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Sand is one of my kids’ favorite activities, they can spend hours outside in the sandbox – playing with sand. Not to mention when we get a chance for a nice holiday by the beach.
Sand makes a huge mess, but it is great to see them having so much fun outdoors.
The fun ends when I get to wash their clothes only to find that they have managed to bring tons of sand inside, despite our little post-sand cleaning ritual.
Even worse, it’s to find sand going from my washing machine to anything that gets washed in there afterwards.
Imagine going to bed in your freshly washed sheets to find that abrasive feeling against your skin!
After different attempts and learning it the hard way, I think I have perfected my 3-step technique for a sand-free washer.
3 Easy Steps To Get Rid Of Sand From Your Washer
Use a vacuum cleaner
Sand is heavy and it does not float in water – we can’t assume it will just go away with the washing load. Your best bet is to vacuum excess sand from the drum. A nozzle or crevice tool attachments – the one with the ‘skinny end’ – are probably the best for this task.
Sadly, you can’t just assume all sand will go to the bottom of the washer because of gravity. Some grains might stick to the sides. So, it is important to vacuum all over!
If you have a top loader, gravity will help a little more. Front loaders can accumulate even more sand on the sides. So, it is important to keep on manually spinning the drum as you vacuum.
Wipe your washing machine’s drum
After vacuuming, it is a good idea to wipe your washing machine thoroughly with a wet cloth or wet paper towel.
If you have a front loader washer, this is a good opportunity to also wipe and clean the rubber around the door, where mold is likely to grow – which can lead to an unpleasant laundry smell.
Run an empty cycle
After vacuuming and wiping, but before putting more clothes in, it is a good idea to run an empty cycle.
Again, you can use this opportunity to give your washing machine a good clean!
Despite all that water and laundry detergent that goes through them, washers do not self clean. The best way to clean your machine is by running an empty cycle with a suitable washing machine cleaner such as Duracare or Affresh. These products are not laundry detergents and are designed to be used when no clothes are being washed.
Hopefully, with these three easy steps, you can finally get rid of the annoying little grains.
Needless to say that the best way to avoid this problem is not to have sand in the first place!
While this may sound like mission impossible and, to be fair, I don’t think anyone can reach perfection, there are a few things that can be done to minimize the amount of sand that comes into the house and into the laundry!
Tips To Avoid Sand Mess
Check and shake the sand off
Check your clothes thoroughly for sand – particularly around folds and pockets. Even if you can’t visibly see sand, give any clothes that had contact with sand a good shake. Sand belongs outside (we might make an exception for kinetic sand) and outside it should return.
Shoes stay outside and feet get clean
Shoes are one of the worst offenders when it comes to bringing dirt in. They should stay outside, particularly if they have been anywhere near sand.
Feet should be hosed or wiped to make sure sand is gone before going inside the house.
A great investment for when you go to the beach is a sand-proof towel! They exist and they work!
While traditional towels are designed to be fluffy, they are also the perfect place for grains of sand to get trapped. Sand-proof beach towels such as Tesalate are made from materials that don’t trap sand. It simply slips off with a quick shake.
One of the best inventions ever!
Sand is a lot of fun when it is not all over our clothes! If your washing machine ends up with sand, the best way to get it out is to vacuum, wipe and run an empty cycle.
The abrasive nature of sand means it rubs against things which can lead to long term damage. Said that, if your washing machine has sand, do not panic, it will likely survive after you have cleaned it.