The washing machine, just like any major appliance, is a serious household financial investment. You, therefore, need to protect this investment to make sure your washer works properly and last longer. Although washing machines can last up to a decade, improper use can shorten the lifespan of this appliance.
The good news is that you can take steps to help your washing machine reach and even go beyond the 10-year mark. Keep these seven tips in mind to extend the life of your washer:
1. Use Soft Water
Hard water can damage water-consuming household appliances. Magnesium and calcium, the minerals present in hard water, are responsible for scale buildup in your washing machine. The accumulation of minerals can obstruct your pipes and wear down your washer over time.
The solution for this is to install a quality water softener for your home. This device treats hard water, so that it does not leave behind scaly deposits that can ruin your washer.
2. Clean Your Washing Machine Regularly
Cleaning your washer isn’t a difficult and time-consuming activity. The task essentially involves cleaning the filters, as well as washing the detergent compartment and appliance door. When cleaning your washing machine, pour baking soda and vinegar (not bleach and vinegar) inside the drum. Then, configure the appliance to the highest temperature intended for laundry and activate the program.
This method will get rid of the residues from the limescale, bacteria and fabric softener. What’s more, it will remove the nasty smells coming from the inside of your washer.
3. Remove Wet Clothes Immediately After the Wash Cycle
Leaving wet garments in the washer long after the wash cycle is completed isn’t just bad for the clothes, but also for the machine itself. You can prevent the growth of mildew and mold by taking out the items as soon as the appliance completes the cycle. If you’re using a more modern washing machine, check if the manufacturer provides a coordinating mobile app that notifies you when the wash cycle finishes.
4. Keep Your Washer Level
The drums on modern washing machines can register spin speeds of up to 1,600 revolutions per minute (RPM). When you install the washer in your home, the machine must sit dead level with its feet securely on the floor. This prevents the appliance from vibrating too much and damaging itself.
If your washing machine appears unsteady, extend one foot at a time until the appliance feels stable. Use a level to check the washer from side to side and front to back. Then, adjust as needed and tighten the nuts.
5. Avoid Overloading Your Washing Machine
Some homeowners shove every piece of clothing into the drum to get everything clean in one go. Although this practice may sound inconvenient, it can wear down and even destroy your appliance.
Overloading your washer can damage the appliance motor or the drum. The motor installed on the washing machine operates in a predetermined amount of power to wash a specified load. Going beyond that will increase the likelihood of breaking down the motor, which translates to an expensive repair – or worse – getting a new washing machine.
What’s more, overloading will reduce the cleaning efficiency of your washer. Clothes require space to wash effectively. You may come across leftover detergent on your clothing even after the rinse cycle is complete.
So, don’t cram every bit of clothing into your washing machine. Instead, do your laundry by batch and follow the recommendations provided by the manufacturer.
6. Refrain from Going Overboard with the Detergent
The extra detergent you add to the drum won’t make your clothes look better or speed up the cleaning time. A surplus of suds is bad for your washing machine, as it can push the appliance to work harder. The washer may activate additional rinse cycles, which unnecessarily extends the wash time and wastes electricity in the process.
When doing the laundry, remember to add the right amount of detergent into the drum. Check the owner’s manual to figure out how much washing powder or liquid you need to put in the machine. Also, look for high-efficiency (HE) detergents, which knock out stains effectively, produce fewer suds and work with various water-saving front-loaders.
7. Check the Pockets before Throwing Clothes in the Wash
The pockets of your pants, shirts and other clothing should be empty, as the contents could be bad for your washing machine. Metal items, such as keys and coins, could damage the inner drum of your washer.
Take note of these seven suggestions to help extend the life of your washer. On top of these tips, remember to schedule professional maintenance to identify issue problems that could cause the machine to malfunction or reduce the lifespan of the appliance.