I like to think I have a pretty good idea when it comes to what household linens I should throw in the washing machine every so often (kitchen hand towels, bathroom mats, etc.). There are a few items, however, that I'm guilty of almost never washing; in particular, my oven mitts. I can be a bit of a messy person in the kitchen and mine are always catching spills or mixing with cooking substances like grease. But before we go throwing our oven mitts in with the laundry, it's important to find out whether or not our gloves are washing machine-safe.
It dwindles down to what type of material your oven mitts consist of: nylon, silicone, or cotton. Most gloves are made out of material that is durable enough to withstand a washing machine. The easiest way to check is by the inside label or tag, which is usually located by the opening. The tag should instruct for "Hand-Wash Only," "Machine-Washable" or "Remove Trim Decorations." Easy enough!
Now, the tricky part. If your oven mitts don't come with instructions, your safest bet is skipping the washing machine and cleaning your mitts by hand. This can be done with a simple concoction of bicarbonate of soda and hot water, or by dabbing the stained area with a white washcloth (soak the cloth in laundry detergent first).
Not following your oven mitt's prescribed washing instructions can result in fading or discoloration, and in extreme cases, the mitts falling apart. And since not all oven mitts are dryer-friendly, air drying might be a smarter alternative.