Washing Machine Care Tips
Washing Machine Care Tips
Using these washing machine care tips to give your washing machine a makeover can help you avoid all the hassle of partially clean clothes, leaking, and even breakage that could put the appliance out of commission — or worse, lead to malfunctions and costly water damage.
The vast majority of us rely on our washing machines weekly to keep our clothes fresh and clean, but very few of us remember that the machine itself should be regularly cleaned, too. After all, it’s easy to forget to clean the cleaner.
Luckily, there are a few easy steps you can take to ensure your machine stays in the best possible working order so that your washing comes out fresh and clean each and every time.
Washing Machine Makeover - What To Do Every Use
While you don’t need to do a thorough cleaning after every single wash, there are small measures you can take to make your washing machine run smoothly in between uses.
Check for coins and keys. Check your clothes' pockets for coins, keys, and tissues as you load the washer. Having them bouncing around in the wash is bad for the machine.
Coins spinning around your machine at speed can do a surprising amount of damage, especially if you’ve got a front loader with a glass door.
Measure your detergent. Read the appliance instruction manual to make sure you use the correct type and amount of detergent for your machine. Too much soap can leave residue on your clothes and cause excess wear and tear on your washer.
Note: high-efficiency washers require special, low-sudsing detergent.
Separate small and delicate items. Place small items and delicates in a laundry bag to protect them from getting caught in seals and joins or otherwise damaged.
Don’t let mold build up. Wipe out the inside of the door seal to clean off mold and scrud (the detergent deposits that can build up inside your machine).
Clean the lint filter. Keep the lint filter clean to help your washer run efficiently.
Depending on your machine, the lint collector may be located in the agitator tube, which is the center column of most machines, or near the top of the washtub.
Don’t forget any socks. Double check for any laundry left behind after you’ve taken the washing out. Damp laundry left in the machine can start to smell, and even cause rust spots on the drum.
Mold can be an issue here as well. If you leave your wet washing sitting in the machine for too long, mold will take advantage of the damp environment, which is bad news for both your clothes and the machine.
Leave the door ajar. Leaving the door open can extend the life of your door seals. Wow - who knew that?
Speaking of mold again, keeping the door or lid of your machine open between uses to allow it to air and dry out so mold doesn’t get the opportunity to take hold. You can also give the rubber gasket a quick wipe down to prevent any unpleasant smells from developing.
Keep the machine balanced. If your machine has shifted during a cycle and is now off balance and bouncing around, move it back into place or adjust the feet to make it level again. A washing machine that's off-kilter can vibrate, rock, or "walk" across the floor during the spin cycle, which can damage the floor or the machine.
Additionally, you should check that there are at least four inches between your washing machine and the wall. This prevents the hoses from kinking.
Don’t overload your machine. Use the appropriate amount of water for the size of the load. Wash heavy or bulky items in small loads since these are harder on the appliance.
It can be tempting to squeeze just a couple more towels in to get it all done in one load, but not only will the washing end up not getting cleaned properly, forcing your machine to spin heavy loads frequently can damage it.
Add a drip pan underneath your washing machine. This is an important addition to an upstairs laundry room since water leaks could damage the floors below it.
Washing Maching Makeover - What To Do Monthly
Clean and deodorize your machine. Soap residue and mold can build up easily if you don’t run hot water washes.
If you do notice any scrud build-up inside the drum, run an empty wash cycle using store-bought washing machine cleaner or a homemade solution of hot water, vinegar, and baking soda. This will disinfect the machine and remove any unpleasant odors.
Once the cycle is done, dry the drum by leaving the washing machine door open. Once this is done, your machine should be clean and free of any nasty smells. Wipe away mold deposits on door seals and other surfaces using hot soapy water and a soft cloth.
Clean the detergent compartment. It’s also important not to neglect the detergent compartments of your top loader as mold tends to build up in the damp environment.
The detergent drawer can collect some excess detergent, too, which can prevent your clothes from being properly cleaned, as well as cause your drains to clog up over time.
To clean the drawer, take it out, soak it in warm water, and remove any residue with an old toothbrush. Once you are done, spray with an anti-bacterial spray to get rid of any germs.
Clean behind the rubber gaskets. Before you start cleaning the drum, make sure to thoroughly clean behind the rubber bands that run around the drum. A lot of lint from your clothes can collect behind these bands and they can even become moldy over time.
To clean them, simply scrub out any debris and spray them with an anti-bacterial spray.
Keep the filter clean. Be sure to keep the filter clean and empty as part of your washing machine makeover. Most washing machines will have a filter – you can find it at the front of the washing machine behind a small hatch.
It is essential that you regularly clean this filter, as it will collect everything from lint to hair, coins, tissues and more.
To clean the filter, simply open the hatch and rid the filter of any debris. Be aware that very dirty filters may be holding water behind them, so it’s a good idea to have some old kitchen towels and a bowl near you to collect any extra water there may be.
Washing Machine Makeover - What To Do Annually or Longer
Give it a deep clean. Scrub any detergent residue out of nooks and crannies with a toothbrush, and don’t forget about the detergent dispenser.
Even if you give your machine a good monthly cleaning, it can be easy to miss those tiny, hard-to-reach places. Checking and cleaning them once a year helps keep your machine in top condition longer.
Replace the water hoses. Check hoses regularly for bulging, cracking, fraying, and leaks around the ends. Replace the hose if a problem is found or proactively every three to five years.
When Should You Upgrade Your Appliances?
If you’ve exhausted all our washing machine makeover tips, and you feel your washing machine is just not doing the job any more, it might be time to purchase a new machine. But not to worry! Purchasing a new machine gives you the opportunity to make some great changes in efficiency, functionality, and even look.
If you’ve had your washing machine for awhile now, it may be worth checking out how well it scores on the energy efficiency front, and whether it provides all the functions you need. Compare your current machine’s stats with the new models available. You may be surprised at the cost saving improvements you’ll find.
To find the energy efficiency rating of a washing machine, check the Energy Rating Label. The rating goes from one to six stars – the more stars, the more energy efficient the machine. Washing machines also come labeled with a WELS rating (Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards) label, which again ranges from one to six stars to indicate how water efficient the model is.
If you’re interested in power saving models, take a look at machines with a delay-start function. This function allows the machine to postpone beginning the cycle until off-peak electricity times, thus saving you money.
You may also want to give some thought to functional features such as top-loading versus side-loading, stackable washer/dryer units, or larger drums.
So, if your machine is just too old for a washing machine makeover, take it as a great opportunity to optimize your machine for your household and budget.
Questions About Your Washing Machine Makeover? - Call So Cal Services
All of us at So Cal Services are more than happy to help you with all your washing machine needs, from questions to fixes to replacement.
We additionally offer full residential and commercial plumbing services for any other plumbing difficulties you may experience. Between our 100% warranty, our technicians available 24/7, and our high quality repairs, installation and replacement, you can be sure your home is in the best of hands.
Call us with any of your plumbing concerns now at (951) 926-1978 and we’ll be happy to help!
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