A common problem when washing laundry is when the clothes come out of the wash very badly creased. There are several possible causes of this creasing to investigate.
First, make sure the drum isn’t overloaded. It’s easy to overload certain types of laundry because although you may have a large drum capacity the manufacturers only advise using this full capacity with cottons. Everything else has a much lower wash load capacity (check your instruction book). For example my washing machine has a 6kg drum, but the instruction book shows the following maximum loads –
- Cottons – Max load 6kg
- Minimum Iron – max load 3kg
- Delicates – max load 2kg
- Woollens – max load 2kg
- Silks – max load 1kg
Some of these load sizes seem very small, but silks and delicates for example weigh much less than cotton towels so it still might take a fair amount of laundry to reach that capacity. Even so, overloading may cause creasing, so make sure you follow instructions if you are having excessive creasing issues.
Spin speeds and creasing
Like load sizes, spin speeds are surprisingly low for many types of laundry. So make sure you aren’t spinning any affected laundry at too high a spin speed. This is a list of maximum spin speeds from my Miele washing machine –
- Cottons: 1400 rpm
- Minimum iron: 1200 rpm
- Delicates: 600 rpm
- Woollens: 1200 rpm
- Silks: 400 rpm
- Shirts: 600 rpm
- Denim: 900 rpm
So you need to make sure you are washing your laundry on the right wash and spin cycles and not overloading. You should check out your own washing machine instruction book. These guides are for a 6Kg 1400rpm washing machine and yours may well differ.
Creasing caused by rinsing in hot water
Another more rare cause of creasing is if the washing machine is rinsing in hot water. This would seriously crease the clothes. It is relatively rare, but I have seen it many times over the years.
Either the fill hoses, or water taps are misconnected. The hot water goes to the cold valve and cold water goes to the hot valve.
These days most washing machines only have a cold valve, but the wrong water supply can still get connected to it by mistake. Here are the reasons why this can happen –
1: Simple lack of attention to the job when connecting the hose pipe(s).
2: Someone correctly connects the right coloured hose to the right valve (red for hot, blue for cold). They just assume that the water running through will be the right type. However, previously someone has attached the hoses to the wrong taps at the plumbing end.
3: Someone correctly connects the hoses to the washing machine but the person who did the plumbing fitted the taps to the wrong water supply, or incorrectly identified the taps by fitting the wrong colour lever or marker. The taps have a red mark or lever to signify hot water and a blue mark or lever for cold. No attention was paid to making sure they were on the right supply, so someone connecting the hoses up correctly wouldn’t realise the water supply was wrong.
You can check by simply putting the washing machine on rinses and ensuring the water going in is stone cold, and stays cold. Don’t forget that even hot water can be cold at first until it runs warm. Also don’t check if the hot water hasn’t been on or if there’s none left in the hot water tank. If your washing machine was connected up wrong though it should mean the clothes come out warm and it will certainly waste a lot of hot water too. (More information – Should the washing come out warm or cold?)
Creasing caused by too high wash temperature
Another thing that can cause creasing is washing on too hot a temperature or washing easily creased laundry on a program at the correct temperature but with a final spin speed that’s too fast.
Don’t leave laundry in the drum
Make sure that affected laundry is taken out of the drum as soon as they have spun. Letting laundry lay in the drum for lengthy periods can also cause creasing.
This is why dedicates wash cycles have an anti-crease guard where they suspend the clothes in water until you are ready to spin them and retrieve them straight away. It’s also why many washing machines have an anti-crease action after spinning by regularly turning the drum until the clothes have been taken out.
A last resort option
The above article lists all of the common and possible causes for badly creased laundry that I can think of. However, if your problem has definitely not been caused by any of the above, then it could simply just be that your washing machine is causing excessive creasing. Possibly by the fact that it is not using enough water during rinses.
Check out this Washerhelp forum topic, which gives a possible solution to creased clothes and laundry. It does involve a bit of messing about but it appears to have worked for this contributor. It might be worth trying at least to see if the washing machine is at fault.
(Related links: Download replacement Instruction books (If yours is lost) | Issues related to installing or connecting up a washing machine)