Washing Machine Maintenance: Tips for Longevity and Performance

If you got yourself a new washing machine, you should take good care of it. Here we will discuss washing machine maintenance tips to increase its life span, so it can properly serve you for many years to come.

man cleaning a washing machine

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

1) Show Your Machine Some Respect: Don’t Overload

Let’s start with the basics: don’t overload your machine. It’s tempting, I know. You see that pile of laundry multiplying on the floor and you think, “I can fit it all in, no problem.” News flash! Your washing machine isn’t a TARDIS from Doctor Who—it can’t magically expand on the inside.

If you don’t respect your machine’s space, you’re just asking for trouble. Like your favorite pair of skinny jeans after Thanksgiving dinner, it won’t be able to perform at its best. Overloading can lead to unbalanced loads, increased wear on parts, or, even worse, the dreaded machine walk of shame when it decides to shimmy across your laundry room floor.

2) A Clean Machine is a Happy Machine: Regular Cleaning

It may sound absurd, why would you clean the machine that cleans your clothes? But trust me on this, it’s as crucial as a morning coffee for some of us. Your washing machine needs a good internal scrub every now and then.

Using specially designed washing machine cleaner, or even just a trusty mix of vinegar and baking soda, you can bust the grime, limescale, and detergent build-up that party in your drum when you’re not looking. Run an empty cycle on hot, add your chosen cleaner, and voilà! Your machine is fresh and ready to battle dirty socks with renewed vigor.

3) Seal the Deal: Check Your Door Seal

This one’s a biggie. The door seal, or gasket, can easily be overlooked. But it’s a breeding ground for mold and mildew, so you need to be vigilant. I mean, who wants their freshly washed clothes to smell like they’ve just returned from a vacation in a swamp?

Get in there with a damp cloth and wipe it down. If you spot any suspicious-looking molds or anything that resembles a science experiment gone wrong, a mild solution of bleach and water should do the trick. Make sure to air-dry after. And remember, if your door seal is cracked or leaking, it’s time to bite the bullet and replace it.

4) Level Up: Keep Your Machine Level

Remember that time your washing machine tried to waltz across your laundry room? That’s because it wasn’t level. And, apart from practicing its dance moves for the washing machine ball, an unlevel machine puts extra strain on its components.

So, grab a level tool and check your machine. If it’s off-balance, it’s important to adjust the feet until everything is hunky-dory. Your machine will thank you, and your laundry room floor will too.

5) What Goes in Must Come Out: Inspect Hoses Regularly

It might be a good idea to schedule a date with your hoses every few months. It will take a minute or to, but it’s important to check them for bulges, cracks, or leaks. Trust me, it’s better to spend a few minutes playing detective now than to come home to a mini–Niagara Falls in your laundry room later. And if you find any hoses that look like they’ve seen better days, replace them promptly.

6) Play it Cool: Cold Washes are Your Friend

Sure, hot water can be great for tackling certain stains or for your relaxing end-of-the-week bath, but it’s not always the best choice for your washing machine or your energy bill.

Lowering the temperature of your washes can help prolong the life of your machine, as it doesn’t have to work as hard to heat the water. Plus, it can prevent your favorite red shirt from turning your pearly whites into a wardrobe for Pink Day at work.

7) Listen to Its Heartbeat: Notice Any Unusual Noises

Just like your old Aunt Ethel, your washing machine will start making odd noises when it’s not feeling well. If you hear banging, screeching, or anything that sounds like a small animal is trapped inside, it’s time to investigate. Naturally, a washing machine is a rather loud appliance, but I trust you would know the difference, especially if you are using it regularly.

It could be as simple as an underwire from a bra causing havoc, or as serious as a faulty motor. The sooner you figure it out, the better chance you have of fixing it without having to fork out for a whole new machine.

8) The Forgotten Filter: Clean it Out

Yes, your washing machine has a filter. Surprised? You’re not the only one. And just like the filter on Instagram, it makes everything better when it’s clean and functioning correctly.

This little guy is usually hiding at the front of your machine behind a small door. Its job is to catch all the bits that forget they should stay in your pockets, not go on a joy ride during the wash. Coins, buttons, fluff, you name it—the filter catches it all. So, give it a good clean every once in a while, to prevent blockages and keep your machine running smoothly.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you want your washing machine to last, you’ve got to show it some love. Treat it right, keep it clean, and it’ll keep your clothes looking sharp for years to come. And isn’t that a much more appealing option than hand washing everything in your sink? I thought so. Now go forth and become the washing machine maintenance guru I know you can be!