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5 Washing Machine Maintenance Tips

A woman loads the washer

How to Extend the Life of Your Washer

Most washing machine owners want to make sure that their machine lasts as long as possible and performs well. With a bit of regular washing machine maintenance, you can prolong the life of your appliance and prevent damage that would require repairs or worse, a replacement. Over the years, we’ve developed a list of tips that you can follow to make sure that your washing machine is maintained to work like new.

1. Inspect Hoses & Replace Anything Damaged

Your washing machine has fill hoses and a drainage hose that function to move water into and out of your appliance. Check these hoses a few times a year to ensure that no cracks or blistering are apparent. Damage can steadily grow into a problem that will cause a leak or even flooding.

Always replace damaged hoses and choose high-quality stainless steel options. Still worried about a leak or flood? You can make use of a few preventative measures that can help minimize damage.

Water shut-off systems are easy to install on your machine. These systems detect functional abnormalities and automatically shut off water flow, protecting your property from damage. Another product is a washing machine overflow pan. With an overflow pan in place, drips and minor leaks can be contained, protecting your floor.

2. Follow User Manual Guidelines

Your user manual will have valuable information about how much laundry you can place in your washer, and the recommended amount of detergent to use. Make sure you follow these guidelines. Overloading your washing machine can create problems, especially when you overload it frequently. Excessive detergent can result in soap scum issues that may also encourage mold and mildew growth.

Opt for smaller loads and a reasonable amount of detergent. If you notice a lot of soap scum buildup, try reducing the amount of detergent you use by half. Then, if you don’t feel like your clothes are clean, slightly increase the amount each cycle until your clothes come out clean.

3. Make Sure Your Washing Machine Is Level

Uneven floors or washing machine feet that need adjusting can result in a washer that won’t sit level. A washing machine that sits unevenly can result in excessive vibration. If you think your floors are a problem, try using a piece of plywood to serve as an even surface. Then, adjust the machine’s feet, using the lowest adjustable setting possible that will still allow you to achieve stability. The closer your machine is to the ground, the better. Some units have self-adjusting rear legs. To adjust these, carefully tilt your washer forward until the legs are about 3-4 inches above the ground. Then, slowly lower your machine again, and the legs should adjust, so your washing machine sits flat.

4. Clean Your Washer Regularly

With a few simple household ingredients, you can avoid the build-up of residue in your machine. One recommendation is a do a monthly cleaning. The monthly cleaning consists of:

  • Setting your washer to run a regular cycle using hot water.
  • Adding 4 cups of distilled white vinegar to your top-loading machine after the water has filled.
  • If you have a front loading machine, add about 3/4 cup of vinegar to the bleach dispenser.
  • Run your washing machine.

If you prefer, you buy a washing machine cleaner at most grocery stores.

5. Care for Your Washer’s Exterior

Don’t forget about the outside of the machine! Use an appliance cleaner to clean up spilled detergent and other washing products when you do your regular interior cleaning. By cleaning off these items, you protect your appliance’s color, whether it’s paint or stainless steel. At the first sign of gashes and scrapes, use a touch-up paint that will prevent rusting. There are special appliance paints available in most hardware stores that you can use to cover up damage.

When You Need an Appliance Professional, Don’t Try to DIY!

Even with regular maintenance, you may run into trouble with your washing machine. Daily use of your washing machine inevitably wears out parts. At the first sign of a problem, schedule a visit with West Coast Chief Repair for help. We offer affordable and professional washing machine repair services so that you can get your laundry done as soon as possible.