Sometimes when you buy a new house, you luck out with nice shiny new appliances. Other times you get stuck with an old clunker. Many new homeowners simply don’t have the budget to purchase a new washer if the one they inherited is older. To make the most of your washing machine, follow these simple care and maintenance tips.
Appliances and plumbing go hand in hand. If you’re experiencing problems with the water supply going into your washer or the drainage coming out, Benjamin Franklin can help. If you’re looking to move your laundry machines to a different part of your home, we can install the right connections at the new location.
How Long Do Washing Machines Last?
On average, washing machines will last 10-13 years depending on the brand, the amount you use it and the level of care you give it.
Washing machine motors power a lot of laundry loads and will eventually wear out. If you do five loads of laundry/week, in 10 years your washer will have washed 2,600 loads. If you have a large family, that number is probably double.
When buying a new home, consider the age and condition of the appliances in the home when you negotiate the price. If the seller won’t reduce the price to upgrade the existing appliances, see if they’ll add a home warranty that covers them if they fail.
How Can I Make My Washing Machine Last Longer?
For best results, keep your washer clean and well maintained. Follow these seven recommendations to extend the life of your washer and get the most out of your laundry.
- Don’t overload it. Wet clothes are heavy. Even though your washer’s basket can hold a lot, always fill it following the manufacturer’s recommendations. Overloading makes the motor work harder.
- Level it. How level does a washing machine need to be? As level as possible. If the basket rotates unevenly, it can wear out faster or ever scrape against your washer’s interior. Use a level and your washer’s adjustable feet to keep everything spinning smoothly.
- Keep it dry. Leave the door open after you’ve finished your load. Even top loaders can develop mold and mildew. Keeping the door opens lets air circulate to dry things out evenly and prevent bacteria growth.
- Moderate your detergent use. Too many suds make your machine work harder and soap scum build up can wear out your machine faster. Use the recommended amount of detergent and clean out your soap dispensers periodically.
- Clean it. Prevent mold and soap build up by cleaning your washer periodically. Some machines have their own clean cycle. If yours doesn’t, simply run a hot water cycle without clothes and a cup of bleach or vinegar. Also see our 5 Tips to Prevent a Dirty Washing Machine
- Empty pockets. Coins, keys, paper, hair binders and other stray items can clog your washing machine’s hoses. Avoid letting small objects back things up.
- Skip the fabric softener. While it may feel fluffy and soft to the touch, fabric softener actually leaves a harmful coating on your clothes. This same coating can gunk up your washer. Consider fabric softener alternatives that are easier on your clothes and your appliance.
Why Does My Washing Machine Stain My Clothes?
Clearly washing machines should be doing the opposite. If you find excess grime, lint or discoloration after washing your clothes, it could be due to one of these reasons:
- Too much soap. It may feel counterintuitive but too much soap can stain your clothes. When you consistently use too much, scum can build up on the inside of your washer’s basket.
- Old gasket. If you have a front-loading washing machine, grime and bacteria can build up along the gasket inside the door. Clean this out periodically to avoid it becoming a persistent problem.
- Clogged valves. If your home has older pipes, they may have corrosion inside that can clog or tint the water supply entering your washer. Have a plumber inspect your pipes and replace sections that are causing the problem.
- Hard water. Hard water stains laundry. High mineral content of your water could be staining and damaging your clothes. Signs of hard water damage include yellow or gray hard water stains, dingy layer of film, stiff fabric and frail fibers. Hard water won’t go away and is likely damaging other appliances in your home as well. Have your water tested and discuss water softener installation with a plumbing technician. A water softener could stabilize your water supply with the right mineral balance.
How to Install a Washing Machine in a New Location
If you’re considering remodeling or just want to move your laundry station to a more convenient part of your home, we can help. Washing machines require the proper hot and cold connections along with a way for that water to drain. Gas dryers need a gas line and proper venting to function.
A licensed plumber from Benjamin Franklin can run the necessary lines to install your appliances wherever where you want them. Talk to us today before you remodel.
Keep Your Washing Machine Spinning
Follow our simple and practical washing machine maintenance tips to keep your washer churning for years to come. If you do encounter plumbing related washing machine problems, Benjamin Franklin is always ready to help our Dallas, Plano and McKinney customers. Call with your questions or schedule an appointment today. We always love to meet new homeowners and help them along their journey.