Washing Machine Maintenance Tips
Your washing machine is one of the most important appliances in your home. It ensures your clothes are washed and prevents you from having to take countless amounts of laundry to a public place. Therefore, you want to do whatever you can to ensure it doesn’t break and work properly throughout the unit’s life. Here are some maintenance tips that you can utilize to help get the most out of your washing machine.
The insurance company that handles your homeowner’s policy understands that most water damage claims are preventable. In fact, they also realize that one of the biggest causes of water damage in the home can be attributed to the water supply hoses that connect to the back of a washing machine. Over the lifetime of a single washing machine, there is a significant likelihood that one of these hoses will burst, potentially spilling several hundred gallons. Not surprisingly, manufacturers recommend that you turn off the water supply valves when the washing machine is not in use. This alleviates the constant pressure of water on the solenoid (controls the flow of hot and cold water from the valve to the washing machine’s inner tub) and increases the longevity of the supply hoses. Unfortunately, many homeowners have probably never heeded this advice; thus, the water supply hoses and solenoids are under constant pressure.
A vital step in maintaining your washing machine is to inspect the hot and cold water supply hoses. It is suggested that they be looked at every four to six months to ensure that they are not kinked, bent, worn, cracked, or blistered.
Cleaning Water Inlet Strainers
Inspect the shut-off valves for signs of corrosion and water leaks. Any leaks should be immediately repaired. Standard water supply valves are not difficult to turn on and off; turn the valve to the right to turn off and to the left to turn on. That being said, if you are not following the manufacturer’s recommendation to shut off the valves while the washer is not in use, you can expect your solenoid to go bad. You may want to consider one of the other types of shut-off valves available, such as a manual single-lever shut-off valve or even an automatic electronic shut-off valve that offers leak detection and protection from substantial water damage.
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Washing machine legs that are not level will allow the washer to vibrate, make noise, or even walk around during use. This could potentially cause damage to objects around the washer and damage the machine’s internal components. Ensure that your washing machine remains level by setting a carpenter level on top and adjusting the feet. Whether you own a front or top load washing machine, repairs and cleaning of the internal components can be difficult. Damage caused by vibration may require repairs by a qualified appliance repairer. Having an appliance repairman available for such types of repairs and even cleaning the internal components will help extend your washer’s life and ensure that it is functioning as expected.
Keeping a washing machine clean inside and out will keep it in optimal condition and actually improve its ability to clean your clothing properly. The surface of a washer should be kept clean by using a soft cloth or rag, along with hot water, bleach, soap, or a non-abrasive cleaner. Abrasive soaps, stain removers, sponges, etc., can scratch the finished surface and should not be used. The inside of a washing machine should be cleaned every three months. This will remove any residue buildup, bacteria, mold, or mildew.
Clean the exterior machine parts
Now it’s time to give your washer door, the exterior surfaces, as well as the detergent dispensers a good clean. If dispensers are removable, take them out first. Next, use vinegar or your favorite cleaner and a cotton cloth. If you have a top-load washer, clean the top of the lid and underneath it. For cracks and crevices, use a toothbrush and baking soda if needed.