This post was written in 2015 and updated in 2021 – my Whirlpool machines are still going strong and still helping me to stay completely aught up on laundry!!
If you have kids, your washer and dryer are probably two of the most used appliances in your house. As moms, we rely on these machines to keep our clothes clean and to keep a handle on our weekly loads of laundry.
But – have you ever thought about what your week would look like if your washing machine or dryer suddenly stopped working? The thought of that alone is enough to terrify me, which is one reason why I’m so glad for my Big, High-Efficiency, Top Loading Washer and Electric Steam Dryer. These machines are built to last.
Even well-made washing machines and dryers need regular cleaning and maintenance, though. How do you clean a washing machine? What can you do to make sure your dryer keeps operating at its best? Try these time-tested washer and dryer maintenance tips in your home!
10 Top Washer and Dryer Maintenance Tips:
- Use the correct laundry detergent. If you have a high-efficiency washing machine (like I do), you’ll need to use high-efficiency detergent as well. Other detergents can create too many suds, which can cause your machine to develop mildew.
- Use warm or hot water washes occasionally. It’s easy to just use cold water to wash all of your clothes, but warmer water does a better job of dispersing the detergent evenly throughout the load. That way, you can avoid buildup.
- Make a habit of cleaning your washing machine once a month. If you start off cleaning your machine regularly, you can avoid having to do a serious deep clean after years of dirt accumulates on the inside.
- Follow the washing machine cleaning directions in your user’s manual. There are a lot of “secrets” to cleaning washing machines floating around the Internet, but the best way to clean your machine is to follow the manufacturer’s directions. What works for another person may not be good for your washing machine.
- Don’t forget the dispenser. Sometimes we may focus on just cleaning the washing machine interior and forget about the dispenser that holds bleach or fabric softener. Products can build up in those areas too!
- Wash the dryer interior with a soft detergent. Harsh or abrasive cleaners can damage the finish.
- Clean the lint screen after each load of laundry is dry. Don’t wait until lint builds up on the screen. Try to remove it after every load.
- Use fabric softener sheets with caution. If you have a steam dryer, don’t use fabric softener sheets when you use the steam drying option.
- Check for lint and dirt around the dryer exhaust opening. If this gets into the exhaust opening, you could end up with a clogged vent.
- Always get a qualified repair person to perform extensive maintenance. If your dryer needs work done, find a qualified repair service with good reviews. You can always go with a company recommended by the manufacturer.
Do you have any tried and true tips for keeping your washer and dryer in tip-top shape?
Share your suggestions in the comments!