Often, we take general household appliances for granted, not fully appreciating that while they may make our lives easier, we too need to care for them.
Some may not be aware that they would even need to clean the device. There is no shame in it, with more and more devices emerging aiming to make our lives easier, we forget they aren’t everlasting and need to be maintained to a high standard.
There are a few important things keeping washing machines running well, such as:
1. Clearing the filter
2. Ensuring the hoses and fittings are in good shape
3. Unclogging the drawer
4. Allowing the drum to air dry after a wash
5. Running a monthly service wash
Clearing the filter:
A washing machine’s filter is usually found in a compartment on the front side, behind a hatch. You should remove the filter and clear it every 3-4 months.
Some newer machines are ‘self-cleaning’ however and do not come with a removable drawer. You should run service cleans at intervals recommended by the manufacturer if this is applicable to you!
A poorly maintained filter can lead to a lowering of efficiency, poor drainage and additional lint finding its way on to your clothing.
Once you remove the filter, it’s possible water will flow out and soak your pristine, just-cleaned kitchen floors. Avoid this by keeping a towel or two nearby. Yes, a towel. Do not bring tissue paper to this fight.
Maintaining hoses and fittings:
When inspecting your hoses and fittings, you will need to keep an eye out on any cracks or corrosion that may have taken place. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, you should consider replacing the hose or fitting in question.
Ensuring these are in good shape is important to help prevent problems, such as poor drainage.
Generally, replacing the hoses and fittings should be carried out every 3 years.
Unclogging the drawer:
I’m sure we’ve all come to wash day, opened the drawer and seen the clunky remainder of last weeks (months?) powder.
Fear not, for it may look dirty but if you think about it, it’s only the cleaning product you would be using for your clothes!
With that said, it is still important to keep it tidy in there. Poorly maintained drawers can be the cause of leaks and lack of product-to-clothing contact! Why did you think the drawer was full of it in the first place?
Fully remove the drawer and give it a clean, ensuring you’ve completely removed all the leftover product from previous washes. Household tools are useful in helping with this, so look around for something that will help you scrape the rough bits out.
Allowing the drum to dry:
Now, an overlooked aspect of maintenance is a rather simple one; in this case, leaving your drum door open.
You can leave it wide or ajar, the choice is yours. But when your wash is done, don’t close that door! Closing the drum door after a wash can give mildew and smell the room it needs to prosper, eventually leading to damp smelling clothes and, let’s face it, a fusty smelling washing machine.
This is an easy preventative measure that we highly recommend!
A monthly service wash:
A service wash helps clean areas you cannot, helping to prevent mould and lingering bacteria. This needs to be done on a high heat setting, 60C or higher. During this wash, do not put any chemicals or clothing inside the machine, this time around its to maintain the interior components, not your clothes!
What we would recommend, though, is every 3-6 months using a washing machine cleaner product. They are readily available and help penetrate limescale and dirt, among other things.
We always recommend referring back to your manufacturer manual before taking any action, to ensure the process is compatible with your machine.