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Tips and Tricks for Easy Washing Machine Maintenance

The lifespan of most washing machines on the current market hoover around the 14 year mark, but there are several convenient maintenance tactics to preserve your washer for an extended period of time. When washing machines do not receive the necessary upkeep, many situations can occur that cause major wear and tear on their systems. Water can become trapped in the machine gasket which causes an accumulation of mold, and detergents and fabric softeners have a tendency to cause a waxy buildup. Following easy maintenance tips can give you the opportunity to prolong the life of your washing machine while enhancing its performance as well.

Run Monthly Cycles at High Temperatures
When you run continuous laundry cycles at low or lukewarm temperatures, the germs and bacteria that are present within your appliance are not properly sanitized. Heat has been historically recognized as one of the strongest sanitation methods around. It strips proteins from the germ cells themselves which leads to their deterioration. Experts suggest running a hot cycle through your machine at least once per month. Anything that is above 140 degrees Fahrenheit will do, but 194 degrees is optimal for the most thorough sanitation.
Perform Regular Hose Inspections
It is common for homeowners to be unaware of the importance of looking over the hose components that are running out of their washing machines. The water pressure that is constantly running through the hoses can cause cracks in the exterior overtime. If these cracks are not promptly addressed, they can lead to the hose bursting and causing expensive water damage. Hiring a professional to replace a water hose can cost upwards of $5,000, which is more than replacing the machine itself. By performing inspections on a continual basis, you can identify any leaks or cracks ahead of time and take care of them before they result in costly repairs.
Minimize Your Use of Liquid Detergents and Fabric Softeners
The cleansing scents that liquid detergents and softeners provide our clothes with can be enticing, but excessive use of them can be harmful. Liquid laundry solutions tend to leave a waxy buildup along the gasket which can lead to mold as time goes on. Large amounts of this wax-like substance can even lead to a decrease in your washer’s performance level, and inadequate sealing. Switching to powdered detergents will eliminate the risk of buildup, and distilled vinegar can be used in place of fabric softener. If you don’t feel comfortable completely switching to these methods, try replacing just a few loads with this approach in order to see a reduction in the acquired buildup.
Thoroughly Clean the Machine Gasket
The rubber seal that surrounds the door of your washing machine is known as the gasket. Since this seal is located in the interior of the machine, it needs to be cleaned consistently in order to prevent accumulation of debris. Anything that typically builds up in the drum has the potential to accumulate along the gasket as well. If you notice a collection of buildup, clean the area with a rag and a solution of equal parts water and vinegar. You can also use a mildew cleaner if you expect that the moisture has lead to the presence of any mildew in or around the gasket.
Never Close the Washer Door After Completing a Cycle
Since water is steadily flowing into the washer drum, it is natural for the environment within the washer to remain cold and damp. These conditions can quickly lead to mold and mildew development due to the restricted airflow preventing it from properly drying out. Even the best washing machine can end up with dangerously high mold levels due to it not receiving an adequate opportunity to dry. Leaving the door of your machine open will allow the interior parts of the machine dry, greatly reducing the risk of mold and mildew accumulating inside of the drum and other areas.
Participating in these maintenance techniques on a standard basis will not only lengthen the life of your appliance, but also enhance your machine’s performance. Failure to eliminate buildup containing mold, mildew, and bacteria can halt your machine’s functionality while posing a danger to you and your family. These techniques involve minimal effort, and will keep your appliance running as successfully as the best washing machine available.