Have you ever lifted the lid of your washing machine and had to take a step back? How about starting up the washer and the spin cycle sounds more like an auto wreck than a cleaning cycle? Most of you probably have a few things you check on occasion, but there are quite a few regular maintenance tasks and checks you can do each month to keep your washer in good working condition and to extend its shelf life.
Believe it or not, your washer probably has a recommended detergent to use in its user manual. It will not be brand specific, but it will give you recommendations on the types of detergent that will work best in that specific machine. You also want to make sure you are loading the detergent properly so it is the most effective (meaning properly using the detergent tray if the washer features one).
You should be checking your washer hoses regularly for wear and tear. I like to check them once a month while running a cycle to see if there are any cracks or gaps that could create a leak.
If you have a front-loading washer, you are going to want to check those door gaskets on a regular basis. They are very susceptible to mold and mildew buildups, which could corrupt the seal. If you have a front-loading washer, get into the habit of wiping down the door gasket after the final load of the day. This will go a long way to preventing any mold and mildew issues.
Keep the Door Open
Washing machines are notorious for mold and mildew in the barrel. Leave the lid open after doing your wash to allow the barrel to air dry. Now, if you have pets or small children in the home, this may not be possible unless you have a laundry closet with a door that can be closed.
Clean the Lint Filter
Yes, your washing machine has one. If you are starting to see a lot of fuzz on your clothes when they are coming out of the washer, chances are, the lint filter is clogged and needs to be cleaned out.
Clean the Machine
Run a cleaning cycle on your washer on a monthly basis. Some of the more modern washers have this feature already. If not, buy some cleaning tabs and make it a habit of running one through the washer once a month.