Over 80% of Canadians own a washing machine. But how many washing machines actually last their lifespan? Household appliances, such as washing machines, offer many benefits. You save time and ensure your clothes are clean! But it is an investment to get this appliance, so you want to make sure it lasts. Many people are under the impression their washer does not need regular maintenance. However, you should not wait until it needs a repair. There are steps you can take to service and protect your washing machine. Right now, your washer could slowly be unfolding with hidden damage. So take a load off your mind with these nine steps to maintain and extend your washer's lifespan!
1. Always Check Your Pockets The argument as to who is responsible for cleaning out pockets continues. Is it the washer or the wearer? But what is for sure is someone should check their clothes pockets. Many people have experienced the pain of discovering an intruder too late: the tissue. It managed to sneak into the wash and unfold completely. Now it is fragmented and stuck to all your clothes. Or maybe a credit card or another important item took a tumble. But still, the next time you do washing, it can be tempting to skip checking pockets and throw it all in. But these intruders can harm your washer, too. Coins and other metal objects, such as keys, can damage your washing machine's outer tub and the inner drum. You will need a washer repair service frequently if you never check your pockets! Uninvited objects also cause leaks and other washer damage. Metal objects can shatter front-load washing machine glass and block the drain pipe. In front-load washers, you can clear the drain pump filter, which helps to catch objects. If you neglect to do so, it will overwork the washer, which can cause the washing machine to fail. Aim to wash the filter quarterly. Follow your specific washer's instructions. Generally, you need to drain, remove, clean, rinse, and reinstall the filter. Always put the plug back in the drain hose, as otherwise, you may have a water surprise!
2. Clean Your Washing Machine Your clothes may look clean, but they hold a dirty secret. Did you know that bacteria can remain in washing machines ? These germs include E.coli, salmonella, and Hepatitis A. As a result, these germs can make their way onto your supposedly clean clothes! It is not only essential to clean your washer for your health. But it is also vital to protect your washer's health. If you do not clean your washer, debris can build up, such as dust, dirt, and soap. It does not only pose health risks and smell foul, but it can also harm your washer. The inner mechanisms can get blocked, so the water does not heat up, and your detergent will not be efficient. You might even notice streaks on your washer. Then you are overdue a clean! It is best to clean your washer inside and outside once a month. You can use washer cleaning tablets. But natural cleaners, such as white vinegar and baking soda, can safely clean your washer. Run the washer without clothes and use the extra soak setting if you have it. Repeat the clean and dry in-between. Do not forget your washer tray, filters, and hoses, too. Also, clean the seal of the washer door with a brush. It can be extremely dirty here due to water collecting here. You may notice permanent mold stains if you have not cleaned them for a while.
3. Check Lint Filters and Vents In washer/dryer combos, check the lint filter and clean it before each use. Not all have them, but it helps optimize function and reduce fire hazards. It is also a simple job that takes less than a minute! Did you know Vancouver alone has around eighteen fires due to dryer appliances each year? Also, every washer needs proper ventilation. Otherwise, moisture can build up and impact the appliance. Vents also pose a fire risk, can emit fumes, and be noisy. Clean the vent area at least once a year.
4. Do Not Overindulge in Detergent Contrary to popular belief, more detergent does not equal cleaner clothes. It can actually equal residue on clothes, odor, and a shorter washer lifespan. Over time, too much detergent also damages the drum and can cause blockages. Water is then forced back up, and more damage can unfold. Your washer will have to work harder if you use too much detergent. It can also mean you need an extra rinse cycle, which uses more energy. As a result, your washer will have a shorter lifespan! An excellent place to start is to make sure you have the suitable detergent for your machine. Some detergents specify if they are for a top or front loader washer. And some define if they are for high-efficiency washers. Follow recommended measurements for the detergent. If it is hard to read the line, use a marker to distinguish the line. Or even use a measuring cup, to be exact!
5. Know What You Can Put in There are some unusual items you can put in the washing machine. These include sponges, car floor mats, backpacks, and shower curtains! You can also put soft toys in the washer, but put them in a mesh laundry bag, and take care! However, be wary of some items. For example, anything covered in pet hair can damage the washer's pipes and drum. Use a lint roller to remove hair before it goes into the washer. Your washer does not only damage underwear, such as bras. Bras return the favor! Unfastened hooks can snag on the cylinder, drum, or agitator, meaning you will need a washer repair. Embellished items can also break off during a wash and then get stuck in the washer. Follow washing care instructions for any item. For example, only some shoes can be put in the washing machine.
6. Quickly Remove Wet Clothes Your clothes will not only smell and need another wash if you leave them sitting in the washer. The moisture will also cause mold and mildew to grow inside the machine. This poses a health risk and can stain your washer. Mold spores can also cause structural damage to the seal. If the mold infestation gets too bad, you might have to replace the washer! Remove wet clothes as soon as possible and clean your washer regularly. You can leave the washer door open to air-dry between loads. Some new washing machines even have apps to send you a reminder once the wash cycle is done. You can also wipe the gasket in front washers after each wash. In top washers, wipe around the basin. If you notice mold in the gasket, on the seal, or in the machine, clean it. You can use vinegar or bleach and put on a wash cycle with the hottest water setting. There are also laundry additives and mold solutions you can then add to ensure you have killed the mold.
7. Wash the Right Amount of Clothes Stuffing in that extra pair of socks or duvet might make sense. After all, it saves an additional cycle, right? However, overfilling the machine eventually leads to motor and frame damage. The weight also causes stress to the drum and can throw it out of alignment. Your clothes also cannot move around if there is no space. It means they are not clean, so you will probably end up rewashing them anyway. Also, it means the detergent has nowhere to go, so residue is left behind in the machine. The same goes for underloading the washer. It does not cause as much damage, but clothes will bang against the frame. It will cause vibrations and a lot more noise! Distribute clothes evenly in the washer. It should only be three-quarters full, but some older washers may require less. As a guide, for a front loader, leave space so you can see the holes by the door. For a top-loader, do not place clothes above the agitator. Follow your appliance's load order instructions, too. Close any zips, tie strings, and any other loose clothing. It helps ensure the clothes continue to move around freely in the washer. And never add extra water to the load, as your washer cannot work correctly.
8. Keep the Appliance Level If your washer is unsteady, balance it before you next use it. The spin cycle causes vibrations that will damage the washer if it is not even. Internal mechanisms and anything surrounding the washer may need repair. Excessive vibration and noise can indicate your washer's balance is off. Also, check the appliance's feet are all firmly on the ground. You can try to rock your washer back and forth by tilting from one corner. If you are unsure, use a level for precision! There are several ways you can try to level your washer yourself. You can adjust the front legs by hand or with a wench, so they sit as low to the ground as possible. It reduces the chance of your washer vibrating for the whole neighborhood to hear. The rear legs of the washer generally are self-leveling. But check your specific device manual! Ensure you tighten all lock nuts you loosened before you test the machine. It is worth running a cycle, even if the level appears to be better. You can also check the drum is not loose. If you feel unconfident doing this, call a professional repair service. You should check your washing machine every few months. There are different ways it can become unbalanced again.
9. Reduce Washer Uses and Increase Services Did you know one student wore a pair of jeans for 15 months without washing them? This is an extreme step, but to improve the lifespan of your washer, be mindful of how often you wash. Wait for a full load before you decide to wash. You can also set goals for reducing washes. A weekly wash or three will help maintain the machine but not overwork it with many tiny loads. Overworking the machine stresses the motor, drive belts, and coupling. So follow the guidelines for load use, order, and amounts. Simply becoming more mindful that your appliance will not last forever helps! Unnecessary washer cycles also harm the environment. Energy standards for washing machines are changing. Standards will help improve efficiency for your appliance and your energy bill. It has also been found that residue from clothes can make its way back into the environment. Check how often certain items need to be washed and stick to it. After all, scientists at Vancouver Aquarium found 10 million fibers from one sweater can pass through the washing machine! It is also essential to get your washing machine serviced. Regular repair services will help keep your appliance in the best possible condition. It is easy to ignore minor problems, but they can become serious and impact your washer's lifespan. Signs a washer needs a service include leaks, which cause shorts in the electrical system. Strange noises coming from the machine are also a sign something is out of alignment. It is best to contact a professional to do a comprehensive service.
Improve Your Washing Machine's Lifespan With these simple tips, you will get the most out of your washing machine! You will save money long-term, as your washing machine will not need as many repairs. You will also get the best returns, and most washes, for your money! Do not throw away your investment to full pockets, the wrong detergent, and other mistakes! Like any household appliance, a washer needs some care to keep it in top condition. Otherwise, it may stop working one day when you need it most. Plus, your clothes and the environment will thank you! Do you need a washer repair service or replacement? Electrafix offers a range of appliances and reliable repair services in Greater Vancouver. Contact us today to learn how we can help!