title background

How to operate an automatic front load and top load washing machine

9 minute read |

What sort of laundry habits do you have? Your ways of using a washing machine will affect your clothes, as well as water and energy use. For that reason, all owners — new or experienced — should learn or refresh their knowledge on how to use their washing machine properly to fully enjoy its benefits.

How to use a washing machine: Step-by-step guide

Follow this complete guide from Frigidaire Arabia to learn how to operate a fully automatic washing machine, whether for a top loader or a front loader.

1. Check for care instructions from your clothes tag
2. Sort your laundry properly
3. Choose the right settings
4. Add detergent, softeners, and boosters
5. Load laundry to your washing machine and turn it on

Step 1: Check for care instructions from your clothes tag

While most clothing can be machine-washed, it’s always a good idea to read the care label, especially for woollens and delicates. Some need to be hand-washed or dry-cleaned, and some can’t withstand hot water or bleach. However, today’s modern washers feature programs specially designed for targeted care of different materials and garments.

So, when checking the care instructions, keep the model of your machine in mind. This will be helpful for further sorting and for planning the cycles you’ll use.

Step 2: Sort your laundry properly

Avoid putting all of your clothing in one load since various types of fabric require different ways of care.

Even though it’s so much easier to throw everything in there all at once, it’s crucial not to skip this step because this will play a big role in preserving your clothes’ shape, colour, and overall quality. Depending on your load for the day, separate them onto different baskets.

Sort your clothes by fabric

Not all fabrics can be washed, agitated and dried in the same way as others. Keep them from damage by separating them based on weight and/or fabric type.

Avoid loading heavy items like towels and blankets with items that are lighter in weight like lingerie and delicates. Lint-shedding garments and lint-attracting ones such as microfibre and corduroy should also be divided into separate groups.

Sort your clothes by by colour

Divide your clothes into darks and lights. If you want to be extra careful, separate the pure whites and jeans as well. By doing this, you can prevent bright or deep dyes from bleeding into your other garments. For new ones, turn them inside out because they’re more likely to lose some colour in the first wash.

Use a laundry bag for your small garments and delicates

Put delicates or small items such as silks, lace, lingerie in a mesh bag to avoid wear and tear when they rub against one another. Clothing with zippers, buttons and snaps might snag them so it’s better not to mix these in.

Step 3: Choose the right temperature settings & washing programs

The settings you select will determine how your garments are washed and spun, as well as how your energy and water will be spent. So, avoid guessing which buttons to press.

Knowing all of your washing machine’s special features and which to choose can help you get the best results.

Choose the suitable temperature

The right water temperature is critical in keeping your clothes last longer. Hot water works effectively in removing bacteria. However, it may use up more energy, fade colour, set stains, and shrink garments.

This comes handy on heavily soiled items like cleaning cloths and towels. For most items, use cold water to be gentler on your clothes, and the environment.

While most people worry that using cold water for washing won't be effective enough, this concern is actually a result of what you were taught or "auto-pilot" laundry routines. According to a study, washing at 30°C rather than 40°C use almost 40% less energy.

Reconsider your habits and have faith in your washer. Outdated rules and antiquated equipment are most likely causing more harm than cold water.

Choose the appropriate washing program

Your choice of washer cycle will affect how well your clothes are taken care of. If you select the wrong one, it might result in faded shirts or damaged delicates. This is where checking the care label comes in. Make sure you follow the instructions to get the best results from your washing machine.

Match the cycle to your load since certain fabrics require different washing machine programmes. Is your laundry mostly whites? Delicates? Or coloured?

There are two distinct speeds in each cycle:

  • The wash speed: This is when your items are tumbled with water;
  • The spin speed: Your clothes are spun to remove water at this speed.

These two differ from cycle to cycle, but generally speaking, more agitation offers better cleaning performance, and less agitation ensures better fabric care.

The washing machine programmes will vary depending on the model or brand, but almost all will feature the basic ones as follows:

  • Normal or cotton;
  • Permanent press or mixed;
  • Delicates

Though the below guide is not specifically for Frigidaire washing machines, you might still find helpful instruction as they are generally applied for most washers:

Washing program

Type of Laundry


Coloured and white cotton

60 min Full wash

Coloured cotton such as blouses, towels, shirts, and undergarments with normal level of soil

Wool / Handwash

Specific washing program for woollen items with “Pure new woollen, non-shrink, machine washable” label


Mixed or synthetic fabric items


Delicate fabrics such as acrylics, viscose, polyester items

Modern washers provide greater features and flexibility. For example, some Frigidaire washing machines include programmes specially designed for your certain needs like Quick Cycles to save your time, Woolmark Blue cycle to safely dry your treasured woollen items, and AutoSense feature to adjust the time, water & energy according to laundry size.

Here are some recommended Frigidaire washers for your reference:

  • UltimateCare dryer offers the right level of care for various types of fabric
  • 20 and 45 minute quick cycles to save your time
  • Large drum to thoroughly dry bulky items and family-sized loads
  • Gentle vapour refreshes clothes and reduces wrinkles
  • SensiCare reduces wear and tear, protecting your clothes from over-drying
  • AutoSense adjusts the time, water & energy according to load size

Step 4: Add softeners, detergent, and boosters

When it comes to choosing the right detergent, you should know if your washers require a high-efficiency type. If it does, seek for products marked with the HE icon. They are formulated to lessen soap suds, allowing you to use less water.

There are several ways to utilize deodorizer, detergent, fabric softener, and other cleaning products in a washing machine depending on the one you're using and the type of washer you have.

So make sure to see your machine's handbook for the best advice on where and how to add them. Check your detergent package as well to see how much to use.

Here are some guidelines on how to use detergent properly with automatic top loaders and front loaders:

How to use detergent in a top load washing machine

If a dispenser is included in your top load washer, put your powder or liquid detergent and fabric softener there.

For liquid bleach, some even come with a separate compartment. Limit your filling to the maximum line. Pour them into the drum directly before loading your garments if yours doesn’t have a dispenser.

It's also important to turn on your water so that they are completely dissolved for the most efficient clean.

How to use detergent in a front load washing machine

You can put almost everything in a dispenser found on front-load washers. Where to put liquid or powder detergents, pods, liquid bleach, and stain additives is noted. Do not exceed the maximum fill line. Some models may include a container for pods. If yours doesn’t, put them in the drum before adding any clothes.

Don’t worry about using the right quantity. Some Frigidaire washing machines include AutoSense technology, which releases the appropriate amount automatically and accurately based on the weight of your load. This avoids overdosing, which can eventually cause clothing damage.

Read our post about how to use washing machine detergent a more detailed instruction and find answer to common questions of washer users such as 'Can we use top load detergent for front load?'.

This video from Frigidaire will also help you understand your detergent dispenser:

Step 5: Load laundry to your washing machine and turn it on

Finally, you may load your clothes now. To leave space for the items to tumble, and water to effectively circulate, don’t overload the drum.

As a general guideline, allow a hand's width between your load and the top of the drum. Additionally, it's advisable to distribute them loosely inside. To find out how much you can actually fit in your washer, consult the user manual.

Some models require you to choose the load size in order to receive the optimum results for each cycle. Here is a general guide:

  • Large load: around ¾ of the drum
  • Medium load: around ½ of the drum
  • Small load: around ⅓ of the drum

Watch this video to understand what the display options on your Frigidaire top load washer mean:

Additional tips on how to keep your washer clean

To keep your automatic washer operating at its best for longer, remember to clean it after washing. Here are some helpful cleaning tips for your washing machine:

  • Take your garments out of the washer as soon as the spin cycle is finished to avoid mould growth in the drum.
  • Keep the door of your front-loading washer ajar after each load of laundry to allow air to circulate.
  • Use a washing machine cleaner once a month for a thorough cleaning. After placing it in the detergent dispenser or drum, run the hottest cycle or the specialized cleaning programme.

How to Properly Clean & Care for Your Washer

How to operate an automatic washing machine: Wrap up

These are the fundamentals you need to know in order to correctly operate any type of washing machine, despite the fact that handling and special programmes vary greatly across models. The washer you select will ultimately determine how you wash your clothing.

The ideal one should be more than competent to take care of all your needs and make laundry less of a chore. Frigidaire top load and front load washing machines come with special features that simplify laundry without compromising on performance.

Discover some of our best-selling Frigidaire washing machines:

  • Fully automatic washer
  • UltraMix dissolves detergent well even in cool water for optimal cleaning performance
  • Child Lock prevents accidental operation
  • AutoSense adjusts time, water and energy to prevent over-washing
  • UltraMix keeps colors vibrant and rich for longer
  • Fully automatic washing machine
  • UltraMix keeps colors vibrant and rich for longer
  • Full automatic washing machine
  • VapourCare leaves your clothes 23% less wrinkles*
  • Large drum to thoroughly dry bulky items and family-sized loads
  • 20 and 45 minute quick cycles to save your time
  • VapourCare for perfect care of baby wear

How to operate a washing machine: FAQs

  • 1. What are the five steps to use a washing machine?

    Here is a five-step guide to use an automatic washing machine:

    • Check your clothes tag for care instructions
    • Sort your laundry
    • Choose the right washing settings
    • Add detergent, softeners, and boosters
    • Load laundry to your washer and turn it on
  • 2. How to use a washing machine for the first time?

    To prepare your washing machine for its first use, follow these steps:

    • Press the power button (On/Off). Please note that the button might look different by model. Consult your manual to locate it.
    • Add a small amount of detergent to the appropriate compartment in the detergent drawer.
    • Turn on the water supply to the washing machine.
    • Use the Temperature button to select 40°C. You may need to press it for several times until the right temperature is displayed.
    • Press the Start/Pause button to begin the cycle.
  • 3. Is it safe to keep a washing machine in the bathroom?

    While there are no strict rules prohibiting placing washing machines in bathrooms, it should be noted that water and electricity can be a hazardous combination. Generally, it is safe to keep the washing machine in the bathroom if the plug and socket are protected from water splashes.

  • 4. When detergent should be added in the washing cycle?

    If you are using a front-loader, it is recommended to add detergent at the start of the cycle. For top-load washer, it is safe to wait until the machine is filled with water before adding detergent.

  • 5. What is the average water usage level of a washing machine?

    Water usage level of front load washing machines is normally lower than that of top loader counterparts. A top loader usually consumes 150 to 170 liters of water per one wash, while a front load washer needs only 55 to 110 liters.

compare channel adviser image

Purchase In-Store