What would life be without a washing machine? Whenever the machine starts showing signs of problems, you know that someday it might stop working. In this post, we will go through a few tips about how to maintain your washing machine in good condition.
How to clean a top-load washer
Step 1: When you remove your clothes, it is a good practice to leave the door open to allow your washer to dry out completely. This helps to prevent mildew and mold from growing inside your washing machine.
Step 2: With a damp cloth and a small amount of anti-bacterial liquid soap, wipe both inside and outside the machine.
Step 3: Again, with a damp cloth but this time with mild soap, wipe off any spills, dirt, and grime from your machine’s exterior and from the door jam.
Step 4: Check if the fill hoses on your machine need to be changed. As a good practice, you should be changing them every 5 years. You should also consider labeling your fill hoses to indicate their replacement date. Tip: Remember to cover it with some transparent masking tape so that the labeling does not fade away.
Step 5: Use a Tide Washing Machine Cleaner once a month to keep the unit fresh and clean.
Step 6: Read the owner’s manual for additional cleaning instructions.
Do not try this: Avoid using harsh ammonia-based cleaners. You should also keep away from abrasive substances like scouring pads or gritty cleaners. Harsh cleaners will damage your machine. You may consider a light touch of vinegar, although this can sometimes cause unpleasant smells. (Do you get the picture of perspiration on clothes? Then, what would it be with vinegar?!)
How to clean a front-load washer
Same as Step 1 above: When you remove your clothes, it is a good practice to leave the door open to allow your washer to dry out completely. This helps to prevent mildew and mold from growing inside your washing machine.
Step 2: Using a damp cloth, clean the washer door by wiping it down. You can use heavily diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 10 parts water) or a small amount of vinegar to break and remove built-up gunk.
Step 3: Clean the door seal. When you pull back the seal between the door opening and the drum, check for foreign objects and remove any you may find. Following that, check for any stains or dirt that may have built up. Rubber washer seals usually have both inner and outer layers. You will need to clean and inspect them both, because hair, grime, and objects might have got stuck somewhere.
You can clean dirt buildup by using either a mixture of water and bleach (one-gallon of water mixed with a ¾ cup of bleach) or cleaning wipes. Remove leftovers of the bleach solution with a damp cloth. Eventually, open the washing machine door for at least 1 hour and allow the washer to air dry completely.
Step 4: Clean and disinfect the detergent tray. Take the tray apart (if applicable) and soak it in hot water and mild soap for some 15 minutes.
Step 5: Most high-efficiency washers have a “clean cycle”. To run a clean cycle, add a ¼ cup of bleach in the bleach dispenser and run an empty load. To clean with cleaning pouches, add the content of the cleaning pouch directly inside of the washer drum, and run an empty cycle. There are plenty of other washer cleaning options out there, including Tide Washing Machine Cleaning Pouches.
Maintenance tips: You may use high efficiency (HE) detergents when you have a HE washer and you should avoid using too much detergent because this is the cause of excess buildup. Lastly, do not use hot water every time. It is recommended to use hot water washes periodically as hot water can help control soil and detergent buildup. Remember, every simple wipe-down after each load can keep your laundry clean.
What not to do: It is common that HE washer owners run a clean cycle alone and forget the other steps.
to do: Your HE washing machine should, in fact, be cleaned at
every 30 wash cycles, and you should follow the above steps to make
sure you are not letting dirt and grime accumulate inside of your
machine. It is easy to wipe your machine down with wipes, and it’ll
keep your clothes cleaner and your machine running better.
By following these few tips above you will be able to avoid having to call the washing machine guy all the time or at worse having to buy a washing machine every three years. In fact, you can use the same machine for many more years if you know how to maintain it properly.