Washer and Dryer Maintenance Tips
Since your washer and dryer are responsible for cleaning your clothes day in and day out, it's easy to forget that these appliances need to be cleaned and maintained themselves. Chances are that the most you do in terms of maintenance is only clean lint from the dryer filter every third load of laundry.
You could be doing much more to extend the life of these appliances, and this can lead to reducing the amount of energy used in your home.
Ensure Your Washer is Clean and Efficient:
1) Avoid adding too much detergent. More does not mean cleaner. In fact, too many suds carry additional odors and bacteria and can leave layers of residue inside your washer.
2) Wash your clothes in cold water. This can save a lot in energy bills, but it isn't as adept at removing grime as warm or hot water. While we want to help you save energy, run every fourth load of clothes through a warm cycle (labels permitting) to help your washer's overall health.
Air it out. When you finish each wash, leave the washer door open to let moisture evaporate and prevent mildew growth.
Annual Inspection At least once a year, take the time to check the hoses, valves, and drainage systems of your washer. If you notice any cracks or leaks, unplug your washer immediately and call a licensed technician.
Maximize Your Dryer for Energy Efficiency
Separate Before drying clothes, separate them into two different loads: slow-drying (jeans, sweatshirts) and fast-drying (khakis, button-ups). This helps you use dryer settings more efficiently and prevents fast-drying items from premature wear and tear.
Avoid dryer sheets. You don't need them in every load, as they can leave a waxy coating on the lint screen and prevent air from circulating correctly. While we recommend more natural products (or dryer balls), if you just cant part with them, use half or quarter-sheets for each load.
Take care of the lint screen. Obviously, you should clean off the lint screen after each load of laundry, but you should also wash it periodically. You'll know it's time for a washing when it no longer catches lint. Use a scrub brush and dish detergent to remove any buildup of film.
Clear our dryer ducts. Do this every three or four months. Lint can become dangerous if buildup is allowed within the dryer ducts, as it is highly flammable. This will not only prevent house fires, but help your dryer run more efficiently as well. If your dryer still utilizes flimsy plastic ducts, replace these with metal ducts for an inexpensive but effective upgrade.
Arming yourself with these maintenance tips will improve the efficiency of your washer and dryer, and they may also prevent avoidable disasters in your home.
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