Though it’s often hidden in basements and behind closet doors, the washing machine is a workhorse appliance, cleaning between eight and 10 loads a week in the average household and handling about 16 items per load. Though statistics show that women still do 90 percent of the laundry in America, this humble appliance nonetheless played an outsize role in women’s rights: experts believe that it gave women enough time off from household chores to enter the workforce.
No matter who does the laundry in your house, it pays to take care of this time-saving device in order to maintain peak performance and extend its service life. Manufacturers and repair technicians advocate a number of easy steps that deliver the needed TLC:
Level it! Washing machines are constructed to operate while sitting absolutely level, and instruction manuals give precise directions on how to level the appliance. If the machine tilts slightly, the clothing isn’t handled or cleaned evenly, and the wear on motors and other moving parts increases.
Check your pockets! There are more than a few washing machine owners who paid a pretty penny for a repair technician to retrieve coins from washing machine innards. Coins, pens, paperclips, keys, marbles – all can damage the machine or make their way down the drain, impeding water flow.
Don’t overload it! Stuffing the washing machine too full taxes the mechanical components. It also contributes to automatic cycle shutdowns if the machine attempts to spin an extra-large load that won’t circulate freely and becomes unbalanced. Finally, overloaded machines clean clothing poorly.
Don’t underload it, either! Besides wasting water, washing one shirt or a single pair of pants inflicts the same amount of wear and tear on your machine as a full load does.
Save the detergent! Too much detergent does not make clothes cleaner. Love the smell the detergent lends? Switch to liquid fabric softener or dryer sheets. Excess detergent residue stays in the washing machine, encouraging mold and mildew between uses. It also accumulates on clothing, affecting fabric finishes and attracting new dirt.
Clean it! Taking a cue from self-cleaning ovens, many current washing machines helpfully offer a self-cleaning cycle. If yours doesn’t, it’s easy to scrub it yourself: run an empty load with hot water and 2 cups of bleach or vinegar. In the middle of the cycle, add the detergent and let the cycle finish. Remove remaining stains with a soft abrasive cleanser and sponge. Wipe the seals, especially on front-loading machines, to ensure that the door seals tightly during use. And don’t forget to swab out detergent and fabric softener dispensers periodically.
Leave the door open after use! Allow it to air-dry, which cuts down on microbial growth and odor.
The only other appliance with a greater positive impact for women? The refrigerator. Service America is standing by to fix or maintain both of these hard-working appliances!
What's new with our company and customers.