Most homeowners know that air conditioners need proper repair and upkeep, stoves and ovens need regular cleanings and ceiling fans require the occasional dusting. What most of us don't think about cleaning, though, are the appliances we use to wash everything else.
Consider your washing machine, for instance. You load it up with soap and water each week, so do you really need to set aside extra time to clean the machine? It might seem counterintuitive, but the answer is actually yes, especially if you want your washing machine to last as long as possible.
Below, we offer the beginner's guide to cleaning a washing machine, plus a few extra tips for using the machine properly so it lasts as long as possible and makes your cleanings a little less intense. With a little help from you, your washing machine can meet its full lifespan and, what's more, work efficiently and effectively to wash your clothes better and help you save energy.
1. Twice a Year, Rinse Without Clothes
At least a few times a year, run your washing machine without any clothes. Set the machine to the highest, hottest setting. Instead of adding a typical amount of detergent, add vinegar instead. Using too much soap contributes to grime buildup, which reduces your machine's efficiency and effectiveness. Vinegar can help cut through the last few months of soap accumulation.
2. Don't Neglect the Exterior
The outside of your washing machine needs just as much attention as the inside. To prevent rust, dust your washing machine as often as you dust other appliances in the house. Don't let drips of detergent or fabric softener sit on top of the machine — rinse them off as soon as possible to avoid stains. Rinse your washing machine with a combination of vinegar and water if the outside starts to look a little run down.
3. Follow Basic Maintenance Tips
Cleaning your washing machine should become a crucial part of your home maintenance routine from here on out. But if you want your machine to last even longer and for your biannual cleanings to become less intense, follow the washing machine usage tips below.
Don't Add an Excessive Amount of Detergent
As mentioned above, detergent can create a scummy film on your washing machine that makes it less efficient. You might think that a particularly dirty load needs double the amount of soap, but detergents are formulated to provide the deepest clean possible with the least amount of liquid. Instead of adding more soap, switch to a heavier-duty brand of detergent if you're worried about getting a thorough clean.
Leave the Washing Machine Door Open After a Wash
If you don't let your washing machine air out properly, it can develop mould that ruins its efficiency and passes a smelly odour on to your clothes. Leave the door open after you finish a load of laundry. For best results, leave the door open for a day, not merely a few hours. It never hurts to wipe down the washing machine's seals after a wash either to remove excess moisture.
Don't Overload the Machine
Even if you can fit all your clothes in the washing machine and still close the door, you don't want to strain your washing machine's washing capabilities. Make sure you understand the load recommendations for your washing machine and don't exceed them — or you'll wear your washing machine out much faster.
Washing machine refusing to work? A simple clean might not be enough. Call on the professionals to evaluate your washing machine and offer useful repairs or recommendations as needed.
At Paul Matters Electrical, we offer appliance help from Noosa all the way to Twin Waters. Get in touch with us any time
to schedule a washing machine repair, and don't forget to check our blog frequently for appliance repair tips and more!