The washing machine is one of the most vital appliances in anyone's home--and yet all too often people neglect to give it the care and attention it deserves! Just by adding five simple habits to your regular domestic maintenance schedule, you'll be able to extend the life of your trusty washing machine and keep your clothes in tip-top condition.
#1: Find and run the self-cleaning cycle.
Many models will have a cycle built in that's designed to be run with an empty machine in order to give the drum a thorough cleaning. It's usually called something like the 'eco drum cycle' and for best results you should let it run approximately once every thirty to forty washes or at least every six months.
#2: Clean the detergent drawer every month.
All kinds of gunk and other nastiness can build up in the detergent drawer of a washing machine, and with its warm damp climate it's the perfect breeding ground for mould if left undisturbed! You can solve this problem entirely by giving it a quick clean up about once a month.
#3: Always empty the machine as quickly as possible.
Damp clothes left sitting in the machine can encourage mould and mildew, will develop an unpleasant odour and can leave that unpleasant smell behind to infect future loads. Make sure you empty the machine out as quickly as possible, preferably within an hour of the load finishing.
#4: Check the door seal every few weeks.
Washing machine door seals can be a spot of vulnerability on a well-used machine, so make sure you're checking yours and getting it cleared out once every few loads. Stray buttons and forgotten coins can get themselves wedged in there, which has the potential to cause tearing; these seals can also build up dirt, fluff and mildew that will then get onto your clothes. Wipe them down regularly and they'll have a much longer and cleaner life!
#5: Make sure you balance your loads properly.
It's not a great idea to wash unbalanced loads (meaning one very heavy thing, like a pair of thick jeans or a towel, with a couple of very light things, like a nightgown or a pair of socks). When you do this the way the clothes move in the drum as they wash can throw your washing machine out of balance, which over time can mess with the ball bearings that make it spin properly. You also need to be careful not to overload the machine, as this can cause errors and throw it out of sync. Always follow manufacturer guidelines when loading your washing machine.
Of course, not all problems with washing machines can be solved simply by keeping good maintenance habits--if your machine is having an issue that doesn't seem to be related to one of these tasks, phone up a local appliance service today to get it up and running.