Washing Machine Tips
Washing Machine Maintenance
Washing machines need to be cleaned and cared for periodically.
Over time, buildup will cause your machine to have to work harder and be less efficient.
Give your machine a little TLC to save you time and money.
- Keep it level
It’s abnormal for washing machines to vibrate violently on the floor and walls of your laundry room. If your washing machine is not exactly level, with all four legs on the floor, it may rock back and forth and cause damage to the machine.
It’s best to keep the machine as close to the floor as possible. The closer the machine sits to the floor, the less it will vibrate. The front legs are adjustable with a lock nut. Position the legs at the desired height and tighten the lock nut against the body of the machine so that the legs cannot rotate. Some models also have adjustable legs in the rear, too. Follow the same process for adjusting those.
It is more common for machines to have self-adjusting rear legs. Ask someone to assist you with this. Tilt the machine forward on its front legs so that the rear legs are three to four inches from the floor. When you set the machine back down to rest all on all four legs, the legs should adjust automatically. If you find that they are not level, tilt the machine forward again and gently tap on the rear legs with the handle of a hammer to loosen them. Another option would be to purchase leveling leg pads to assist in noise reduction.
- Don’t overload it
Oversized loads will throw the machine off balance and that will lead to problems. Only load ¾ full of loosely arranged clothes.
- Use the appropriate amount of detergent
***LESS IS BEST***
Regardless of what’s recommended on detergent packaging, follow your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended amount of detergent. If you have soft water you will need to greatly reduce the amount of soap used or it will clog the pump causing the machine not to drain or it will clog the pump causing the machine not to drain. Rule of thumb is a thin layer of suds in the wash cycle. If there is too many suds, the rinse cycle may not get them all out.
- Check Your Clothes
One common error that many people make when washing their clothes is failing to thoroughly checking their pockets. By leaving coins, gum, food, and other items inside of your clothes before they are washed, they have the potential to ruin your clothes and your machine.
Practice a little more caution and make sure that you are not going to have any unexpected surprises when you go to put your clothes into the dryer.
- Clean the inside once monthly
It’s common for detergent residue to build up inside of washing machine tubs. Use a cleaner once per month to keep high-efficiency washing machines free of odor-causing residue.
- Clean out the fabric softener dispenser
Liquid fabric softener is known to gum up the fabric softener dispensers. Use a damp rag and hot water to clean the dispenser periodically. If you’re using fabric softener in an agitator you can dilute the softener with water to make it flow better and not spray in the agitator.
- Inspect the hoses
Check your washing machine’s water hoses for signs of wear or weakness a few times each year. If you discover any cracks or blistering, replace the hose. Any damage could cause a leak or burst – and extremely expensive flood damage in your home.
Most manufacturers recommend replacing the hoses every five years. For more peace of mind, use high-quality, stainless steel hoses.
- Clean the water inlet filters
If your washing machine seems to take forever to fill with water, your hoses or sediment screens are likely clogged, restricting the flow of water. If you disconnect the hoses on the back side of the washing machine, you’ll see that there are small filters inside each of the hot and cold water fill. These filters are designed to keep sediment such as sand, dirt, and minerals from passing through into the machine. Keeping these filters clean increases the efficiency of the appliance, and speeds the timing of each load.
Washing machine frequently asked questions
Does my washer really need to be level?
Yes. It is very important for washing machines to be level for proper operation.
Are front-loading washers more efficient than top loaders?
Absolutely. In fact, the higher initial cost of a front loader can be recovered in just a few years through water, sewer, drying time, and soap-usage savings.
How many clothes can I put into the washer?
¾ full of loosely and evenly arranged clothes.
How can I get rid of residual soap suds at the end of a cycle?
This is usually an indication that you’re using too much detergent for the clothes you are washing. Try reducing the amount of detergent by half. Then, if the clothes do not appear to be as clean as they should be, increase the amount slightly for each load, until the clothes do get clean.
Why do some clothing dealers suggest washing clothes inside out?
During a wash cycle, clothes often turn inside out during the agitation cycle. Turning the clothes inside out first may be easier on the clothing. It limits abrasion on the “good” side of the fabric, reducing “pilling” and extending the life of some fabrics such as corduroy. In addition, any embroidery, decals, and so on are better preserved. It should not affect the performance of the cleaning action to have the clothes inside out during wash.
***If your machine has been out in the cold, please let it warm up to room temperature (24 hours) before plugging it in and running it.