What would life be without a washing machine? Whenever the washer starts showing signs of problems, you know that someday it might stop working. In this post, we will go through a few tips about maintaining your washing machine in good condition.
Cleaning a Top-load Washer
Step 1: When you remove your clothes, it is good 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. It would help if you also considered 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? Now, picture it with vinegar!)
Despite the above six steps, it may not always be a simple and easy task for everybody to clean and maintain a washing machine. That’s where calling a professional plumber can save you time and money, as a fully certified technician will be able to service the washing machine and check how you can avoid any upcoming problems.
Cleaning a Front-load Washer
Same as Step 1 above: When you remove your clothes, it is good 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 stuck somewhere.
You can clean dirt buildup by using either a mixture of water and bleach (1 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 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 cleaning pouch’s content directly inside 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 an 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.
What to do: Your HE washing machine should be cleaned every 30 wash cycles, and you should follow the above steps to make sure you are not letting dirt and grime accumulate inside your machine. It is easy to wipe your machine down with wipes, and it’ll keep your clothes cleaner and your machine running better.
If you cannot do it yourself, and if your washing machine is stuck for any reason, you should call a reliable washing machine servicing.