5 Things That May Be Reducing the Life of Your Washing Machine

row of washing machines - 5 things that might shorten the life of your washing machine

One part of living a greener life is using less, in all areas. To cut back on the resources we consume, we can look for ways to get more use out of everything we acquire. This includes goods in the home, particularly appliances.

While we expect our white goods to last for at least five to ten years, sadly, this isn’t always the case. However, it’s possible to extend machines’ lives if we take better care of them and know how to best use them. Check out these five things that could be reducing the life of your all-important washing machine. 

Not Looking After the Machine Well


Your appliance won’t last as long as it should if you don’t take care of it properly. Read and follow the enclosed maintenance instructions the manufacturer creates for its products. In this guide, you should find details about how to clean your washing machine, particularly the rubber seals and wash drum, and prevent the build-up of detergent and fabric softener.

To care for your device, try not to leave wet clothes in it for too long. This might not seem like such a problem, but the damp can lead to mold growth, which can cause issues. Remove your items from the machine once the cycle finishes, and leave the door to the unit open so it can air-dry, too. 

Plus, don’t put off repairs. If your washer seems to be playing up somehow, have an experienced, licensed consultant examine it ASAP and rectify any problems. Don’t let something small turn into something big and costly, that shortens the life of your machine. Note, too, that you can buy cover for appliances, so you don’t have to outlay so much on repairs and maintenance. Look up home warranty vs. home insurance online to find out about the best products for your needs. 

Washing Things You Shouldn’t in the Machine

laundry basket - 5 things that might be shortening the life of your washing machine

To help your washing machine have the longest life possible, be careful what you place inside it. If you wash things you shouldn’t, this can damage it. Read the labels on clothing and other goods to see if they’re suitable for machine washing or not. Hooks and underwires on your lingerie, for example, can actually scratch the washer’s door or damage the drum, so such pieces need to be placed in a bag first or left out of the machine entirely.

Also, check the pockets of clothes before you pop them into your appliance. We’ve all had cases where unwanted goods have fallen out and into the wash, causing a mess. However, coins, gum, pens, beauty products, and other items can also harm your machine. They can cause scratches, get jammed, clog the washer drain, and generally lead the device to run less efficiently. 

Not Installing the Washing Machine Correctly


Another way to extend the life of your washing machine is to make sure it’s installed correctly. The device should sit level, so it doesn’t get unsteady and vibrate excessively, harming itself in the process. The machines can spin up to a whopping 1,600 rpm. Make sure when your appliance operates, it does so safely. 

Use a level to check the washer front to back and side to side to ensure it’s sitting as it should. Adjust as required, and test it over time in case it gets out of whack in the future. 

Running Your Machine the Wrong Way


Human error is what causes many machines to falter, and washing appliances are no different. Avoid hurting your product by running it each time with care. For example, don’t stuff it too full, as doing so can make the device work harder than it needs to. 

On the other hand, it pays only to run the machine when you have a full load, so you don’t keep using it unnecessarily and wear it out sooner as a result. 

Using Too Much Detergent


We often think that to get our possessions super clean, we have to use lots of detergent in washing machines. This, however, is a fallacy. In fact, using too many suds can cause the appliance to overflow. Plus, an overabundance of detergent (or fabric softener) can make the machine work harder, not to mention extend the washing and rinsing time for no good reason. 

Always read the manufacturer guidelines about how much product to use, and examine the instructions on the cleaning products you buy. Note that the newer your machine is, the less detergent it should require. If you purchase highly-concentrated cleaners, you’ll need to use less, too. 

Washing machines are designed to last for several years. You’ll get the most life out of your appliance possible, though, if you don’t make the common mistakes listed above.

Feature image: Jan Antonin Kolar; Image 1: Annie Spratt

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