You may not think much about cleaning and maintaining appliances whose function is to clean things. You might even assume that appliances like your clothes washer and dryer clean themselves during normal everyday use. The truth is that even appliances used for cleaning need some sanitary love themselves! Here are a few tips to keep your washer and dryer working together for many anniversaries to come.
Tip 1: Wash your washer. Many areas have hard water, leading to a build up of minerals in various components of your washing machine. Toss in soap residue, dirt and debris from items you've washed, and mildew from lingering moisture and you have a recipe for odors and gunky build-up that keeps your washer from washing as well as it could wash! Simple fix: 1 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda + a hot water wash cycle (empty, of course). Note: For front loaders, put the baking soda inside the drum and the vinegar in the detergent dispenser.
Tip 2: Clean the screens! If your washer has a built-in filter, clean the filter screens with a firm bristled brush (and some vinegar, if needed) to keep water flowing freely and the filter working like it should. Don't forget the screen on the removable lint trap in your dryer! Wash it with hot soapy water every few months to remove chemical residue build-up from dryer sheets and fabric softeners.
Tip 3: Hone in on the hoses. Inspect all hoses for cracks, bulges, leaks, splits and other signs of damage. If you even think you see a potential issue, replace the hose immediately. Leaks from washing machine hoses are a common cause of flooding and water damage. Also, make sure all of the fittings are tight as they can loosen over time.
Tip 4: Don't neglect the ducts! Check the duct hose from the dryer to the wall for crimps, rips and kinks that restrict airflow and replace if needed. At least once a year, have your dryer ducts from the wall to the outside professionally "blown out" to remove any blockages of lint and debris. Blocked dryer ducts not only decrease efficiency of your dryer but increase your risk for house fires!
Keeping your washer and dryer working their best is not a difficult task. A little maintenance attention gives this pair the love they need to go the distance. If your TLC ever turns up something funky, just give us a call. At Appliance Science, we have a formula for your fix!