Washers and dryers are the dynamic duo that keep you and your family clothed, so, like every other relationship in your life, you’ll need to give them some love on occasion to keep them humming along.
Remember: Safety first! Make sure to unplug these appliances whenever you are doing anything that requires fiddling with them. Consult your owner’s manuals when necessary, and if something on this list is beyond your skillset, get help!
- Make a point to regularly inspect washer hose conditions, connections, and filters. Cracked hoses can spell disaster, and debris can form between the washer hoses and the machine, affecting the flow of water.
- Your washer can benefit from an empty cycle every once in a while. Throw in a ½ cup of baking soda and a few cups of white distilled vinegar, and run a cycle on its hottest setting. Once it has agitated a few minutes, stop the machine, and allow the baking soda and vinegar to work their magic on the grime for about an hour and then allow the cycle to finish.
- When completed, wipe down all surfaces with a solution of hot water and white vinegar. Allow the basin to thoroughly air dry before additional uses.
- For future washes, pay attention to the amount of detergent you use. If you find your rinse cycle is still bubbly, you are using too much soap. This unrinsed soap is what’s causing the build-up on your washer and it may also contribute to your dingy whites and dull colors.
- Front load washers are notoriously great at growing mildew. Owners of these machines need to be diligent about removing wet clothes and allowing the door to remain open to allow the machine to completely dry.
- Remove the lint screen. Push a snorkel brush straight down into the trap slot, twirling the brush to collect any lint balls that might have fallen into the trap.
- Pull your dryer away from wall and disconnect the metal dryer ductwork. Use a snorkel or vent brush to sweep out the vent. Your goal is to remove any potential plugs, not create them, and so attack gently and from both sides of the vent to ensure it is not obstructed. Reconnect vent and seal with aluminum tape (do not screw it together, as that will only snag lint and exacerbate the problem).
- Clean off the top of your dryer, if it is accessible. It makes an excellent folding surface.
- Give your dryer (and your electric bill and the planet) a break by line-drying small or heavy loads. There are several collapsible wall and freestanding drying racks that make easy work of releasing moisture.
- Dryer lint can do so much more than fill your trashcan. Here are few great ways to recycle it:
- Compost natural (cotton and linen) fibers for your garden
- Use it as pet bedding for guinea pigs, hamsters, and gerbils
- Use it as stuffing for sewing projects
- Make a fire starter by tucking lint into a toilet paper roll, wrapping it in newspaper, and use it the next time you are ready for a night with the fire pit or fireplace.
Now that we’ve tackled your laundry appliances, are you ready to deep clean the rest of your home? We’re here to help.