Washing Machine Maintenance Tips and Signs Your Washer Needs Maintenance

Washing Machine Maintenance

Washing machine maintenance allows Louisville area homeowners to clean and care for each washer and dryer appliance in the home’s laundry room. These steps keep the machine running with efficient performance and reliable washing power, providing your family with cleaner clothing and protecting fabric from wear. Conventional washing machines as well as front loading machines benefit when you inspect and service them monthly.

Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling shares the washer maintenance steps you should follow. Keep washing machine parts clean, check and replace hoses to prevent water leaks, and clean the lint trap to avoid drain blockages. Our plumbers share how to care for washers and how to tell when they need maintenance.

When Does a Washer Need Machine Maintenance?

It’s important to make washing machine maintenance a part of your regular home maintenance routine as the steps protect your appliance and your plumbing. If you are between maintenance times or have skipped servicing your machine lately, watch for signs that tell you that maintenance is needed immediately.

When these issues are present in washing machines, maintenance service is a must and professional repairs could also be warranted:

  • The washer smells like mildew or mold
  • Noisy operation
  • Damage or wear to fabric
  • Loads don’t properly clean clothing
  • No hot water
  • The drum won’t spin
  • The drum doesn’t fully fill with water
  • The washing machine leaks water
  • Hoses are bulging or show other damage

Your Complete Washing Machine Maintenance Routine

Complete these washer maintenance tasks on a monthly schedule to limit wear and tear to your appliance. Inspect components and clean the machine for regular care.

Inspect Washer Hoses

Washing machines have multiple hoses. There is a supply hose for hot water, one for cold water, and a drain hose to flush out water after a load is completed. Supply hoses are made of PVC, stainless steel, or rubber. Drain hoses are made of corrugated plastics. On average, any hose on your washer should last three to five years.

Even if your washing machine hoses aren’t yet five years old, you still need to watch for hose leaks and damage. It may be necessary to replace a hose before the expected five years are up.

Every month, search along each hose looking for cracks in the rubber, kinks, bulges, fraying, and other signs of wear. Even if the hose is still in good shape, you should replace all hoses after a maximum of five years to best prevent surprise leaks and water damage.

Replace hoses on your washing machine following these steps:

  1. Pull the plug to disconnect your washer from the power supply in your laundry room.
  2. Loosen hose connections at the machine and each water supply valve to detach them. Sit a bucket on the ground and drain out any water in the hose.
  3. Connect one supply hose to the connection marked for cold water on the back of the washer at one end and the cold water supply valve at the other end of the hose.
  4. Attach the second hose to the hot water connection marked on the back of the washing machine and the hot water supply valve.
  5. Open the water valves to check each connection’s seal and search along the new hoses for leaks. When finished, reconnect the washer’s plug to its outlet.

Correct Machine Placement

It’s possible for your washing machine to move around in your laundry room. Uneven floors, footings, and vibrations from the spin cycle when you overload the machine can cause the appliance to shift up to several inches.

It’s important to return your washer to the proper place so hoses are less likely to kink. Keep the washer at least four inches away from walls and the dryer.

If the legs of your washer are uneven, reposition them to level the machine. Adjust legs clockwise to lengthen the leg and turn them counterclockwise to shorten them.

Clean the Lint Trap

Fibers from fabric collect on the lint filter as washing machines drain upon completion of laundry loads. Eventually, the trap can become clogged with lint and cause washer leaks or lint may enter home plumbing drain lines and cause blockages.

Clean the lint filter or replace it monthly to protect your washing machine and plumbing pipes:

  1. Identify the location of the trap on your machine. On a conventional washer, the lint filter is along the top of the drum rim, within the agitator, or at the end of the drain hose.
  2. Remove the part and soak it in hot, clean water. Allow it to soak for 10 minutes or more.
  3. Clean the lint filter with a brush or towel to remove fibers.
  4. Replace the part within the machine.

If your washing machine uses a disposable lint filter, all you have to do is remove the old one, toss it, and insert a new one each month!

If you have a high efficiency front load washer inside your home, there isn’t a dedicated filter that catches these fabric particles. Instead, lint gathers at the machine’s self-cleaning pump. Check it regularly and remove any particle buildup if needed.

Clean Washers Inside and Out

Clean the washer to keep the machine running properly and smelling fresh. Odors form due to residue from fabric softener and detergent as well as mold and mildew that can grow because of damp conditions within the washer. Proper cleanup controls odors and keeps the appliance in good working order by removing mold, mildew, mineral deposits, and residue.

Regularly clean your washing machine following this process:

  1. Add two cups of baking soda inside the machine drum.
  2. Start a hot wash cycle and do not add clothes when running cleaning loads through the washing machine.
  3. Once this cycle finishes, run another and add two cups of white vinegar to the machine.
  4. Wipe away dirt and residue on liquid detergent and fabric softener dispensers.
  5. Wipe down the interior of the drum, the inside and outside of the door, and the exterior of the washing machine using vinegar.
  6. If there are surface stains, use baking soda and a sponge to scrub them away and wipe clean.
  7. If you have a high efficiency washer, use vinegar to clean mold along with mildew from the door gasket. If the gasket seal is damaged or there is heavy mold growth, replace the gasket on the door according to the instructions within your machine owner’s manual.

Washing Machine Maintenance Tips for Everyday Maintenance

Any time you run loads of clothes and linens through your washing machine, use these washing machine maintenance tips to protect your appliance and keep the machine in top condition.

  • Be careful not to overload the washer. Reduce heavy loads by sorting clothes into smaller loads by related articles of clothing, color, or like material.
  • Use the correct amount of detergent for loads of various sizes. If you use a dispenser, measure the liquid cleaner or fabric softener it releases to verify the right amount of detergent is used for your laundry loads.
  • Use the right detergent for your washer type. High efficiency washers require special HE detergent that produces fewer suds.
  • After a load is done in the washer, quickly move items to the dryer. Don’t leave damp materials in the washer as this could cause mold to form inside the machine.
  • Once wet items are moved to the dryer, leave the door open so your washing machine can air dry. With the door open, air moves through the machine so dampness does not linger and facilitate mold growth.

Louisville Plumbing Services

Good washing machine maintenance routines protect the plumbing systems inside Louisville homes while helping homeowners keep their laundry appliances in service longer. When plumbing problems do arise, such as a clogged drain due to lint particles, call Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for expert drain cleaning and plumbing services in Louisville.

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