Despite the fact that we are an appliance repair company, we still like to give our customers and our community advice on how to properly maintain their home appliances. One of the most crucial appliances to check up on and keep clean is your clothes washer. Even though the idea of washing your washing machine may seem ironic, no machine operates forever without maintenance, and your washer is no different. So in the interest of saving time and money, here are some steps and procedures you can follow so your washer will continue to work for years to come.
First and foremost, the most important components to inspect for faults are your hoses, which transfer both hot and cold water in and out of your washer. Over time, the water hoses that came with your new washing machine may leak or burst. Inspect the hoses and hose fittings. Make sure the hoses aren’t cracked or blistered, the fittings aren’t becoming corroded, and no water is dripping out. It’s a good idea to replace the hoses and fittings as part of regular washing machine maintenance every three years or so, even if you don’t see any problems. And for more peace of mind, one advantageous alternative is to use high quality stainless steel fill hoses, which are much more unlikely to wear through or burst.
It’s also extremely important for the life of your unit to make sure it sits on a level plane. Because your washing machine is so heavy, when it’s not level, it can vibrate strongly during the spin cycle. If you’ve ever caught your washer dancing its way across the laundry room floor, chances are it’s not level. All modern washing machines have adjustable front legs though which you can adjust to the appropriate height. Tighten the lock nuts up against the body of the machine to keep the legs from rotating. Use a carpenter’s level to check your work, as every unbalance load will slowly do damage to you unit.
Another important maintenance procedure to follow about every three months is to clean out the tub and interior of your unit. Start by setting the washing machine on hot, and if there’s a setting for extra dirty clothes, choose that option. Let the tub fill with water, then add 3 cups of white distilled vinegar and a 1/2 cup of baking soda. When the tub begins to drain, advance the cycle to spin. After the cycle ends, set the washing machine to cold and run another cycle. Cleaning the exterior of your washer isn’t as crucial for performance and upkeep, but it’s still a good idea to do once in a while. It’s perfectly safe to use a little dish detergent and a damp rag to clean all of its surfaces. If the surface is porcelain, you can even use a little non-abrasive cleanser for stubborn stains, but do not use stain removers or other chemicals.
Some other helpful tips we can offer involve the detergent you use. The dirty little secret of detergent manufacturers is that you only need to use about half of the recommended amount, and your clothes will get just as clean. Dilute your fabric softener with water, and even try adding a dash of white vinegar. You can also try using a baking soda-based detergent. These are available in health food stores and cost about the same, or less than the typical high quality detergent. Baking soda detergents don’t create many suds, but be assured your clothes will be clean. This detergent will also make your clothes much whiter than typical cleansing agents. All in all, washer maintenance is pretty simple and straightforward, doesn’t take much time or effort, costs nothing, and will save you from repair costs in the event that your unit breaks down due to neglect. So give your washer a little TLC, and it’ll thank you for it!