A new washer or dryer is a costly investment, so it’s wise to keep your current models running efficiently and reliably for as long as possible. Neglected washing machines can create a risk of flooding, and dryers have the potential to become a major fire hazard.
Hose failure is the most common cause of damage when it comes to washing machines, and dryer issues are often the result of air flow problems. Follow these maintenance tips to get the most out of your washer and dryer.
- Make sure your washing machine is level and on stable footing.
- Always use the proper amount and type of detergent.
- Inspect washing machine hoses once a month for leaks, cracks and bulges. Replace damaged hoses. Check for tight fittings, and tighten them if you find the fittings to be loose.
- Replace rubber washing machine hoses with metal ones. Metal hoses are stronger and more resistant to bursting.
- If you don’t have one already, place a drip pan underneath your washer to catch minor leaks.
- To manage odors, leave the door open, letting the inside of your washing machine dry out after you wash a load of laundry (NOTE: don’t leave the door open if you have small children. Instead, you can use a variety of commercially available products to deal with washing machine odors).
- Clean the lint filter in your dryer before every load.
- Wash the lint filter every three months to remove chemical residues.
- Clean out the dryer cabinet once a year. Your lint filter should catch most particles, but some inevitably make it through and end up in the dryer cabinet, and over time they can add up to significant buildup.
- Inspect your dryer’s exhaust ducts once a month. Check for blockage, crimps and unnecessary bends.
- Once a year, remove and clean out the entire exhaust duct line.
- To minimize fire hazards from blocked dryer ducts, replace vinyl exhaust ducts with aluminum ductwork.