• No products in the cart.

10 Things You Didn't Know You Can Clean in the Washer

Your washing machine can handle a lot more than just clothes, and you should be washing a lot of items way more frequently than you probably do. Not only does using the washing machine make cleaning these unconventional items a breeze, it also helps rid your house of hidden bacteria that might be living in these items. Don’t forget to use your favorite Rockin’ Green’ detergent when giving these things a clean to reduce trips to the dry cleaner and revitalize common household items! 

Note: For all of these items, we recommend using the regular or gentle cycle and following individual labels for water temperature and drying.


1. Backpacks

Whether it’s your favorite hiking backpack or it’s the one your kid takes to school, backpacks are often hiding sweat and dirt in their fibers.

Cloth and vinyl backpacks are safe to machine wash. Start by emptying it completely and checking all compartments and pockets. Turn the bag inside out and wash with heavy duty detergent, like our Active Wear detergent, on the warm cycle. If the care label permits, toss it in the dryer on low heat.

2. Rugs

This might seem obvious, but small area rugs, especially those near doors, attract lots of dirt. Unless the tag clearly states that it is dry clean only, most area rugs can be washed in your washing machine.

If you notice any stains, pre-treat them with a paste mixture of our Active Wear detergent and water. Use cold water. After removing the wet rug from the washer, always air dry. High heat can shrink the rug or cause the rubber backing to deteriorate. 

3. Stuffed Animals

The beloved teddy bear or blanket your children take everywhere needs a bath every once in a while. Good news. It’s super simple and you don’t have to throw it out or worry about replacing it.

Unless the stuffed toy is battery operated or has a mechanical element, then it is perfectly safe to throw in the washer. First, make sure that it is free or rips and tears. If you do notice any, repair them before washing. Place in a mesh laundry bag and wash in warm water on the gentle cycle with a sensitive skin detergent (try our baby detergent, Dirty Diaper). Finally, let the stuffed toy air dry.

4. Sneakers

Your favorite sneakers and running shoes take a pretty good beating, but you can easily restore them to brand new by giving them a clean in the washing machine. 

Before tossing them in, take some precautions first. First, remove the laces and insoles. Pretreat any set in stains and lightly scrub scuff marks with a paste made of our Active Wear detergent and water. Place the sneakers in a mesh laundry bag and place them in the washer on the gentle cycle with water. The intense heat from the dryer can ruin any rubber, so let them air dry.

5. Cleaning Tools

Did you know? If you aren’t cleaning your mop and kitchen sponges regularly, you’re actually just spreading bacteria around when you clean. Yuck.

Remove mop heads from handles and place them in a mesh laundry bag along with smaller cleaning materials like sponges and rubber gloves. Hot water and two tablespoons of Rockin’ Green Active Wear detergent should be enough to kill germs. Allow to completely air dry to prevent mold.

6. Shower Curtains

Due to the warm, damp atmosphere of the shower, your shower curtain is prone to mold and mildew, so it’s recommended that you clean your shower curtain and liner once every three months. 

Remove them from the rod, and place them in the washer on the regular cycle with a couple of towels. If there are signs of mildew, try soaking them for an hour with Rockin’ Green Active Wear detergent before washing. Dry your shower curtain on the lowest setting in the dryer and let the liner drip dry.

7. Pillows

You might already wash your pillowcases regularly, but you should be washing the actual pillow as well. Your pillow is basically soaking in sweat, dead skins cells, and saliva...ew. 

To wash, place two pillows in the water to balance the load. Add your laundry detergent and run the washer on the regular cycle with hot water. After, toss it in the dryer on the lowest setting. If you don't want to worry about fluffing the pillows after, add a couple of tennis balls in the dryer along with your pillows.

8. Pet Beds

Whether it’s drool or dirt, your pet's bed is covered in bacteria, and it’s recommended that you clean their bed every other week. 

Set your machine to the gentle or regular wash setting. Use a plant-based detergent like our Classic Rock and add in a tablespoon of our Funk Rock Laundry Pre-Treatment for extra germ-fighting power! To ensure that all of the water is wrung out your pet's bed, run an extra rinse cycle. If the wash instructions on the bed’s tag permit it, toss the bed in the dryer.

9. Sports Gear

We’re no strangers to the funk in sports uniforms and workout clothes, but even your shin guards, knee pads, and compression sleeves are magnets for dirt, sweat, and grass stains. 

To wash, place them in a mesh laundry bag and throw them in the washer on a gentle cycle with regular detergent. Avoid direct heat and air dry. If your sports gear has deep-set stains or smells, try soaking them in warm water with our Active Wear detergent and then running them through a rinse cycle with no added detergent.

10. Car Mats

Your car mats are prone to dirt buildup and bacteria, especially if you live a more active or outdoors lifestyle. 

Before washing, pretreat stains and scrub heavily soiled spots with a mixture of our Active Wear detergent and water. Wash on the gentle cycle with cold water. Always let your car mats air dry. Heat from the dryer is too intense and will cause the rubber backing to flake off.


Why Rockin’ Green?

Rockin’ Green products are great for allergy free cleaning. They are free of chemicals that trigger allergies like: APEs/NPEs, parabens, phthalates, SLS/SLES, optical brighteners, 1,4 dioxane, naphthas, phenols, sodium hypochlorite, EDTA, phosphates, and artificial fragrances. The last thing you want to do when cleaning up allergens like pollen and dander is introduce new ones into your home. You don’t have to take our word for it. Hear what some of our fans have said about Rockin’ Green products:

Classic Rock Laundry Detergent

“Other laundry detergents drive my allergies wild, but this one is perfect with no scent! I had stains on white material, so I soaked and washed it in another detergent, but it didn’t come out. So I soaked it in this detergent and then washed it, and the stains came out!”  - Sally M.

“This laundry powder works great without leaving soap residue on your clothing. If you have allergies try this one! It's unscented!” - Layo

Hard Rock Laundry Detergent

“Gentle, yet effective on clothing and nasty diapers alike. My water is super hard, and the Hard Rock formula works great. An added bonus - the scents are scrumptious, and do not trigger my allergies or asthma!” - Emily M.

Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer

“I'm not a super green or crunchy person. I started using this because my son was having a lot of accidents (poop) and I was tired of all his underwear smelling awful. It worked so well. Things that I thought were ruined because I had soaked in my traditional cleaner and they still smelled we magically smell free. The great part about it is that they didn't smell at all anymore- meaning this product works at removing smell but it also doesn't have a tremendous smell by itself. I am allergic to many scents and this doesn't bother me at all. I no longer need this product for poopy underwear but I use it on funky smelling towels or other gross items! Works like a charm!” -Melzy15

Platinum Series Active Wear Detergent

“Loooove this detergent! I'm chemically sensitive and very sensitive to scents. So I wanted to try this, but then I found this "active" one which I switched to because although I don't workout, unfortunately I sweat a lot. I'm ill and go through many cold sweats and often I had to rewash my clothes. Not anymore!!!!The other thing I love is how nice my clothes feel after a strip soak wash. Being highly sensitive to everything I noticed a difference right away. I'm on disability but this is one item I will always spend on from now on!” - TiffyRose

“My boyfriend is a Spartan Racer. I needed something that could handle his thoroughly disgustingly dirt, sweat, and whatever else caked clothes and shoes. Well, this stuff is magical. Not only can it power through his filth, but it handles my scrubs. I am a vet tech, and I'm running non stop during the day. I also have sensitive skin, and it doesn't bother me in any way. If there were 10 stars, I'd rate this 10 stars.” - Moira K.

Related Articles