The Do’s and Don’ts of Washer and Dryer Maintenance

Your washer and dryer are two of the hardest working appliances in your home. If either machine breaks down, it can seriously disrupt your daily household routine. How you care for them is important. Washer and dryer maintenance is about more than just calling the service technician when they aren’t operating properly. There are things you can do to help avoid the need for professional washer and dryer maintenance.

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Washer and Dryer Do’s

Have your machines professionally installed.  Not everything is a DIY project. If you’re getting a new washer and dryer, it’s important to have them professionally installed. Both the washer and dryer need to be level to operate properly. Depending on the specific conditions of your floors, this can be complicated. The machines will run if they are not perfectly level but it will cause unnecessary wear and tear and shorten their lifespan. Also, proper ventilation is important for your dryer. This means using the correct size venting tube made of the appropriate material. Placement of the venting tube is equally important, as it will allow for maximum air flow. If you installed your own machines, consider having a professional double-check your work.

Keep washing machine dispensers clean. Most washers have dispensers for detergents and some for bleach and fabric softener as well. Keep these dispensers clean after each use to avoid build-up which could result in a clog. Your washer should be cleaned regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Read and follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions. In addition to cleaning your washer regularly, you should read and follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions for maintaining both your washer and dryer. If you’ve recently replaced either or both machines, don’t assume that the maintenance is the same as for the older models you had. New machines often require different maintenance

Run full loads. This isn’t just a way to cut down on energy costs. By waiting until you have a full load before running your washer, you reduce how often you need to use it. Less use equals less wear and tear which helps extend the machine’s lifespan.

Empty your pockets. While it can be a nice surprise to open the washer or dryer and find some cash, not emptying your pockets before doing laundry can be bad for these appliances. Paper money, coins, credit cards, tissues, and gum can all clog your washer drain. If any of these left behind in your pockets don’t fall out in the washer, they may work their way loose in the dryer. This can be bad for the inner workings of your dryer and gum or tissues can even make a mess of your clothes. 

Clean the dryer lint trap after every load. Everything you put in the dryer makes lint. To maintain proper airflow and avoid the risk of heat build-up which can result in a dryer fire, be sure to clean the dryer lint trap after every use.

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Washer and Dryer Don’ts

Some things shouldn’t be machine washed. With some items of clothing, hand washing is recommended. In many cases, this is to protect the clothing but handwashing certain items such as lingerie or bras with underwires can also protect your washer. The hooks and underwires can damage the machine’s drum or even scratch the inside of the door on a front-loading model.

And some things weren’t meant to go in your dryer. The hooks and underwires on your lingerie can inflict similar damage on your dryer so you should hang them up to dry. There are items that can go in the washer that shouldn’t go in the dryer. If you wash your bathroom rugs and they have a rubber backing, that backing could melt or flake off in the dryer. Besides ruining your rugs, the debris could damage the dryer or potentially catch fire. 

Don’t overload your machines.  Both your washer and dryer have to work harder when they are overloaded, causing excess wear and tear. Even though they are working harder they won’t perform properly when overloaded. Your clothes may come out of the washer as clean as they should or there may be a soap residue left on them. Overloading your dryer will restrict airflow and result in uneven drying or an excessively long drying cycle. It can also loosen or break the belt that rotates the drum.

Don’t use too much detergent. Using more detergent than the manufacturer recommended for you machine can leave a soapy residue on your clothes and potential damage your washer. This is especially true with newer machines that require less detergent. Too much detergent can leave the washer drum feeling slimy or create an unpleasant odor. It may even cause a heavier draw on the motor causing unnecessary wear and tear.

Don’t leave clothes in the washer. We’ve all done it. The washer is finished but we’re busy doing other things and forget to remove the laundry. Leaving laundry lay in the washer can create a breeding ground for mold, causing your washer to smell bad. That smell can be difficult if not impossible to get rid of. You should remove clothes as soon as the washer is finished and leave the door open between loads to let it air dry.

Don’t overuse dryer sheets. They may make your clothes soft, smell fresh and eliminate static cling but using to many dryer sheets can cause problems with your machine. Many have a waxy layer that can melt and gum up the dryer. Using too many dryer sheets can also leave a residue on the screen of your lint trap. If you regularly use dryer sheets, in addition to cleaning the lint trap after every use, it should be washed with warm sudsy water every couple of months.

Don’t forget to clean the dryer vent. This is an often overlooked part of dryer maintenance but a very important one. The dryer vent should be checked and cleaned regularly. This will allow for maximum airflow and help prevent dryer fires.

Professional Washer and Dryer Maintenance

Jersey Coast Appliance has a team of professional appliance service technicians, master technicians and certified support personnel dedicated to serving our customers with honesty and integrity. We can help you keep your washer and dryer operating at peak performance. This will extend their lifespan and help you save on energy costs. We offer complete appliance maintenance and repair including dryer and dryer vent cleaning.

We are the one-stop-shop for all your household appliance needs from sales to service. We have a wide variety of replacement parts in stock, including Kenmore replacement parts. In addition to our regular repair service, we also offer Night Owl Service and 24/7 Emergency service. Contact us today to keep all your appliances running smoothly!

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