While your washing machine doesn’t always get the attention it deserves, when it stops working, everyone suffers. To keep your workhorse running and looking brand new, consider these five ways to care for your machine.
Resist placing items on top of the washer that can scratch the surface, such as laundry baskets or detergent containers. To prevent scratching, consider placing a towel down on the top while working to protect the surface.
The surfaces both inside your washer and outside need a weekly scrub to keep the washer looking and smelling clean. Use a damp soft cloth to wipe down the exterior completely and allow to air dry. Use a small amount of dish washing liquid to help cut through and remove any grease that’s built up over the week as well as any spilled detergent or fabric softener. For the inside of the washer simply use a damp cloth without cleaners to remove any residual lint or dirt from the drum.
About once a month you should clean your washing machine using a commercial or homemade cleaner. Simply follow the direction on the cleaner’s packaging and run a cycle without clothing. Machine cleaners are available from many local grocery stores or from retailers like Mending Shed. For a homemade version combine 1 tablespoon of a powdered laundry detergent with 3/4 cup bleach. Run the mixture in your machine’s soak cycle without clothes and then finish with a rinse cycle to remove any residual bleach.
Washers are designed to not let moisture out while running, so shutting the washer door after finishing a load can trap water in the drum. As this water sits it can cause the washer to smell. Leave the door open between washes to allow the residual water to evaporate to prevent potential odors from developing.
Check the Hoses
Periodically check behind your washer to ensure that hoses are not scrunched or pulled too tightly, and also check for leaks. If you have an older washer, consider replacing the rubber hoses with steel-jacketed ones that better resist breaking. If you’re uncomfortable changing out the hoses on your own, consider hiring a major appliance repair technician to perform the change for you.
Regular maintenance on your washer, even simple actions like wiping it down, can extend both the life and look of your machine. So build these simple habits to keep your machine running for the long haul.