Your washing machine can only effectively cleanse and deodorize your clothing and linens when its inner components are clean and maintained as well. Without a thorough cleaning of the tub and replacement of the hose inlet screen, the efficiency of your washing machine dramatically decreases, leaving your fabrics looking and smelling less than clean. Even after completing key upkeep tasks, you must also perform the proper steps to help your washer operate at peak efficiency. Here’s are five things you can do to increase the efficiency of your washing machine.
Deep Clean the Tub
Dirt and grime on your clothing comes off in the washer and adheres to the sides and bottoms of the tub. Since the inside of the washer typically remains damp and warm, mold often grows inside there as well. To eliminate these contaminants from your washing machine, you can perform a thorough deep cleaning routine using cleaning vinegar. Once a moth, simply place your washer on hot, add four cups of vinegar and start the longest wash setting. Wait for the tub to fill completely with hot water before hitting the stop button to allow the machine to soak for at least one hour. Resume the wash setting to complete the cleaning cycle.
Replace the Screens
Your washing machine’s inlet hose has a screen inside to stop contaminants in the water from reaching its internal parts. If the screen becomes clogged, your machine may not fill up with the appropriate amount of water for the thorough cleansing of your fabrics. You can easily rectify this situation by unhooking the water inlet hose and pulling the screen out of the back of the machine with a small flathead screwdriver. You can either replace the screen outright or clean it off in the sink using a utility knife to scrape away the hardened debris.
Pre-Treat Your Fabrics
You can actively mitigate the amount of dirt and grime entering your washing machine by pretreating all your heavily soiled fabrics before placing them in the tub. This has an added benefit of protecting your clothing and linens from permanent stains. To pretreat your laundry, place the soiled fabric in a bucket of water or cold water for at least 30 minutes prior to your wash cycle. If any sign of the soil remains, apply a commercial pretreatment product or rub the stain in Fels Naptha soap. Scrub the fabric together to help the product or soap penetrate the fibers, then wash normally in your machine.
Use the Right Detergent
With so many different types and brands of laundry detergent on the market today, it is tough to know just which one to use. To keep your washing machine in great shape, you must ensure the detergent you select will not damage the machine. For high efficiency washers, for example, you must select a detergent that clearly displays the HE sticker to avoid damaging the machine and your fabrics. You should also pay close attention to the amount of detergent you use by carefully measuring for the proper load size.
Avoid the Urge to Overload
Getting your laundry done fast is tempting, but filling up your washing machine’s tub to the top could backfire in the long run. Not only does an overfull load fail to get the laundry completely clean, it can also throw the machine’s tub off balance or damage its motor. For most machine designs, the tub should only be filled 2/3s of the way up to allow the clothing to easily move around in the water. When washing heavier fabrics, however, loading the machine up to its halfway point is likely a safe bet.
When you take the above precautions to heart, you can keep your washing machine working properly for years to come. You will also enjoy crisp, clean clothing and linens that smell fresh, feel soft and look amazing.