Washer/Dryer Cleaning and Maintenance
Washers and dryers are some of the most treasured and necessary home appliances one could own. It is a luxury that not all countries or homes have, so those that do should not take them for granted. Whether you have a used set or invested in a brand new one, it is extremely important to properly maintain them for longevity and to avoid the need for repair. Here are a few ways you can care for your washer and dryer:
- Empty wet clothes from the washer as soon as possible. It is one of the easiest and most necessary steps in keeping your washer running smoothly. If wet clothes are left in the washer too long, there could be odor buildup as well as mold and mildew.
- Inspect the washer door. Mold and mildew can accumulate if there is moisture in the door gaskets, so wipe them dry after each use and keep the door slightly open for air circulation. Clean the gaskets monthly with a solution of equal parts water and vinegar.
- Avoid overloading your washer. Too much stuffed in at one time can cause poor washing results and damaged clothing. The machine should be loosely filled and not packed to the brim. Multiple loads may be necessary sometimes, but it is worth it to keep the washer functioning.
- Wash the machine itself periodically. Around 2-3 times per year, run the washer empty of clothing and on the hottest cycle with detergent. This will help the machine and pipes stay clean and remove additional grease and dirt.
- Inspect the water hoses. If they burst, hundreds of gallons could flood into your home. Check the hoses several times a year for cracks or breaks- if you see these, unplug the machine immediately and turn off the water supply to replace them.
- Always, always, always clean the lint trap in your dryer. If lint builds up in the screen or ducts, the dryer can burst into flames. An estimated 16,800 fires are caused by washers and dryers in the United States yearly, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Remove the lint screen after every single load to clear it out.
- At least once per year, clean out the dryer’s venting duct from the outside. Check to see that it is free of obstructions such as debris or loose materials.
- Don’t put unclean wet items into the dryer. This is especially important during summer when it may seem easier to toss a pool or beach towel straight in to use again quickly. However, it will dirty up the dryer’s interior and affect its longevity. Run any wet items through the washer first to remove dirt and grime.
- Clothes need the hot air circulation to properly dry, so don’t cram large amounts in there at a time. This will actually increase the drying time as opposed to running multiple smaller loads.
- If you use fabric softener, use the liquid variety that runs with your washer. Dryer sheets may be cheaper, but they also leave residue that can clog vents and affect the efficiency.
If you do invest in new laundry equipment, be sure to purchase a warranty for your protection. Take the proper steps to keep things clean and maintained but have the warranty as an option if something happens that is beyond your area of expertise.