How well do you take care of your washer? Do you run it once a day or biweekly? Regardless of how often you use the washing machine, it needs proper maintenance to work for as long as possible.
Homeowners often underestimate the power of simple maintenance. A couple of minutes per week can bring excellent results and save you hundreds of dollars on repair and replacement.
We’ve asked top experts from Jacksonville Appliance Repair to share the most important washing machine maintenance tips. By following them, you can extend the lifespan of your appliance and avoid costly repairs.
1. Air it Out
Your washing machine is an excellent place for mold and bacteria formation. It creates a humid environment with pieces of organic matter supplied regularly (dead skin cells and sweat). To prevent dangerous mold growth, you need to air the machine out every time it completes a washing cycle.
Ideally, you should leave the washer open overnight so the water drops get a chance to evaporate, thus eliminating the humidity factor.
2. Don’t Overload
Overloading the washing machine can lead to several consequences. It may become misbalanced, thus damaging itself and the furniture of fixtures around it. The washer may not complete the cycle properly, leave the clothing dirty, and eventually start leaking.
When you put items inside the washer, you should never beat down on them to fit “just another shirt” inside. Whatever fits without pushing is what the machine can handle. Read the manual carefully to find information about the washer’s capacity.
3. Run Maintenance Washes
Keeping the washer clean is the key to its longevity. Remove all the parts you can from the washer. You can use the manual for references. Soak them in soapy water, dry thoroughly and put back. Use an old toothbrush to clean out all the tough-to-reach spots, such as handles, dials, under-the-lid space, and more.
Then run the washer on the hottest and longest cycle after putting a quart of white vinegar inside. Then after the cycle is complete, run another one. This time put a cup of baking soda in the machine.
While the washer is working, use a microfiber cloth to clean all surfaces. Don’t forget to look behind the machine. If it’s standing against the wall, there is probably plenty of dirt you don’t see from the front.
4. Inspect the Machine
Each appliance needs regular visual inspections, and the washer isn’t an exception. Once a month look at how well all the pipes and cords are doing. Do any of them appear damaged or cracked? Pay special attention to lid seals. Are they in good condition?
If anything seems off, call a specialist. Such a small thing as a seal is very easy to fix or replace. However, if it stays damaged, it could cause a breakdown. For the machine to work properly, all gaskets must be whole.
5. Keep it Levelled
Sometimes, even if the machine was installed correctly, it could move during the cycle and lose its balance. A misbalanced machine shakes and moves as it’s doing its job. This could lead to physical damages to the appliance.
If you see that the machine is moving, stop the cycle and level it. Regular misbalanced operation is likely to lead to a breakdown in a few weeks. Meanwhile, a jumping machine could damage objects in its nearest vicinity and produce leaks.
If you can’t level the machine on your own, call for professional assistance. While leveling the washer, appliance experts can check it for damage and give general maintenance recommendations.
6. Choose the Repair Expert
When a washing machine breaks down, it’s always a disaster. In the best case, you’ll be left without an irreplaceable assistant for a day or two. In the worst case, you’ll be stuck with a huge leak and dirty dripping clothing to deal with.
That’s why it’s important to know in advance whom to call in such an emergency. Doing the research about top appliance repair specialists near you can help you avoid dire circumstances and get quick help.
7. Use the Right Detergent
If your appliance is labeled as high-efficiency, then you need to use a detergent, which is specifically formulated for it. The wrong detergent, no matter how high in quality it is, can lead to leaks and foam formation outside the machine.
Be careful about the amount of detergent you use. The majority of companies that sell detergents encourage buyers to use too much to boost profits. In reality, you have to focus on what the machine’s manual says rather than follow instructions on the detergent’s box.
8. Remove Finished Loads Quickly
As soon as the machine stops working, remove the load right away. Leaving it inside, promotes mold formation, mildew, and unpleasant odors. You need to give the machine a chance to breathe right after it’s done.
9. Clean Filters
Different washers have different filters. Yours is likely to have at least one. Read the manual to find out where these filters are and how often they need to be changed. Some may only require washing and cleaning. Others may have to be replaced.
Check filters at least once a month. When the filter is clogged, the machine strains to work improperly thus consuming more energy and reducing the quality of the wash.
Your washing machine needs regular cleaning, inspections, and maintenance to last for as long as possible. All of the above won’t take up much of your time. However, the right approach to maintenance can save you formidable amounts of money.