The washing machine takes a beating on a daily basis, and while it’s built to take it, there are some things you can do to help it last longer.
Follow these simple tips to help your washer stay healthy and spry. They’ll save you money in the long run and keep your laundry looking its best.
Check the Water Level
Washing machines are one of the most expensive appliances in your home and with money not growing on trees anytime soon, it pays to take care of them. This includes regular maintenance and checking the appliance for any issues that may arise. By following a few simple tips, you can extend the life of your washer and save yourself some money in the long run.
One of the most common problems with washing machines is the water level switch failing to function correctly. This device, which is usually located in the control console, connects to a tube that runs down to the interior of the outer washtub. As water fills the tub, it also enters this tube, pushing air upward and increasing the pressure in the hose. When this pressure reaches a certain level, the switch trips to alert the washer’s controls that it has reached the appropriate level for washing.
Like any other part of a machine, the water level switch can become clogged or have an electrical malfunction. Fortunately, these are often easy to fix, even for the average homeowner. First, unplug your washing machine and examine the water level switch’s tube for damage. It should have fittings on both ends that are firmly attached. Remove the tube’s end from these fittings and check for sediment, kinks, or gaps. Clean or replace the tube if needed.
Clean the Lint Traps
A dirty lint trap can clog the hoses and cause your washer to run less efficiently. Cleaning the lint traps regularly can extend your washing machine’s life.
The lint trap can be found on the top or back of your washer or in the drain line. Depending on the model and manufacturer, you may need to consult the owner’s manual to locate it. Some lint traps are removable, while others are permanently attached to the hose or drain pipe. Those that are removable can be cleaned with hot water and soap. Fill a bucket or sink with hot water and a few drops of a mild detergent like dish soap, and soak the filter for ten minutes. This will loosen up crusted layers of lint and laundry detergent. After soaking the filter, use a brush or paper towels to remove the residues from the inside of the trap.
Aside from cleaning the lint trap, you can help reduce the buildup of lint by running smaller loads more frequently. This will give your clothes more breathing room, so they won’t rub against each other and produce more lint. Another way to cut down on lint is by using dryer sheets sparingly or not at all. While they make your clothing soft, static-free and smell nice, they also have a waxy layer that can gum up your dryer and washer.
Clean the Drain Pump Filter
A clogged drain pump filter can cause your washer to make strange noises and not work correctly. It is a good idea to clean this filter every two months or as often as needed. This will ensure that your machine drains properly and prevents blockages in the pump or the hose.
A good way to check if your washing machine has a filter is to locate the small access door on the front of your washer and place a dish or bucket underneath. Press the button or coin on the front of your machine to open the access panel and remove the drain pump filter. If there is a layer of lint on top of the filter, you can use a small brush or toothbrush to gently remove it. Rinse the filter under running water and put it back in your washer.
It is also a good idea to clean the water fill hoses that lead to the detergent dispenser and the drum once a year. This can help to prevent any unwanted soap build up in the hoses and will extend their life.
Finally, it is a good idea to wash your clothes in full loads. Doing many tiny loads can put a lot of stress on your washer and shorten its life. By following these simple tips, you can extend the life of your washing machine and save money on energy bills.
Clean the Drum
Washing loads leave fabric softener and detergent residue in the drum of your washing machine. Over time, this can build up to create a funky odor in your laundry room and potentially clog the drain pump.
Fortunately, it’s easy and inexpensive to clean your washer drum. Simply place 200g of bicarbonate of soda into the empty washer and run on a hot cycle above 60 degrees. This natural and mildly abrasive cleaner lifts grime, dissolves soap scum and removes bacteria. It also helps to break down black mould deposits.
For an extra-deep clean, you can also pour half a cup of bleach into the detergent drawer and run another hot cycle. This method is particularly effective if you have a hard-to-reach area like the rubber seal on your washer door that’s prone to mildew and mold. Just make sure to follow all the instructions on your washing machine’s manual.
Try to avoid leaving clothing in the drum at the end of a wash, as this can lead to moisture build-up that promotes mould and mildew. It’s also a good idea to set yourself a reminder to remove your clothes as soon as the cycle ends. This will help to limit moisture build-up, preventing the growth of germs and mould that can cause unpleasant odors. In addition, you can use a disinfectant such as Astonish Mould & Mildew Blaster to wipe down the door seal and other hard-to-reach areas in between washes.