TIPS FOR WASHING MACHINE MAINTENANCE
Washers are machines. Machines require periodic maintenance service to ensure they work optimally for a prolonged period of time. The washer not being broken doesnt mean all is well with it. A general preventive maintenance could actually eliminate the odds of a potentially impending break down of the machine.
Washing machine maintenance works to keep the machine in good condition so it is energy efficient and runs properly. When you regularly inspect and perform maintenance on your washer, you reduce wear and tear to the appliance which could cause machines to break down and require repairs or even replacement.
With these washing machine maintenance tips from Williams Comfort Air, keep your washing machine and its hoses clean and in good shape to prevent leaks, protect your clothes, and get more years of service from laundry machines. Learn to care for your washer as well as how to identify signs that show your appliance is in need of maintenance.
Signs You Need to Perform Washing Machine Maintenance
If you haven’t made washing machine maintenance part of your regular routine, your washer may show signs of needing service right now! While some appliance maintenance tasks need to be performed monthly, others are required less often and you need to keep an eye out for signs it’s time to complete these steps.
Whether you have a front loading high efficiency washer or a top loading machine, watch for these signs that tell you it’s time for washing machine maintenance.
- Bulging or leaking supply or drain hoses
- Leaks from the washer
- No hot water
- The drum does not spin
- The drum doesn’t drain after a wash cycle
- When you run a load of laundry, clothes don’t come out clean
- Fabric and clothing are damaged in the wash
- Odors of mold and mildew
- The machine makes loud noises
Monthly Washing Machine Maintenance Steps
Follow these washing machine maintenance tips regularly to keep the machine working properly and prevent water leaks as well as the need for professional repairs. Monthly inspection and maintenance will protect your appliance from wear and tear.
Maintaining Washer Hoses
Washing machine hoses typically last three to five years. However, a supply or drain hose can experience wear and become damaged before you reach five years. Water leaks due to a busted washing machine hose are incredibly common so inspect hoses and search for signs of damage like bulging, cracked rubber, and fraying on a monthly basis. If you find damage, drain water from the old hose and detach it from the appliance. Install a new hose and make sure it has a tight seal to the machine and the supply valve fittings for hot water and cold water. If you are replacing drain hoses, check to see that the hose is properly inserted into the drain before you run a load of laundry.
Check Machine Position
Washing machines can move around the room during operation, especially during the spin cycle if you overload them with clothes. It’s important to leave at least four inches of space between washing machines and the wall of the room or dryer. This space helps prevent kinks in rubber hoses which could lead to water leaks and hose damage.
If machines do move around, adjust the appliance legs to keep them level and limit movement. To lower a leg, turn it clockwise; to raise a leg, turn it counterclockwise.
Clear the Lint Filter
Fabric and clothing release fibers during a wash cycle, leaving lint in the water. As water drains, the machine will trap lint particles so lint does not cause clogs in your home’s plumbing.
For older top loading washing machines, the lint filter is located either:
- Inside the agitator
- At the end of the drain hose
- Along the top rim of the drum
Clean the lint filter by removing the trap and soaking it in hot water for at least 10 minutes. Clean the lint from the trap with a towel or soft brush, then reinstall it. If your washing machine uses a disposable lint filter, simply remove it and replace it with a new one each month.
New high efficiency front loading and top loading machines do not have a lint filter – these washing machines trap lint with a self-cleaning pump. Check the pump regularly and clean away lint blockages as needed.
Clean the Washer
Washing machines develop odors due to the buildup of fabric softener and detergent residue, as well as the presence of mold and mildew. Clean your machine to eliminate odors and keep fabric and clothing smelling fresh.
Every month, add two cups of baking soda to the drum and run an empty load through the machine. After the load is finished, run a second load using hot water along with two cups of white vinegar. These cleaning cycles remove detergent and fabric softener buildup as well as mineral deposits left behind by hard water.
Use a cloth to wipe down and clean the drum, detergent dispensers, door, and the door gasket with vinegar. The gasket creates a seal between the door and the machine to hold water inside. To remove hard stains from the appliance, scrub with baking soda and a sponge. Leave the door open to allow the machine to dry.
If the door gasket is damaged, or has excessive mold, you can replace the gasket. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing a new door gasket.
Washing Machine Maintenance Tips for Everyday Use
Using your washing machine with these best practices will improve appliance maintenance and help keep the machine in top shape at all times.
- Take care not to overload your machine. When loads are too large, the machine can be damaged. Sort laundry into smaller loads by related color or fabric type.
- Always use the correct amount of detergent in washers to limit residue. Washers that are high efficiency require special HE detergent and cannot use regular detergent because it is not low-sudsing. If your machine uses a detergent dispenser, make sure it releases the proper amount of liquid detergent. The right amount of detergent for your loads will be listed in the machine owner’s manual.
- Whenever washing loads are complete, move clothes to the dryer right away – do not allow clothes to sit damp in washers for very long. Leaving damp clothes in the washer can cause mold and mildew growth in your machine.
- After moving laundry to the dryer, leave the washer door open so the machine is able to air out. When you leave the door open after items are moved to the dryer, it is less likely that mold or mildew will form in your machine.