Washing Machine Maintenance Guide
Regular washing maintenance is easy and can help keep your washing machine working properly. The following washing machine maintenance guide will help you keep your washer mold and mildew free, prevent expensive repairs, and add years to it usable lifespan. However, if you do need washing machine repair services, It Is Fixed technicians are available seven days a week in Atlanta and the Metro Atlanta area. Contact us today for assistance.
Don’t Overload the Washing Machine
An overloaded washing machine can cause leaks, noise, shaking, and damage your washing machine’s internal parts. Also, if the washing machine is overloaded, your clothes may not get clean, or come out of the wash with detergent residue. Follow the manufacturer’s guide regarding load size to ensure your washing machine is not overloaded.
Keep the Washing Machine Level
If your washing machine is not level, it will shake, make loud noises, and possibly even leak. It is important for the operation of your machine to be as level as possible.
Warning: Never install a washing machine over carpet or soft flooring surface. Washing machines need a flat, hard surface to operate properly.
To level your washing machine you will need:
- A level
- A wrench or pliers
Most washing machines have leveling legs to support the machine. These are adjustable so the machine can be level even if the floor is not. The types of leveling feet depend on the model. Some machines have self-leveling rear legs, others use four threaded legs.
First, verify that your washing machine’s legs are not stripped, damaged or missing the rubber feet. If they are in poor condition, they will need to be replaced.
Loosen the locking nuts and twist the washer legs until they connect with the washing machine. You may need pliers for this part if the thumbscrews can’t be moved by hand. Once all the legs are as tight as possible, rock the machine with your hands to see which section of the washer is off balance. Adjust the legs so that all feet are connected to the floor at all times. Use the level and make further adjustments as needed until the washing machine is level. When you’ve made all the necessary adjustments to the legs, re-tighten the locking nuts.
Use the Right Type and Amount of Detergent
If you have a high-efficiency washing machine, make sure to use the detergent formulated for high-efficiency machines. The wrong detergent can cause leaks as foam overwhelms the machine. Also, follow the recommendations on the machine for how much detergent to use. Often the instructions on detergent bottles encourage the buyer to use too much detergent in order to sell more soap. If you use too much detergent it not only wastes money, it can leave a residue on your clothes. Follow the machine guidelines for the type of load and level of soil to ensure you do not overuse detergent.
Don’t Leave Wet Laundry in the Washer
Everyone does it at some point. It’s easy to get busy and forget a load you’ve recently washed until it sours and needs to be rewashed. Repeatedly leaving a wet load in the washer can not only make your washer smell foul, but it can also promote bacterial growth inside the drum that is difficult to clean. Setting a timer when you start a load can help you remember when it is time to move the wet clothes to the dryer.
Leave the Lid or Door Open After a Load
Mildew and mold grow best in a damp environment, which means a closed washer is often a breeding ground for those smelly organisms. The easiest way to combat odors and prevent mildew is to allow airflow inside the washer after a load is complete.
Pro Tip: If you have pets or children, always check the washer interior before starting a new load!
Clean the Dispenser Drawers
Detergent, fabric softener, and bleach dispensers get sticky with residue and may not dispense effectively. This may result in clothes that don’t get clean. Wipe out the dispenser cups with a damp cloth and rinse with hot water to clean.
Clean the Filters
Many washing machines have debris or lint filters. If these get clogged, it may cause problems with leaking or draining. Clean the filters once a month to ensure they operate as intended. Refer to your owner’s manual for information on how to access your washing machine’s filters.
Check the Door / Lid Gasket
The gasket around the washing machine door or lid is what keeps the water inside the machine and off your floor. The gasket is a rubber seal on the inside of the door or lid (may not be present on some top-loading models). The gasket can get damaged during everyday use, so keep an eye out for tears, cracks, or other signs of wear. It is an inexpensive part to replace, and the damage from a leaky washer can be extensive, so it can save you a lot of money to ensure this part is always in pristine condition.
Clean the Washer
If your washing machine isn’t clean, it can’t get clothes clean. Periodically sanitizing your washing machine prevents odors and keeps your machine from leaving residue on clothes.
To clean your machine, you will need:
- White Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Microfiber Cloth
- Hot Water
If You Have a Top-Loading Washer
Fill the washer with the hottest water setting. Open the lid. Pour in one-quart white vinegar and one cup of baking soda. You may see some foaming; this is normal. The reaction between the acid (vinegar) and base (baking soda) will loosen dirt, mold spores, and mineral deposits.
If You Have a Front-Loading Washer
Stir ¼ Cup baking soda into ¼ cup water until most of the powder is dissolved. Pour the baking soda solution to the detergent dispenser. Next, add two cups vinegar to the washing machine drum.
After Adding the Cleaning Solution to the Machine
Allow the machine to agitate for one minute. Stop the wash cycle and allow the solution to soak into the machine for an hour. After an hour, start the wash cycle and allow it to wash normally. When the cycle is complete wipe the inside of the drum with the cloth, making sure to focus on any areas with stubborn stains or mold.
Run a second hot cycle with only one-quart vinegar to help rinse away any remaining debris. When the second cycle is complete, your machine is clean and ready to wash again!
Inspect the Hoses and Connections
Water leaks will not only damage your machine, a leak can also cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home. The hoses connected to the washing machine are the most likely area for a leak to start. Check the hoses for signs of wear, cracks, blisters, or holes. If the hoses show any damage, replace them. Standard hoses should be replaced every five years. High-quality stainless steel hoses are less likely to leak and do not need to be replaced as often. Regardless of hose type, keep the washer at least four inches away from the wall to prevent kinks or bends in the hose.
Vibrations from your machine can cause the connections to loosen. Check each connection to ensure it is tight. If you can easily turn the connector with your fingers, it is too loose.
If your washing machine is making strange noises or is not cleaning properly, contact It Is Fixed Appliance Repair for same day* washer repair services. We are available in Atlanta and the Metro Atlanta area.