How to … clean and care for your washing machine

Caring for you washing machine requires some attention each use but can extend the lifespan of your machine.

How to … clean and care for your washing machine

Washing machines aren’t cheap. We all know that. But how many of us actually know how to care for them properly? Keeping your machine in peak condition not only helps your clothes come out spotless but can also extend your machine’s lifespan. Here are the top tips from Choice on how to care for your washing machine.

Before each wash remove any objects from the pockets of clothing such as keys, coins or tissues. Some small items of clothing – such as those mysterious missing socks – can get caught in the joints of the machine and cause damage, so it’s best to place delicate items in laundry bags.

After each wash, wipe the inside and the outside of the rubber casket. This is the rubber seal at the front edge of the washing machine. You may notice that water and grime often get caught there after a wash. Also wipe down the inside door of the machine to remove grime.

Use a cloth to wipe the detergent dispenser to remove any left-over detergent. If your washing machine is fitted with a lint filter, clear it after every use.

Finally, leave the door of your washing machine ajar. This allows air into the machine to prevent the build-up of moisture.

Once a month, run an empty wash on a cleaning or a hot cycle with a small amount of detergent to clean the insides of the machine and remove mould. If your washing machine is prone to building up mould or scrub, wash the seals and inside of your machine with hot soapy water.

If your machine moves around during a wash check to see if it is balanced. You may have to make a wedge to place under a corner to keep it level.

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    COMMENTS

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    zephyr
    11th Aug 2019
    11:23am
    I always use the long clean cycle on my washing machine as soon as it reminds me to do so. I'm also careful what and how much I put into my loads, yet I've always had trouble with my Fisher & Paykel and would never buy another. Regardless of which computer-set mode I use I have dirt, fluff and scum left on dark clothes and sheets. Often I have to wash items twice to get it off. I've never owned a machine with problems like this one! Interestingly, friends had the same problem with their F&P machine. Yes, we both contacted F&P without any joy, machines are now out of warranty and as soon as I can afford to buy a different machine I'll just cut my losses.
    Taragosun
    12th Aug 2019
    11:48am
    Zephyr, I have a Samsung and I also get fluff left on the dark items. Very frustrating, but I use a lint brush and brush it off before ironing. Never had that problem with any other washing machine.
    The other problem is the automatic water level height is nowhere near enough to wash the clothes properly. Always have to go up to the next level - not a problem - just frustrating.
    ranga
    11th Aug 2019
    11:45am
    Top Loaders ....what advice please
    Gypsy
    11th Aug 2019
    1:21pm
    Newer top loaders are much better than the older ones - much less water usage. But having had a front loader, I wouldn't go for a top loader again. Front loader is so much better in so many ways. Clothes cleaning is far superior in a front loader.
    Polly Esther
    11th Aug 2019
    1:51pm
    Hey there ranga- front-loaders also use less power and less water.
    Happy washing days :))
    MJM
    11th Aug 2019
    6:13pm
    Just make double sure you don’t have extra clothes to throw into a front loader ..... sorry next time!
    tango18
    11th Aug 2019
    12:18pm
    I have a front loading Samsung. When it needs cleaning a red light comes on to tell me to run a "Drum Clean" cycle - after approx. 40 washes. Cleaning the lint filter and wiping clean the rubber door seal occasionally are just logical things to do. Have had about 6-7 years and haven't had any problems to date. Also has a great quick 15 minute cycle for washing just a few items which may be a bit sweaty but not really dirty.
    zephyr
    11th Aug 2019
    3:39pm
    So many people I've talked to seem happy with their Samsungs. As soon as I can afford one I'll definitely change to a front-loader and I'll be considering a Samsung. My F&P has no way to choose a quick cycle so every wash has to be 45 mins ... what a waste of power!
    tango18
    11th Aug 2019
    12:18pm
    I have a front loading Samsung. When it needs cleaning a red light comes on to tell me to run a "Drum Clean" cycle - after approx. 40 washes. Cleaning the lint filter and wiping clean the rubber door seal occasionally are just logical things to do. Have had about 6-7 years and haven't had any problems to date. Also has a great quick 15 minute cycle for washing just a few items which may be a bit sweaty but not really dirty.
    KB
    11th Aug 2019
    12:40pm
    All logical things to do particularly the lint filter. Did not know about the lint filter had be cleaned until a good friend advised me to clean it on a regular basis
    shirboy
    11th Aug 2019
    1:53pm
    I love my LG front loader (the first front loader I have had) I am so impressed with it's ability to clean & sort out the weight of loads & economical use of water. Plus it plays a cute tune when finished. The experts say that front loaders are the most economical to run.
    MJM
    11th Aug 2019
    6:12pm
    How many people put the washing powder in the top of the agitator!!! Wrong people!!!!! that is for fabric softener... I work in age an disability sector and sooooo many use this for powder. A wash without powder then on final rinse powder goes In instead of softener. Not good
    zephyr
    11th Aug 2019
    6:23pm
    I don't have a central agitator so my top loader has two containers at the side. One is for detergent and one is for fabric softener. I never use fabric softener. I use a liquid detergent except for when doing the deep clean of the bowl where the instructions are to use two scoops of powder directly into the bowl.
    Kiri
    11th Aug 2019
    6:28pm
    All good advice I can put to use with my very efficient Electrolux front loader. I'm a bit worried about cleaning the rubber 'casket' though. Hope the writer's advice is better than their spelling.
    Lookfar
    12th Aug 2019
    12:30pm
    If you put a couple of tablespoons of Borax in the rinse, not only will the washing come out cleaner but due to the alkalinity it will expunge the mould.
    CountryCatkin
    14th Aug 2019
    2:00pm
    On an all rainwater house, I need something more realistic than cleaning via an 'rmpty' hot water cycle each month. However, I have done this annually and always leave the lid open for several hours after a laundry session. Seems to be quite adequate added to regular wipe downs.


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