A few months ago, when I was going through my spring cleaning frenzy, I shared a post on how I cleaned my washing machine. Since doing the big clean, I have been making an effort to maintain good daily habits when it comes to using the washing machine in order to keep it clean and running smoothly, and thought I would share some of the tips I have learned.
Washing Machine Care Tips
My washing machine is still relatively new (I only bought it from John Lewis a couple of years ago), and since I opted for a good model I hope to have many more years of service from it. However, maximising the longevity of your washing machine means taking basic precautions right from the start to keep the components running smoothly, the drum smelling pleasant and to avoid the problems associated with a build up of soap and detergent. These tips are all very basic, the hard bit is remembering to do them until it becomes habit!
Leave The Door Open
Unless you have an inquisitive toddler or pet you should always leave the door open on the washing machine when it is not in use. This gives it time to dry out so you don't end up with nasties like mildew growing in your machine. If you do have to keep the door constantly closed for safety reasons then keep a cloth near your laundry area, and give the glass door and rubber seal a quick wipe down after unloading your clothes.
Many detergents allow you to clean your clothes at a much lower temperature now. This is good news, because the lower you set your machine the less energy it will use. However, if you always run a cool wash you are at risk of growing mold or mildew in your washing machine so make sure you are doing a hot wash (60C to 90C) at least once a month to kill and bugs and keep your machine odor free. It is beneficial to do this on an empty load (or take the opportunity to sanitise your dirty cleaning cloths), and you can add a cup of white vinegar into the wash to help clear the build up from detergents.
If you ignore the load capacity and cram in as much as possible then your machine will run efficiently, (I am very guilty of this one!). Break large loads down into smaller loads to use less energy and put less strain on the motor. Just to be clear, this doesn't mean running the drum half empty, which is bad for the environment and a waste of your time. There is a happy medium!
This might be a controversial suggestion...
If you have a big family then you are obviously going to need to do several loads of washing every week. It is better to spread these loads over several days rather than having one dedicated laundry day. This is because the motor on a domestic washing machine is not nearly as powerful as that on a commercial one, and it is not designed to be run for such a long and sustained period. Regularly overworking the motor can shorten its lifespan.
If I am busy, I will put a load of washing in just before bedtime and set the timer so that it will be ready just as I get up in the morning. I will then make sure I set aside 10 minutes first thing to hang out the washing. Personally I find little and often preferable to spending hours sorting and folding laundry once a week anyway!
The hose which leads to your washing machine should be replaced every five years, as the rubber will deteriorate over time and may eventually cause a leak. If you go on holiday you should also turn the water off to remove the risk of coming back to a flooded kitchen.
Have a missed anything?