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Maintaining Your Washer and Dryer

Have you ever had funny smells coming from your washer, or even have your clothing come out smelling funny after a wash?  Some simple steps can help you keep your washer and dryer from not only developing funny smells, but also can extend the life of your machine!

 

Prevent Mold Buildup in Your Washer

washer-mold.jpg
The moist dark environment inside washers is the perfect habitat for mold.  Not only are front load HE washers are extremely susceptible to mold, but top load washers can also have the same problems although you may not visually see them as easily.  Follow these steps to keep mold from attacking your washer and performing its best.

  • Use less detergent
    • img_3314.jpgNew energy efficient washers use much less water than older washers.  Because of this they require MUCH less detergent.  You should not need more than a tablespoon for soft water, or 2 tablespoons for hard water.  This will clean your clothing great and ensure soap scum and residue are not left behind destroying the components in your washer.
  • Run a clean cycle once a month
    • Add in a cleaning tablet like Affresh and run a HOT cycle without any clothing.  Optionally instead of using a cleaning tablet like Affresh, you could add a half cup of white vinegar into the tub instead (use 2 cups for a top load washer.)
  • Keep your door open after running a load
    • This will allow your washer to dry out after a load much more quickly, making it harder for bacteria and mold to grow.
  • Wipe down the rubber gasket on front load washers once a week with a wet cloth, or white vinegar.

Clean your lint filter

MDryer-Vent-Cleaning.jpgake sure to clean the lint filter on your dryer after EVERY load.  Not only does this allow for proper airflow and drying, but cleaning it regularly prevents the lint from building up in other parts of your machine or the venting.  Buildup of lint in the machine is the #1 cause of dryer fires.

You will also want to clean your lint filter further once a month by washing it with warm water, soap and a scrub brush.  Very small pieces of lint will end up clogging the small holes in the lint filter.  You will notice that before you clean it, the lint filter may hold water not allowing it to pass through, but after water will pass through the lint filter and will not hold any water.  Another option is to just wash it in your dishwasher!

Replace your washer hoses

Stainless-Steel-Washing-Machine-HosesBursting washer hoses can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home.  Most hoses are only rated to last 5 years.  Make sure you are replacing your washer hoses every 3-5 years to prevent any leaks and water damage to your home.

Clean your Dryer Venting

dryerventimage1.jpgDryer venting can get clogged up with lint over time.  Make sure you either call a professional dryer vent cleaner, or at a minimum pull the dryer vent off the dryer once a year and vacuum out any buildup that may be inside.  If you see a significant amount, this could be indication of a larger problem in which you will want to have your venting professionally cleaned.

This is also a good time to make sure that your venting is in fact metal venting.  If there is anything besides metal venting, replace it immediately as plastic venting is not safe!

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