Thursday, May 1, 2008

Washing Machine Maintance

Bassett Hound Family in Laundry Basket
Bassett Hound Family in Laundry Basket

Clothes Washer Maintenance

  • When washing lightweight clothes always make sure the tub is full to the proper level and never wash on the highest agitation. The higher the agitation, the more suction created. This will cause the clothes to become lodged under the agitator. The highest agitation is only needed for extremely soiled things such as greasy work clothes.
  • Never use more than 1/2 of the provided cup of laundry detergent. Use 1/4 cup for smaller loads.
  • Thoroughly clean the residue from inside your machine. Because most detergents are made from animal fat they will cause a residue inside your machine tub. This residue is caused from using too much detergent. In turn, this will cause an odor in the machine and in your clothes, and will not allow 100% of the detergent to be removed from your clothing. The problem of too much detergent continues to build upon itself. If it's been awhile since your machine has been professionally cleaned, it's easy to do at home. First, you must unplug the machine. You can remove the outer shell of the machine with a screwdriver bit on your drill. This will show the actual washing tub (the part between the internal porcelain tub and the shell). The tub in my machine is plastic. Along the top few inches of the outer tub you will most likely find a dark residue, this is the result of too much detergent and not cleaning your machine often enough. You can remove this with a toilet brush. After doing this, run an empty cycle (hot water, full water level) on high agitation through the machine. Make sure to thoroughly dry your hands and all surfaces before plugging the machine back in. If you are uncomfortable with this, call a professional. If you continue with the monthly cleaning as stated below, you shouldn't have to repeat this procedure more than every 1-2 years.
  • Use a baking soda-based detergent- or your own homemade laundry detergent. These are available in health food stores and cost about the same, or less than, the typical high quality detergent.
  • Perform a monthly or bimonthly cleaning of your machine. Run an empty load with a full water level on a hot wash/rinse cycle through the machine. Add a cup of vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda while agitating. Watch the cycle and stop as soon as the water begins to drain. Advance the machine to spin so it will spin and drain at the same time. When the cycle is complete, take a damp towel and wipe the residue away from the inside of the tub. Follow this with a full cycle of cold water and high agitation.
  • Most minimally soiled clothes need only 6-8 minutes of agitation, more than this can cause excessive damage to your clothes. I don't know about you, but I had been setting my machine to the maximum (14 minutes per load). This will save me 7 minutes of energy per load!
For more tips visit The Dollar Stretcher

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1 comment:

Lea of Farmhouse*Blessings said...

Wonderful suggestions! Guess I was kind of in a laundry rut and didn't think about some of these things. I do believe I could save our clothing a lot of wear & tear using some of these tips.

Thanks a bunch!