Washing Machine Maintenance Tips

washing-machine-basket-laundry-room

Washing machines have become more efficient in terms of water and energy use. But without maintenance, they may not remain so for long. There are many reasons a washing machine can break down and cause a leak and water damage. You can prevent such problems with this washing machine maintenance checklist.

  • Keep the door ajar after a wash: With the door slightly open for 15 to 20 minutes, air can circulate, and odors may be reduced; just make sure to remove damp clothes immediately after the wash cycle ends.
  • Inspect the water hoses: Check the hoses every few months for excess wear and cracks, blistering, bulging, fraying, or other signs of damage; replace them if they’re three to five years old.
  • Level the machine: If your washing machine isn’t level, it can rock and vibrate, and even move itself across the floor, possibly damaging both. You can level the machine by adjusting its legs.
  • Use the right detergent: Putting in the wrong detergent can void the warranty. Check the manufacturer’s suggestions, and measure detergent to avoid soapy residue on your clothes.
  • Avoid overloading the machine: If you add too many items to the washer, or use too much water, the machine will have to work harder, which can accelerate wear. The drum should never be more than 2/3 full.
  • Prevent rust: A washing machine touch-up paint should be used on gashes and scrapes. It helps prevent rust and additional damage to the appliance’s finish, which can expand over time without proper care.
  • Check the door seal: If an object is accidentally left in your pocket, it can find itself stuck in the door seal. Check the seal regularly and clean out any debris or stains. Some areas may be hard to reach, so use Q-Tips with a water/vinegar solution to clean them.

How to Clean a Washing Machine

Once a month, the inside of the machine should be thoroughly cleaned. A buildup of detergent residue can cause foul odors. Store-bought cleaning solutions are available, but you can make your own with hot water, vinegar, and baking soda and run the machine on an empty load. You should also:

  • Wipe down the drum, door, and gasket with a water/vinegar mix.
  • Clean the lint filter to ensure your washer runs at peak efficiency.
  • Wash out the goo in the fabric softener dispenser, using a damp rag and hot water.
  • Polish the outside and clean spilled detergent using an all-purpose cleaner and rag.
  • Clean the drain pump filter every few weeks, or when drainage, wet clothes at the end of the wash cycle, or clogs due to hair or fabric become a problem.

According to Consumer Reports, a washer and dryer lasts 10 or 11 years on average. Some may last only three years, but a well-maintained appliance can go for 20 years or more. Therefore, the more you maintain it, the longer you may go without spending on a new washing machine, which can run from a few hundred to, in the case of high-end models, thousands of dollars.

Maintenance Issues? Call Wilshire Refrigeration for Help

We hope these washing machine maintenance tips help you avoid common problems. For professional assistance, you can take advantage of our General Maintenance Program, which includes an inspection of the entire system and its parts. Our technicians are factory-trained and certified to service Sub-Zero, Wolf, or ASKO washing machines and other appliances. For additional information, give us a call at 800-427-3653 or feel free to request service online today.