Investing in a good washer and dryer can pay off for years to come. They make your life easier, and help your clothing look better and last longer. As two of the most-used appliances in any home, the washer and dryer require some simple routine maintenance to prolong peak performance. Here’s how you can keep yours running their best.
Keep the Drum Dry – The dark, damp interior of a closed washing machine is the perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow. You can prevent it by keeping the drum dry. On top loading machines, simply leave the lid open between washes. On front loaders, wipe out the drum with a towel and leave the door propped open with a towel until next use. This will prevent any bacteria from growing between the glass door and gasket.
Don’t Overuse Soap – Most commercial laundry detergents are highly concentrated and only require a small amount to get clothing clean. Using too much soap can cause excess to build up on the drum, and eventually become a smelly mess. To avoid this problem use only the amount of soap recommended on the packaging, or use pre-measured pods to get the correct amount.
Check the Hoses – A burst washing machine hose can flood your home with hundreds of gallons of water in a very short time. Avoid that disaster by checking the hoses annually. If hoses appear kinked, cracked or feel brittle, it’s time to replace them. Also be sure to maintain at least four inches between the washing machine and the wall to prevent hoses from becoming kinked.
Clean the Lint Filter – Every time. No excuses. It takes just seconds but it’s one of the most important things you can do to keep your dryer running efficiently. Lint build-up will cause your dryer to work harder and can pose a fire hazard.
Clean the Dryer Vent – If clothes aren’t drying completely or your laundry room feels extra humid, it’s probably time to clean the dryer vent. First, disconnect the vent and remove any visible lint build-up, then run a dryer vent brush or vacuum hose through the hose in order to remove remaining lint. It is typically recommended that a professional handles this step, as it can be difficult to locate the vent on certain machines. Finally, be sure the outdoor vent is unobstructed. It is always a good idea to clean the vent every three to six months, even if you don’t notice any change in dryer performance.