5 Golden Tips For A Longer-Lasting Washing Machine
Most appliances in a household have a relatively easy-going existence, but there is one that takes an absolutely beating on a daily or bi-daily basis – the washing machine. While these machines are built to take this punishment, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you can do to increase their life expectancy. In this guide, we walk you through five golden tips to ensure that your machine is less likely to breakdown before its life expectancy.
Tip #1: Empty Pockets of Clothes
Perhaps it may surprise some, but many washing machine breakdowns can come as a result of a rogue item getting lose from un-emptied pockets and damaging various components within the machine. Not only can they cause surface damage to the drum, smaller items can end up getting stuck within the drain pump, destroying the drain pump propeller and stopping proper drainage.
In some cases, these items can wreck so much damage that they may end up completely writing off your machine. Additionally, it’s important to remove the likes of belts, any small items on clothing that look like they may be close to detaching (e.g. buttons and zip pulls), and place underwired bras into either a pillowcase or a laundry bag.
Tip #2: Clean the Filter
Your washing machine’s filter should be cleaned out on a monthly basis to ensure it isn’t getting clogged. This is because the longer you leave it, the worse it will get. Filters tend to be found towards the bottom of the machine at the front, and are generally hidden behind a flap. If this isn’t apparent, consult your machine’s user manual or call in a repair engineer to help.
To clear out the filter, put the washing machine on a spin cycle, put a towel down on the ground to catch any water, and then open the filter door to clean it. The reason for having the cycle on is that a lot less water will come out than if it isn’t operating. As aforementioned, not clearing the filter with any regularity will increase the chances of it blocking water – so be prepared for quite a bit of water to spill out if that’s the case.
Despite it being hard work, you may be rewarded for all this hassle – there could be a few spare pennies stuck in the filter! Ultimately, however, your washing machine’s health will be the biggest benefit to clearing the filter.
Tip #3: Service Washing
A good way to clean out your machine is to run a hot water wash without including any clothes or items. As there are machines that do come with a service wash program, it is worth consulting your machine’s user manual to find out.
Either way, a service wash without clothing should be performed on a monthly basis. This will not only help counteract build-ups such as limescale or grit, it can also eliminate any foul smells and mould. It’s doubly important to run a service wash if you run your washing machine twice-daily, or you are in an area where there is hard water.
Tip #4: Avoid Overloading
A common problem that our team here at Repair Aid comes across all too often is when a washing machine has been overloaded. If the door seal is mouldy, or it smells as if something has died in it, then it is probably because you’ve overloaded it.
For your clothes to get the cleanest they can be, and to avoid any of the above unpleasantness, it’s important to give your clothes enough space. That’s because in order for clothes to be properly cleaned, they need to have space to move around within the soapy water. It’s also why they don’t even get the benefit of detergent as a too much clothing merely pushes all the detergent to the side – rendering it useless as it is unable to get past the outer layer of clothes. With that said, let’s move onto our last tip.
Tip #5: Too Much Detergent Causes Havoc
It seems logical to assume that the more detergent you use, the cleaner your clothes will be, right? Unfortunately, that’s quite far from the truth. While the detergent will ensure that your clothes are clean, excessive detergent can jam parts of your machine and even leave markings on your clothes.
It’s why, especially if you’re using liquid or powder, you need to follow the instructions on the detergent’s packaging – but never go over the limit. That’s because detergent packaging recommendations can often be based on older washing machine specifications.
If your machine is 10 years old, that’s fine. But if you have a newer machine, which is likely to use about a third of the water that an older machine uses, then you should moderate how much detergent that you use in a wash. Start off with small amounts of detergent to test how much your clothes and machine really need. Not only will this improve the health of your machine, but it will also save you money in the long run.