerchiefs, ties, panties or briefs/boxers, bras, and other smaller items.

Picnic Blankets

A charcuterie on top of a picnic blanket.

Just like exercise mats, picnic blankets have so much dirt on them. In fact, they might even have soil, grass, and poop on them! Right after a fun summer picnic with family or friends, dust off your gingham picnic blankets and put them in the washer using a good, fragrant detergent. If you see that the material is strong, you can use hot water to kill microorganisms that are possibly all over your picnic blanket.

Car Mats

Inside view of a car with white interiors.

Often pressure cleaned with soapy water, car mats are washed separately from other items. However, if you have low water pressure at home, then it's best to make use of the washer to get rid of the huge amounts of grime, oil, mud and grease on it. If it has bigger pieces of dirt like food particles or even pebbles, vacuum it first.

Washing Machines Are Your Best Friend!

A woman doing her laundry with view of the washing machine in the background.

As you can see, your washing machine can do so much more than just wash clothes! What are your favorite non-clothing items to clean in your washing machine? What aren't you too fond of or are still skeptical about? Give these items a test drive and watch what your washing machine is capable of. Happy washing!


Bradford, A. (2019, September 3). 24 unusual things you can clean in your washing machine besides clothes. CNET.

Gross, E. (2018, July 5). 15 things you should never put in the washing machine. Cincinnati Enquirer.

LaBianca, J. (2021, August 10). 16 Things You Never Knew You Could Put in the Washing Machine. Reader’s Digest.

Nystul, J. (2021, March 26). 18 Unexpected Things You Can Clean In Your Washing Machine. One Good Thing by Jillee.

Ogletree, K. (2020, September 1). 19 Surprising Things You Can Totally Clean in Your Washing Machine. Real Simple.