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Just how many times have you sat in front of your washing machine and watched the laundry whirl inside its drum? Too many times. Or to be specific, an average American family washes 8-10 loads of laundry every week so you end up watching it several times.
Thanks to the washer and dryer, two sturdily built home appliances, your life is simple. Therefore, you end up watching the clothes wash inside the washer. Otherwise, the traditional way of washing clothes on a flogging stone can be challenging.
This knowledge simply sets the importance of maintaining your washing machine and dryer to extend their lives. Although these are not utterly expensive investments, they can still derail your smooth budget from its track. Hence, it is best to look after these home appliances for their optimal performance and longevity.
Here are some crucial maintenance tips for your washer and dryer:
1. Make sure your dryer and washer are installed properly
Ensure that your laundry cleaners are installed properly. It is best to get them installed professionally. This is especially important for a gas dryer. Get a gas dryer inspected by a professional who can check for any leaks or improper connection. Besides, read the manuals to learn about the best electrical outlet for electrical appliances. Check if the electrical outlet is suitable for the plugs.
2. Empty the washer immediately
It is ideal to remove the wet clothes from the washer immediately after the washing machine has done its job. When left inside the machine for long, damp clothing develops an unpleasant odor. On top of that, there is a risk of growth of mildew and mold if the clothes keep sitting in the appliance.
3. Don’t overload the washer or dryer
Most of us think that we can save some time by adding some extra laundry to the washing machine. However, this thought does more harm than good. Overloading a washer or dryer can cause damage to the moving parts of the machine. These include its motors, belts, and so on. Some of these damages can be so costly to get repaired that you will end up thinking that getting a new washer altogether is a better option.
4. Don’t underload the machines
It is also important to note that under-loading your washer and dryer can be damaging as well. A small load of laundry can put pressure on the drive components of the machine. Plus, small loads equate with greater wastage of water and energy. Hence, the ideal step is to put in a moderate load in the machines as part of your appliance maintenance regime.
5. Inspect the hoses
Left neglected, washing machine hoses can burst to spill gallons of water in your house. To keep such a flood at bay, inspect the washer’s hoses for bulges, leaks, tight fittings, and cracks frequently. Tighten any loose fittings and replace the hoses in every five years. In case you notice any damage, replace the hoses immediately or Dial An Appliance Man if you cannot fix it yourself.
6. Inspect the dryer vent
Keeping tabs on your dryer’s vent is essential. A dryer vent is present outside your house. Your job is to periodically check it to ensure that air is coming out of it while the clothes are in the dryer. It is a red flag if there is no air coming out of the vent. In that case, look for blockages in the vent after turning off the dryer. A bird’s nest or accumulated lint can be the underlying culprits behind blocked vents.
7. Clean your dryer’s lint trap
Lint buildup can be lethal as it can erupt in flames. The National Fire Protection Association reveals that there were approximately 15,970 fires caused by washers and dryers in the US between 2010-2014. These culminated in not only injuries but also the loss of life and property damage. In this regard, clean the lint screen after every load. Use a hand vacuum or long brush to remove any lint globs.
8. Use the right detergent and fabric softener
The right detergent depends on your washer’s model. For instance, several energy-efficient washing machines work well with a low sudsing high-efficiency detergent. You also need to avoid using excess detergent as that can be hard on your machine. Furthermore, use liquid fabric softener during the wash cycles. In contrast, dryer sheets tend to be cheaper, but they leave residue in the dryer. This can take a toll on the dryer efficiency and clog vents too.
9. Balance the dryer and washer
It is crucial to keep the dryer and washer balanced for longevity and maximum efficiency. In the case of a washing machine, an unbalanced drum can put a strain on the washer’s parts, affecting its lifespan. Most washers and dryers have adjustable leveling legs. Use them to keep the laundry appliances balanced. If leveling legs are not present, then you can use uniformed-sized pieces of wood to balance the machines.
10. Other tips
Some other maintenance tips include filling in the scratches on the exterior of the washer to prevent rusting. Use touch-up paint for this purpose. Clean the outside surfaces of the machines with mild soap to stop them from sticking. Moreover, change the vinyl dryer exhaust ducts with metal ones to cut down the odds of fire hazards. Similarly, replace rubber hoses of the washer with braided-metals ones to slash the chances of bursting.
All in all, these small but significant maintenance tips can not only boost the household machines’ longevity but also improve their performance. Remember to keep both your washer and dryer clean, don’t over or under load them, and follow all the other tips discussed above.