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10 Top Tips To Make Your Washing Machine Last Longer

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Photo Credit: AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by gfpeck via Flickr.

A broken washing machine, or one that suffers from mysterious recurring problems, can be a real nightmare, leading to high costs and increasingly large piles of washing to do. There are several ways in which you can improve the performance of your washing machine, making it last longer while ensuring that it runs better and is more energy efficient. Some of these solutions include being careful with the detergents you use, cleaning out the machine on a regular basis, and considering the benefits of ‘eco-optimised’ machines. These solutions, and more, are expanded upon below:

Tip #1 – Avoid Overloading

Too many clothes at a time puts a lot of strain on a washing machine, even if you think that it’ll work as long as you can close the door. It’s better to do a few more washes than to risk overloading and causing the machine to break.

Tip #2 – Be Careful with Detergents

Be careful not to use detergents that will cause damage to the controls and interior of your machine. Check the manual for the machine before you use it, and ensure that there aren’t any recommendations on which detergents to avoid. Having too many suds can be a particular problem, as this can lead to a buildup of residue within the machine. Also try making your own laundry detergent by following our post on this.

Tip #3 – Regular Cleaning

You should ensure that your washing machine is regularly cleaned to avoid odors and buildups in hoses and tubes. Check for debris after washing, and wipe out the rubber part of the drum. A cycle with limescale remover can also help to remove odours.

Tip #4 – Check Fittings

Repeated problems might be the result of loose hoses and electrical cords. Check to see if these have become torn or frayed, and seek further help if you’re unsure about wiring or safety.

Tip #5 – Be Careful with Loose Objects

Always check your pockets before washing clothes, as loose objects like coins can cause scratches and damage to the seams of a machine. This is particularly important to remember if you have young children, who might sneak items into the machine when you’re not looking.

Tip #6 – Allow for Air Circulation

Make sure that there is plenty of space between the machine and a wall, as this will improve air circulation, and help to avoid mould from building up around the back fittings of your machine.

Tip #7 – Plan Your Washes

Only wash clothes when you absolutely need to, rather than in bits and pieces during the week. While this may be harder to do in practice than in theory, a few less washes a week will significantly benefit your machine.

Tip #8 – Wipe Down the Inside of a Machine

A wet or damp drum within a washing machine can cause problems with mould and bad odours developing, with the former causing clogs within the machine. Simply wipe down the inside of your washing machine after use, and try to take out clothes as soon as a washing cycle has completed.

Tip #9 – Invest in Energy Efficient Appliances

Look around for an energy efficient appliance when you buy a new washing machine. These appliances tend to use less water, and run more efficiently than older models.

Tip #10 – Don’t Attempt Major Fixes

If there is a major fault with your machine, or if it is letting off smoke or sparking at the back of the unit, seek help from an electrician or repairman, rather than trying to resolve a dangerous problem yourself.

Rob James recommends you remember to renew your white goods extended warranty, to avoid extra expense in the event of a break down. Rob can be found blogging about many things, including DIY, eco-friendly homes, and white goods maintenance.

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