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Washing Machine Maintenance Tips That May Surprise You

You might already know how to maintain your washing machine to some extent. You make sure the appliance is level, you don’t overload it, etc. Today we’re focusing on the washing machine maintenance tips that a lot of homeowners don’t know about.

Here are our top guidelines:

  1. Use the recommended type and amount of detergent.
  2. Inspect the washer’s hoses monthly and replace them every three to five years.
  3. See if you need a drain vent.
  4. Make sure the door gasket stays dry between loads.
  5. Leave the door open for air circulation when the machine is off.
  6. Clean your washing machine often to limit mold spores.
  7. Clean the lint filter. (Yes, the washing machine has one!)

Learn more about these steps below—but remember that your washing machine isn’t immortal, no matter how well you care for it. If you need an appliance repair, Mr. Appliance® would be happy to help. Just call our nearest team of appliance experts, or schedule an appointment online.

How to Maintain Your Washing Machine with Confidence

When it comes to washing machine care, knowing what to do is only half the battle. Knowing how to do it properly will help you avoid the need for excessive repairs or premature appliance replacement.

1. Use the recommended detergent.

Check the manufacturer’s recommended type of laundry detergent, amount of detergent, and instructions for use. For example, powdered detergent or high-efficiency (HE) liquid detergent should be used with some water-saving washing machine models to minimize the formation of residue. Be sure to load the detergent correctly too—some units have a detergent tray and fabric softener tray, while others don’t.

2. Keep an eye on the washer’s hoses.

Your washing machine has a hot-water hose, a cold-water hose, and a drain hose. Check these hoses monthly for cracks or brittleness. The best time is right after running the washing machine, as you’ll be able to see if anything is leaking. See a leak? Schedule professional washing machine repair.

Even if your washing machine hoses look okay, it’s still a best practice to have them replaced every three to five years to prevent accidents.

3. See if you need a drain vent.

A drain vent is installed on a washer’s drain hose to prevent pressure that hinders drainage. Some local building codes require this vent. Look at your washer’s drain hose to see if there’s a gap around it where it enters your drain. If there’s a little gap, you probably don’t need a drain vent unless local building codes require it. If the hose fits tightly, get a drain vent if you don’t already have one. Otherwise, you might end up needing a water damage restoration service...

4. Make sure the door gasket stays dry.

The gasket, or rubber seal, around your washer door is susceptible to mold and deterioration. Wipe it off after you do a load of laundry, as keeping the gasket dry will protect it from premature wear.

5. Open the door for air circulation.

The washing machine can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. If you keep the door open when the machine isn’t in use, you lower the risk of multiplying spores.

6. Clean your washing machine often.

Speaking of mold—when’s the last time you cleaned your washer? Front-load washers are especially notorious for getting dirty, and all washers should be cleaned every month or two. We have a list of tips for cleaning your washing machine thoroughly.

7. Clean the lint filter in your washer.

Many homeowners aren’t aware that most washing machines have lint traps. If you notice a lot of fuzz on your clothing, it might be because of a clogged lint trap. Check out our instructions for finding and cleaning a washing machine lint trap.

Professional Washing Machine Maintenance and Repairs

Even if you practice these washing machine maintenance tips perfectly, your appliance may eventually malfunction. When this happens, you can rely on your local Mr. Appliance to identify and fix the issue fast. To arrange an appointment, give your local team a call or schedule it online.

Does your laundry room have the right electrical outlets? Learn all about AFCI and GFCI outlets from the licensed pros at Mr. Electric®, a fellow member of the Neighborly® family of home service experts.