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How to Extend the Life of Your Washing Machine

By Kravelv @kravelv

A washing machine is one of the hardest working home appliances,  handling mountains of dirty clothes,  and having all that dirt, grease, soil and detergent passing through it on a regular basis. Add to that a regular wear and tear due to vibrations and you’ve got the reason washing machines tend to break down so often. Luckily, there are many ways to add some longevity to your faithful home appliance.

Clean it

This one goes without saying. A clean machine is also more efficient and lasts longer. There are several ways to give your machine a deep clean and ensure that your clothes get the proper treatment. In order to remove germs and detergent build-up,  you need to run an empty load with hot water,  added with 2 cups of chlorine bleach or white vinegar. If you’re not sure if those materials would harm your machine,  check your owner’s manual for recommendations.

Somewhere in the middle of your wash cycle and a half cup of detergent and let the machine run the full cycle. After the cycle is over, any stains on the water drum can be removed with a soft abrasive cleaner and sponge. From time to time, it’s recommendable to remove the water hoses from the back of the machine, and remove debris and built-up scales from the protective nets.  Surface cleaning is also very important,  as dust and excess spilled detergent can negatively affect the longevity of a washing machine. Also, mind the gaskets and glass doors, especially the crevices.

Level It

How to Extend the Life of Your Washing Machine

The main cause of shaking and vibration of washing machines is unlevel footing. The spoils of vibration are physical damage and loose connections which lead to malfunctions and all related troubles. Fortunately, there is an easy way to solve this problem.  Most of the modern washing machines have adjustable front levelling feet, that can be shortened or extended by turning the feet clockwise or counterclockwise. All you need to do is to use a bubble level to measure how levelled your machine is and to adjust its feet until it stands in a perfect horizontal line.

Remove Lint

Many washing machines tend to collect lint during the wash cycle and push them down the tube during the drain cycle. Some washing machines tend to collect lint in the center tube of the agitator. What you have to do is to open that central tube and clean it regularly. Other machines store lint in a filter near the top of the tub, so you have to slide that filter out, clean it up and put it back in. If you noticed that there are random drainages happening in your kitchen or bath, that’s probably because of piled up lint in your drain pipes.

Use Cold Water

The vast majority of the power expense for your washing machine,  the whole 90%, comes from heating the water, which is completely unnecessary in most cases.  Cold water is more than enough to clean most of your clothes.  hot water should be used only for materials that are in direct touch with skin, like bed sheets, underwear, and towels. Those items may carry bacteria that can be killed only by hot water. One more thing,  when using cold water make sure to use cold-water detergents in order to ensure your clothes will be as clean as possible.

Service It

It wouldn’t be very wise to throw out your washing machine at the first malfunction. Except for being wasteful, that kind of behavior is not very environmentally friendly. You don’t have to discard your washing machine just because some of the parts aren’t working. There is a huge market for quality washing machine parts which you can buy and replace the old and worn out ones with. That way you can extend the life of your washing machine for several years. You can also take some measurements to prevent malfunctions, like replacing water hoses every 5 years or buying better parts.

Vent It

It is very important to let your machine breathe. Venting a machine is beneficial not only for the machine’s health but also for your own.  Dryers that are improperly vented ( or not at all), tends to build up excess lint inside the body of the dryer,  which then consequently releases carbon monoxide,  one of the most deadly gases, into your living quarters. Make it so the dryer vent hose doesn’t overextend itself compared to the manual recommendation,  and make sure to fix any kings or sags that would collect flammable lint. it is also a good idea to keep the door to your water open,  so the drum can breathe and dry itself.  That way you can prevent that unpleasant mouldy smell from developing.

Conclusion

Washing machines are one of the most helpful home appliances, but their frequent use makes them prone to damages and malfunctions. There are several ways in which you can extend the life cycle of your washing machine and make it more reliable. Prevention is always better than fixing, and a couple of simple steps will make wonders for your machine’s functionality.


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