Washing Machines: Appliance Maintenance Made Simple

How to Make Your Washing Machine Last Longer

Your washing machine works hard for you and your family, so why wouldn’t you take care of it?  These hard-working appliances require just a little regular maintenance, and so long as you keep up with them, they’ll last longer and happily keep your clothes clean for years to come.  

So, what’s the best way to care for your machine?  Here are a few simple tricks:

  • Keep It Clean – If you ever spill detergent or some other product, liquid or waste on top of your washer (or dryer for that matter), simply clean it off right away.  It’s such a simple thing to do. See, the finish on your appliance is tough, however, some surfaces, knobs and other plastic parts can be easily damaged by cleaning chemicals like bleach, ammonia and solvents.      
  • Prevent Mineral Buildup –   We already know that our water sources are often filled with minerals; it’s known as hard water, and we see evidence of this in the rings around our drains and spigots.   So, it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that those same mineral deposits can affect your washing machine. The minerals can collect in your washer’s hoses, inlet valves and pump.  When this happens, it can restrict water flow and increase friction on the machine that can shorten its lifespan. To prevent this buildup, you should fill the basin with cold water, add one cup of vinegar, and let the washer run through a complete cycle.  It’s best to get in the habit of doing this every three months or so.
  • Fix Those Scratches – Of course, normal wear and tear will happen.  It’s inevitable. Your washer will get some scratches on it, but that doesn’t mean that they have to be permanent.  You can easily fix these with some touch-up paint. Just go to the appliance dealer to get the right paint color to match your machine.  It comes in small bottles with an applicator brush. Then, simply read the directions carefully, and brush or dab the paint over the scratch, and voila!  Your machine will look like new again.
  • Turn the Water Off – It’s a good habit to start turning off your machine’s water supply when it’s not in use, especially if you’re going to be away from your home for more than a day.  When you shut the water off, you relive pressure on the hoses and the inlet valves, thus prolonging your machine’s lifespan. Turning off the water also eliminates any possibility of a flood happening should one of the hoses break while you’re away.  
  • Go Easy on the Detergent – No matter how dirty your clothes might be, go easy on the detergent.  When you use extra or too much, it causes the wash water to spill over the washer tub ring, and then it gets into the drive motor.  This is not good at all and will cause the motor to burn out! Also, if the water spills over, the filler in the soap can push your clothes over the top of the basket so that agitation pulls them down into the washer’s outer tub.  Needless to say, your clothes are not going to get clean outside of the washing basin. Once this starts to happen, clothes can travel into the water pump blocking it, and you can see how easily things will start to go wrong.
  • Don’t Force the Dials – It’s important to remember that though contrary to their appearance, our washing machines are not invincible, so take it easy on those dials.  You never want to spin the knobs while the machine is running. When you do this, it sends irregular electrical surges to the switches that can eventually wear them down and become a pretty costly situation.  

By following these simple maintenance tips, you can keep your washing machine working in top shape so that it lasts longer, and you don’t have to worry about replacing it in the near future.  


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