These days, when you buy a washing machine, you should be confident that it will last you a long time, at the very least 5 years. However, many people report that their machines break down after as little time as a year; with machine drums becoming faulty, not draining properly or even not spinning properly.
This is not good enough. Washing machines are an expensive product and even though they often come with an extended warranty, so these faults can be easily fixed, people still need to realise that in most cases, these faults are not down to the manufacturer.
A washing machine’s durability is affected by how it is being used, so if you don’t use it properly, then it will break and it will be your fault. You must think about how you can take care of your washing machine, to prevent it breaking down and to increase its chances of lasting you a long time.
The most common washing machine mistakes that you should aim to avoid are:
Ignoring the washing machine’s instructions
No matter how good you are with technology, you should always make sure that you read the manufacturer’s instructions that come with your purchase. There may be some simple operating instructions that, if you fail to read, might cause the gradual breakdown of your machine.
It is better to be safe than sorry and plus, reading the instructions will ensure that you know the machine’s capacity, which is very important.
If you have read the instructions, you will know what the capacity of your machine is, so should know not to overfill it. However, there may be times when you really need to get some items washed, so ignore what you’ve read and know and so stuff everything into the drum.
Not only is this bad for your clothes, as they will be too closely impacted and not have enough room to get cleaned properly but you will also be putting the machine under a lot of strain.
You may notice that the machine spins a lot harder and louder when it has an incredibly full drum. This is not healthy for the machine and all the knocking about might cause some of its components to shift or break. The spinning function is also at great risk of breaking down.
Using too much washing powder/ detergent
When you buy powder or washing detergent, it will normally give you an estimated number of washes that it will last for on the front of the packet. You should make it your mission to ensure that it not only lasts that long…but a bit longer too.
Washing powder and detergents are a lot more concentrated now, so we do not need to use as much, although many people still do in the belief that using more makes their clothes smell nicer. This isn’t the case.
If you use too much, it will not be washed out of your clothes properly and will end up causing clothes more damage than good. Excess detergent will also stay in the machine and build up, which will cause mildew and more worryingly, seriously affect the life of your washing machine.
Never cleaning your washing machine
Most people assume that because washing machines wash clothes, and are therefore clean, they don’t actually need to be cleaned themselves. This is most definitely not the case. Take time to think about all the dirt, grime and cleaning detergents that your machine has to deal with on a weekly basis.
This doesn’t all just disappear. You may notice that sometimes your washing machine might smell a bit funky and sometimes clothes smell less fresh than normal, this is because your machine needs a clean. If you just leave it, mildew and mould will start to build up and this is not good for your clothes or the machine.
Leave the door open after each wash to allow natural drying and do one hot, water only wash each week. Then, on a monthly basis, using a water and vinegar mix, do a warm cycle. After this cycle finishes, use a cloth with a vinegar-water mix to wipe down all the surfaces taking particular notice of the drum, filters and rubber door seal.
Leaving fluff, grime and small objects to sit in the rubber door seal
After each wash, you should check that no items are sitting in the folds of the rubber door seal. Most common items to be found there are; lighters, hair bands, metal hair clips, coins and tissues.
If you don’t check and remove these items, there is a real possibility they will cause your machine to break down. Not only is having a lighter in there dangerous anyway but any such kind of item is not designed to be banging around in the drum of your machine.
Metal objects will start corroding in the machine, causing rust, which is definitely not ideal and this rust will then leave unsightly marks on your clothes. Materials that can disintegrate in water, such as tissues, can also end up causing blockages in the drainage pipes, which will obviously result in draining issues.
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James writes for kitchen appliance retailer The Wash House. When he isn’t blogging about white goods he’s trying to play his ukulele.