In most homes little attention is paid to the washer and dryer until disaster strikes. The machines start making screeching noises, stop working completely, or spew water onto the floor. Most washer and dryer problems can be prevented with a little TLC.
- No overloading: Washers and dryers are tough and built to last. Packing the machines with too much clothing can break components and compromise the structural integrity of the machines. Always follow the manufacturer’s maximum capacity instructions.
- Keep it level: A washer or dryer tipped at an angle will vibrate and spin in ways that can cause costly damage. Use a level to ensure that your appliances are not tilted. Place small pieces of wood in the corners to set the machines straight.
- Air it out: Damp washers can pick up mold which emits foul odors. If you don’t want stinky smells transferred to your clothes, occasionally leave the washer door open. To prevent mold buildup run the empty washer on the normal cycle once a month, using a little chlorine bleach in the dispenser.
- Mind the hoses: One of the world worst household disasters occurs when a washing machine hose breaks while the family is gone for the day—or worse, on vacation. Spewing water floods the basement, garage, or laundry room and seeps into rafters and walls. Check washer hoses regularly for cracks, stiffness, or brittleness. Experts recommend replacing the hoses every five years. When you do replace them, write the date on the hoses with an indelible marker so you know when it’s time to change them out again. And turn off the taps on the hoses when you’re going on vacation.