Washing machines need to be washed themselves now and then. This can help stop foul smells and even mold and mildew. There are some simple things you can do that could make a huge difference in reducing wear and tear on your washer. After all, it’s a major investment — you want to keep it in good shape so it lasts for years to come.
If you’re noticing odors or getting less-than-clean clothes, it may be time to give your washer a little TLC.
Here are eight tips for keeping laundry day stress free.
1. Inspect the hoses.
Every month or so, make sure there are no bulges or cracks and the fittings are tight.
2. Don’t overload it.
Oversize loads can damage your washer, so break up your laundry into smaller loads.
3. Use the right type of detergent.
Make sure you’re using the right kind for your model. Many energy-efficient washers require a low-sudsing detergent.
4. Use the right amount of detergent.
Too much detergent will leave a residue and is hard on your washer. Pods make it easy, but if you’re using liquid, measure according to the manufacturer’s directions.
5. Clean the interior and dispensers.
Yes, you need to wash the washer. This will help keep it clean and smelling fresh. TIP! Every month or so, run an empty load of hot water with 2 cups of white vinegar. In the middle of the wash cycle, add ½ cup of detergent. Let the full cycle complete.
6. Wipe down the drum, door and gasket.
Doing this once a month will help ensure the washer won’t give off odors that can seep into your laundry. TIP! Use equal parts water and vinegar to clean the gasket.
7. Leave the door ajar after a load.
Ever notice a smell when you open your washer to start a load? This can help with that.
8. Transfer clean laundry to the dryer as soon as it’s done.
Letting wet clothes languish in the washer can trigger mold and mildew.
Read our dryer maintenance tips.
Bundle and save on washing machine and dryer maintenance.