A washing machine in the home is a vital appliance, and keeping it in working order is essential for maintaining your daily routines. One way to keep it running well is by carrying out regular maintenance and care. This can extend the lifespan of your washing machine and help prevent costly repairs. Here are some tips on how to keep your washing machine in working order.
Read the User Manual
Don’t assume you know how your machine works, so start by reading the user manual that comes with your washing machine. It contains valuable information on operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting specific to your machine’s make and model.
Level Your Machine
Ensure that your washing machine is level and stable. An unbalanced machine can cause excessive vibration, noise, and even damage over time. Adjust the leveling feet as needed to maintain stability.
If you do notice that your washing machine starts to make unusual noises or vibrates excessively, it may indicate a problem. Stop using it and investigate the issue to prevent further damage. Common culprits include unbalanced loads, loose parts, or damaged suspension systems.
Use the Right Detergent
Always use the appropriate type and amount of detergent recommended by the manufacturer. Using too much detergent can lead to soap buildup, foul odors, and reduced cleaning efficiency.
Clean Every Essential Element
The Dispenser Drawer
Regularly remove and clean the detergent dispenser drawer. Soap residues and fabric softeners can accumulate, leading to clogs and mold growth.
Periodically run an empty hot water cycle with just a cup of white vinegar or a washing machine cleaner to remove soap scum, mineral deposits, and mold to prevent odors and maintain the cleanliness of the drum.
Some washing machines have a lint filter or a debris filter. Check your user manual to locate and clean this filter as recommended. A clogged filter can impede water flow, affecting washing performance.
Check for Leaks
Inspect the area around your washing machine for any signs of water leaks. Leaking can damage the flooring and other nearby structures. Address any leaks promptly by tightening connections or replacing faulty hoses.
Schedule Professional Maintenance
Consider scheduling periodic maintenance checks by a professional technician. They can identify and address potential issues before they become major problems, ultimately saving you money on more costly repairs. For instance, they could recommend that you install a laundry room standpipe, as this minimizes water overflow issues. An overflow issue would involve more than just a replacement appliance; it would also involve a clean-up at minimum.
Inspect Hoses and Connections
Regularly examine the water inlet hoses for signs of damage, such as cracks or bulges. Replace them every few years or sooner if needed. Tighten all hose connections to prevent leaks.
Empty Pockets Before Washing
Before loading clothes into the machine, make it a habit to check pockets for loose items like coins, keys, or small objects. These can damage the drum, pump, or drain hose.
Although you may think doing a bigger wash helps you minimize how often you have to use your washing machine, overloading it can strain the motor and suspension system. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for load size and distribution to maintain optimal performance.
Inspect and Maintain Seals and Gaskets
Inspect the door seal (also known as the gasket) regularly for signs of wear, tears, or mold. Wipe it down after each use and leave the door slightly open to allow air circulation and prevent mold growth.
Replace When Necessary
Washing machines have a lifespan, and older machines may become less energy-efficient and prone to breakdowns. If your machine is consistently unreliable or inefficient, it may be time to invest in a new one.