- Ideas & How-Tos
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Washers and dryers are two of the hardest working appliances in your home. Despite their heavy-duty workload, it only takes a little care to keep them running at their best. Follow these quick tips for extending the life of your washer and dryer, and helping them perform better and last longer.
1. Peek for leaks. Washing machine hoses should be replaced every five years. Checking and replacing hoses will help protect your home from flooding due to leaks.
2. Don’t overload it. When washers and dryers are overloaded they perform inefficiently. Break big loads up into smaller piles to extend the life of the motor and use less energy. As a general rule of thumb, most front-loaders wash better with larger loads, and most top-loaders wash better with smaller loads.
3. Use it or lose it. If you’re not planning to use your washer for an extended period of time, turn off the water flow to the washer. Otherwise, constant water pressure may cause or exacerbate leaks.
4. Give it some air. Over time, even small amounts of stagnant water can lead to mildew and odors. Leave the washing machine lid open between washings to let the drum air dry, especially if your washer is in a basement or an area that’s prone to humidity.
5. Get the lint out. To get the maximum airflow to the dryer and ensure its best performance, clean your lint filter after each use. Also, check and clean the duct vent twice a year to prevent lint buildup.
6. Soap is for washers, not dryers. If you spill laundry soap or other products on the exterior of your dryer, wipe it up quickly. Most dryers are painted with synthetic enamel and can be damaged by chlorine bleach, ammonia, solvents and other chemicals.