With proper care and normal use, the average washer and dryer set will last up to twelve years. When these appliances fail, you're stuck with making the decision to repair or replace these pricey home necessities (a single unit costs several hundred dollars new and sets are even more expensive).
The key to washer and dryer longevity is knowing the best ways to use your units. This guide lists common homeowner mistakes - regarding washing machines and dryers - that you can easily avoid.
1. Not Measuring the Detergent
When you use too much laundry detergent, you'll get soapy residue on your clothing (or end up with still-dirty clothes if you don't use enough). In addition, you wear out your washing machine with a buildup of too many suds. Avoid using too much or too little detergent by following the instructions on your detergent's container and measuring appropriately per load.
Another homeowner mistake to avoid is this one - using other types of soap, such as shampoo or dish soap, instead of detergent for washing laundry. Detergent alternatives are OK for hand-washing clothing in a pinch, but should never be placed in a washing machine because your clothes can stay dirty and residue can form in your washer.
2. Not Cleaning the Lint Trap
Your dryer operates via air circulation and the lint trap is vital to your dryer because it helps the dryer regulate heat and air efficiently. Allowing lint to bulk up inside the trap is not only a nuisance - it also causes your dryer to wear out more quickly and makes the unit take longer to dry clothing.
Check your dryer's lint trap after every load. Keep a small trash can next to your dryer for safe lint removal and as a reminder to check this vital part of your dryer regularly.
3. Overloading Units
Cramming a washing machine full of as many clothes as possible may allow you to wash fewer loads of laundry, but it also seriously overloads your washer. The bulky clothes may stall the drum inside the washer, which may cause your whole washer to rock and bounce while it attempts to clean your hefty load.
Furthermore, too-full laundry loads don't get as clean and will require additional drying time as a result of poor rinsing (a sure sign you've washed a too-large load is dripping clothing fresh from the wash). You wear out both your washer and dryer by not dividing your piles of clothing into smaller loads.
4. Underloading Units
Wait until you have a full load of laundry before you do any washing and drying - unless you are washing special linen or delicate clothing items. Too-small loads use the same amount of energy as larger ones do, which adds to the wear and tear of your washer and dryer. Washing appropriate-sized loads will reduce your washing and drying times and help increase your appliances' lifespans overall.
5. Not Leveling the Appliances
Your washing machine and dryer should both be on level ground to prevent shaking and bouncing when handling laundry. If your units move when they are in use, then check their balance and place thin boards or planks underneath uneven areas to restrict any unwanted motion. Your units will last longer and be quieter with this small repair.
6. Ignoring the Dryer Vent
The dryer vent hose needs to be cleaned regularly to keep your dryer in healthy condition. Periodically remove this vent hose (located on the back of your dryer) and clean out debris and fabric softener sheets.
You can extend the life of your washer and dryer by avoiding common homeowner mistakes. Call us at Choose Your Time Appliance Repair for all your washer and dryer service needs. We will help make your appliances last longer and be more efficient.