Looking after your washing machine with regular maintenance is the best way to ensure it lasts a long time, avoids breakdowns and keeps it running smoothly. Not having a working washing machine is never good – especially if you have a family as the laundry pile soon starts to pile up!
Take a look at our tips below, to help keep it running like a dream! Got any other good tips? Leave us a comment and let us know.
1) Prevent Musty Smells and Mildew – Leave your machine door open as much as possible in between loads. Water can stagnate between washes in the machine, and leaving the door open helps it to evaporate and helps keep your machine fresh. Also wiping down the inside seal in the door at least every week helps prevent any mould or mildew build up.
2) Ensure the Washing Machine is Level – Making sure the washing machine sits level and isn’t off kilter is key to ensuring it doesn’t move, or walk across the floor when a cycle is running. A lot of machines – especially newer models have high RPM settings which mean they can go on a noisy adventure across the kitchen if they are not levelled correctly, not to mention can put extra stress on the appliance. Washing machines have little feet on the bottom on the machine – each of which can be adjusted to ensure it is sitting pretty and level.
3) Washing Your Washing Machine – Rinse away soap and residue, along with helping reduce or prevent any lime scale build up. Newer machines now often have a maintenance programme to help keep your machine clean and reduce any chances of build-up – whether is it of soap or lime scale, if done monthly, can seriously help your machine run smoother in the long run. If your machine doesn’t have a maintenance function, using a washing machine cleaner or white vinegar through your machine goes a long way to keeping it running longer.
4) Ensure it has enough space – Washing machines need enough space at the back of the machine to ensure that the water pipes are not kinked and water can flow freely. This will help the prevention of damage to the hoses.
5) Measure your Detergent – Whether your soapy weapon of choice is gel, powder or liquid, you need to make sure you measure and only use the appropriate amount. Adding too much repeatedly over time can, not only waste detergent or fabric softener costing you more money but also leave residue; not only on and in your machine, but also on your clothes. Constantly adding too many suds to your wash means a soapy build up can occur and increases the wear and tear on your appliance and eventually may even cause a blockage. Some new machines can also require specific types of washing detergent eg. Low-sud detergent for maximum efficiency, so be sure to check your manual.
6) Find your Manual – Most washing machine manuals, even older ones, are available online, so even if you can’t find the paper copy that came with your machine, an online replacement can usually be found on manufacturer’s websites. They contain the essentials and do’s and don’ts for your machine – even if you don’t need them for a breakdown or error there can be small differences between brands and care – which can make a big difference in the long run.
7) Check your Filter regularly and ensure it’s clean – Not all washing machines have filters to check but usually they are on a clip down panel on the front of the machine if there is one to check. (Take a look in your instruction manual if you are unsure). Make sure you have plenty of towel’s to hand BEFORE you un-do it (Yes I’ve made that mistake before!) as there is usually water in the system that comes out as you un-do the filter. You can then check and clean the filter, and replace back into the machine. Some can be stiff if not checked for a while, or on a new machine (as the seal is fresh) so you might want a spare pair of hands to make sure you can remove it, and importantly do it back up securely. If it’s not done back up properly then water will leak out when you next run a cycle (Again – speaking from experience here!)
8) Check and Replace (when necessary) the Water Hoses – check them regularly for any irregularities (Cracking, fraying, bulging and of course leaks – usually near the ends) Replace them as soon as possible if anything is found, or every 3 to 5 years as the rubber hoses can disintegrate over time – and this is one of the most common causes of leaks/flooding from a washing machine.
9) Don’t overload the machine – It’s a fairly easy thing to do – when you have a machine that has a 6KG capacity, for example, unless you have got your scales out regularly it can be hard to know what the clothes equal in weight/capacity. It’s better to favour the side of caution and remember that if you cram the machine as full as possible – not only will it not wash the clothes as well (as there is no room for them to move around), it will also put more undue pressure on your washing machine. (Helpful hints on loads vs capacity on our previous blog post here.
10) Use Net Bags When Washing Small Items Including Laundry Sheets – Simple trick here that can stop a bigger problem. Laundry net bags are very useful for washing smaller items (like socks) to ensure they are never short of their pair. However items that go in the washing – such as colour catcher, or softener sheets can cause big problems when just added to the wash solo. Some have been known to get stuck in the machine in various places and cause breakdowns and blockages – so by putting them in a mesh washing bag it means that it can do no damage, while still helping you along to getting everything clean and soft.
PS. Always check for Machine dwelling Cats!