Failing to pay attention to our washing machines can result in faults occurring or going unnoticed. But there are a number of steps which you can take to enhance the maintenance of your appliance and increase its life, as explained below….
1: Understand How it Works:
To properly maintain your washing machine, you first need to understand how the appliance works; especially as this can prove helpful should your appliance gain a fault – as you’ll have a better chance of diagnosing the issue and working out how to fix it.
For a clear understanding of how washing machines work, we’d recommend reading our Advice Centre article, “How a Washing Machine Works”.
All appliances need to be cleaned on a regular basis, and your washing machine is no different.
When it comes to cleaning your washing machine there are a number of key components which need particular attention, these include:
The door seal – this should be given a wipe down to prevent bacteria from building up.
The drum – this should be cleaned every couple of months, by giving it a quick spray with an anti-bacterial cleaner, followed by a wipe with a clean cloth.
The filter – this can be found at the bottom of the machine, behind the kick-plate. And it can often harbour germs as well as dirt and fluff, which if left to build up can hinder the efficiency of your appliance.
It’s also advisable to regularly clean the dishwasher detergent drawer. If you’ve not cleaned yours, take a quick look at it, there’s a good chance it’ll have a layer of black mould within it, which causes odours. To remove these, take the drawer out of the washing machine; soak in hot soapy water, before scrubbing clean.
3: Periodically Use Hot Washes:
Over time, many of us have opted to wash our clothes at lower temperatures. Whilst this may be more environmentally friendly, washing on lower temperatures can have a detrimental effect on the efficiency of your appliance.
One of the main issues of washing on a lower temperature on a regular basis is it can lead to the build up of grease and mould, particularly around your door seal and detergent drawer. It’s therefore recommended you carry out a few washes at a temperature of 60 degrees or above – when possible.
4: Maintenance Wash:
Whilst it is important to increase the number of hot washes we carry out to reduce odours and bacteria build up within our machines; it is also important to carry out a washing machine maintenance wash every two to three months.
A maintenance wash includes putting your washing machine on its hottest wash setting, without any clothes or detergent being included.
To ensure a thorough clean when carrying out a maintenance wash, it is recommended to include limescale and detergent remover into the wash, as this will help to clean all internal parts of your appliance which you cannot normally get to when carrying out a regular clean of your appliance.
5: Leave The Door Open:
Regularly cleaning your washing machine and its various components via the methods above will go some way to preventing odours from appearing. Another step you should take is to leave the washing machine door slightly ajar after each wash, enabling air to circulate through the appliance, particularly the drum – and therefore helping reduce the number of germs building up.
Each of these tips above are important in keeping your washing machine well maintained, enabling it to work effectively and efficiently for longer; saving you money in both the short and long term.