With the way a washing machine handles the bulk of the task for doing the laundry, it also deserves to get some TLC from the owner. The washer eliminates the need to do hard scrubbing, so taking care of it ensures consistently smooth performance and protection against breaking down. Here’s what to do to give a washing machine with agitator some tender loving care.
Keep the machine stable
Position the machine on a level floor. If needed, adjust the feet to keep it balanced. The vibrations that occur with an unbalanced unit could make connections come off and also cause some degree of internal damage.
Open the door of the machine after use to help the drum dry out.
Do not overload the washing machine
The desire to finish the washing in one go can be tempting, but this could lead to a broken machine. When there are too many clothes put in beyond the machine’s capacity, this pushes the motor to overwork and eventually overheat. Stuffing the machine with clothes also results in poor spinning, or worse, no spinning at all. A heavy load can be washed using a heavy load option, however, which utilizes a huge amount of water so clothes can be cleaned optimally.
Do remember that heavy load wash options can strain the motor and can require a greater amount of water, aside from influencing the quality of the finished laundry.
Also, using too much detergent than necessary can damage water pipes, the motor, and of course, clothes.
Clean the machine inside and out
Your washing machine handles the laundry but it can’t clean itself.
Often, without regular cleaning, small detergent spills can develop a sticky residue on the machine. This makes it important that the machine be wiped down on the outside at least once weekly. Use a mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid and water.
Wipe down the inside tub regularly as well using a damp cloth. Soapy residue, dirt and lint will easily build up if you don’t. Once your clothes do not come out as clean as they should, the machine needs some deep cleaning. An odor inside also indicates the need for deep cleaning.
Use a formulation for machine cleaning once a month to give your washer thorough cleaning. This not only ensures a cleaner drum but also helps the machine clean better. You can run an empty cycle on hot wash with the machine cleaner, or just laundry detergent, if you prefer. You can also run the machine with water and no clothes plus two cups of lime juice or white vinegar on the hottest wash cycle. You can do this once every 3 months.
You can also mix your own washing machine cleaner. For sanitizing, mix ¾ cup of bleach plus 1 tablespoon powdered laundry detergent. Run the machine through a soak cycle with the solution, then have the washer run a rinse cycle to clear out the cleaning solution.
If the machine has a detachable lint filter, remove it and clean out the collected lint from clothes, then attach the lint filter back. Lint clogs water pipes and can also bring about improper washing of clothes. Old clothes usually have a layer of fluff on them, so it is good advice to check the lint filter regularly.
Clean off grease, detergent buildup and dirt from the drum, water pipes and dispensers.
A washer with an agitator will require cleaning of the area under that component (agitator) as the smell could transfer to the clothes. The smell comes from mildew and mold growing in the drum. The area under the agitator is a rich breeding ground for those organisms, since it is usually damp and warm.
Find rusted spots in the tub or dispenser and eliminate them with two cups lemon juice then running the machine on hot water for one cycle.
Use knobs gently and the machine settings wisely
Don’t use too much pressure when turning knobs. Don’t turn the knobs and dials in the wrong direction either. These elements are quite sensitive so be gentle.
Choose normal wash for standard loads, gentle wash for baby clothes and other delicate items, and the strong wash setting for heavily soiled and/or greasy loads. Using the suitable setting not only protects clothes from getting ruined but also keeps the machine running damage-free.
Be prompt with repairs
Washing machines may not last forever, but by observing proper maintenance, the unit can last for years. If you hear a strange noise, notice parts coming loose or a general decline in washing performance, call washer repair experts ASAP. Running the machine even with those obvious problems can only create bigger problems. Should your unit break down, call washer repair technicians or experts to help you determine the cause. The appliance may still have an applicable warranty or be subject to product recall, so it pays to ask an expert’s help.