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A washing machine is an appliance for cleaning clothes. It uses a combination of a mechanical process (rotating and rubbing the clothes against each other) and a chemical process (the reaction of soap and water to remove dirt and greasy stains) to get the clothes clean. Most home-use washing machines consist of a vertical barrel mounted on top of an agitator. The agitator is able to rotate the barrel clockwise or counter-clockwise, and to spin the barrel at low or high speeds. Water is introduced into the barrel at the beginning of a wash cycle, along with a user-determined amount of detergent or bleach. Throughout the wash cycle, the clothing is spun at various speeds until a final spin cycle drains most of the water from the clothes. After washing, the clothes may be hung up on a clothesline to dry, or can also be dried in a clothes dryer.

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