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Ann Arbor Home Inspections

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(402) 401-6054

Ann Arbor Home Inspections

Book Your Inspection

Call Us Today

(402) 401-6054

A washing machine is one of the most indispensable appliances in our homes. Yet, it often doesn’t get the care and attention it deserves. Regular maintenance can extend the lifespan of your washer, improve its efficiency, and prevent common issues like mold growth and unpleasant odors. One particularly effective but often overlooked maintenance tip is keeping the washer door and soap drawer open to dry. Here’s why this practice is beneficial and other essential tips to keep your washer in top condition.

Why Keeping the Washer Door and Soap Drawer Open is Important
Prevents Mold and Mildew:
Mold and mildew thrive in dark, damp environments. By leaving the washer door and soap drawer open, you allow air to circulate, helping to dry out the moisture left behind after a wash cycle. This simple step can significantly reduce the risk of mold and mildew buildup, which can cause health issues and unpleasant smells.

Reduces Odors:
A damp, closed environment inside your washer can lead to the development of musty odors. Keeping the door and soap drawer open helps to prevent these odors by allowing the interior to dry out completely between uses. This keeps your clothes smelling fresh and clean.

Extends Appliance Lifespan:
Moisture can cause parts of your washing machine to deteriorate faster, especially rubber seals and gaskets. Drying out the interior helps protect these components, thereby extending the lifespan of your washer and reducing the need for repairs.

Additional Tips for Maintaining Your Washer
Regular Cleaning:
Clean your washer regularly to prevent soap scum, detergent buildup, and residue from dirty clothes. Run an empty wash cycle with hot water and two cups of white vinegar once a month or a washing machine cleaner that’s recommended for your washer. This helps to clean and deodorize the interior. For front-load washers, also wipe down the rubber door gasket to remove any trapped debris.

Use the Right Detergent:
Use high-efficiency (HE) detergent for HE washers, as it is designed to produce fewer suds and rinse out more effectively. Using regular detergent in an HE washer can cause excess suds, leading to residue buildup and reduced washing efficiency.

Measure Detergent Properly:
Avoid using too much detergent. Excess detergent doesn’t get fully rinsed out and can leave a residue on your clothes and inside the washer. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the correct amount of detergent to use based on the size of your load and the level of soil.

Check Pockets and Zippers:
Always check pockets for small items like coins, keys, or tissues before washing. These items can damage the drum or clog the drain. Additionally, zip up any zippers to prevent them from catching on other clothes or the washer drum.

Balance the Load:
Overloading your washer can strain the motor and other components, leading to premature wear and tear. Similarly, washing very small loads can throw the drum off balance. Aim for medium-sized loads that allow your clothes to move freely but don’t overload the drum.

Clean the Filter:
Some washers have a filter or lint trap that needs regular cleaning. Check your user manual to locate this filter and clean it every few months to prevent blockages that can affect the washer’s performance.

Level the Washer:
An unbalanced washer can vibrate excessively, causing noise and potential damage to the appliance. Use a level to check your washer and adjust the feet as needed to ensure it sits evenly on the floor.

Inspect Hoses:
Regularly check the hoses for signs of wear, such as cracks, bulges, or leaks. Replace hoses every five years or sooner if you notice any damage. Stainless steel braided hoses are more durable than rubber ones and are a good investment to prevent leaks.

Maintaining your washer doesn’t require a lot of time or effort, but it can make a significant difference in the appliance’s performance and longevity. One of the simplest yet most effective tips is to leave the door and soap drawer open to dry out between uses. This practice, along with regular cleaning, proper detergent use, and routine inspections, will keep your washer running smoothly and efficiently. By taking these small steps, you can ensure that your washer remains a reliable and effective tool in your household for years to come.

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