Creating a Maintenance Schedule for Your Washer and Dryer

Your washer and dryer are two of the most used and relied on appliances in your home, but you probably don’t give them very much thought. Unless one breaks down, washer and dryer maintenance doesn’t often occur to many people—but it should.

Washers and dryers are expensive to repair and even more expensive to replace. Subjected to the wear and tear of daily use, they require extra care to keep them running smoothly and efficiently. It doesn’t cost much in terms of time or money to maintain your washer and dryer, but regular maintenance is invaluable in prolonging the life of these machines. Here’s how to establish a schedule for regular washer and dryer maintenance.

Every load:

  • Select spin speeds that are appropriate for the load you are running. Higher speeds may rush clothes through the laundry more quickly, but they result in greater wear and tear on the machine.
  • Use the appropriate type and amount of detergent. More detergent doesn’t necessarily mean cleaner clothes, and using too much can actually damage your washer. The same goes for fabric softener and bleach. Some premeasured pods may contain more detergent than your machine needs, so consult the manufacturer recommendations. Excess suds can build up inside the machine, becoming a petri dish for mold growth.
  • Never let finished loads sit in the machine after the cycle. Damp clothes are an ideal breeding ground for mold, musty smells, and mildew.
  • Clean out the dryer lint filter after every cycle to maximize efficiency.
  • Between loads, leave the door to your washer ajar. This will air out the interior and prevent mold growth.

Every month:

  • Wipe the washing machine’s interior drum and rubber door seal clean with a solution of half water, half vinegar. Use a Q-Tip to reach nooks and crannies. Clumps of hair or fabric that get stuck can trap odors and create a hospitable home for mold.
  • To thoroughly clean the machine and prevent mildew, fill the detergent dispenser with distilled white vinegar and put one cup of baking soda directly into the drum. Run the machine on its hottest cycle.
  • Clean out the drain pump filter. Any hair or fabric that gets clogged in the filter can cause problems with water drainage and create excessive vibrations or unusual pauses in wash cycles. Consult the owner’s manual for information about the drain pump filter location.
  • Inspect washing machine hoses for loose fittings, cracks, or leaks. Burst hoses can spill hundreds of gallons of water an hour, flooding your home. Hoses should be replaced every 5 years.
  • Clean the lint screen with detergent. Over time, invisible chemical residues can build up, restricting airflow.
  • Use your vacuum extension rod to remove lint that has gathered in the lint trap.

Every year:

  • Remove and clean out the entire dryer exhaust duct line. Ducts clogged with lint can be dangerous and are responsible for thousands of house fires every year.
  • Have your washer and dryer professionally serviced. A professional inspection can help you prevent serious issues by alerting you to any parts that might be wearing out.

Keeping up with a regular maintenance schedule will ensure that your washer and dryer run better, last longer, and use less energy. To schedule your next annual inspection, contact Bonfe today.

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