If you have a front-end loading, high-efficiency washing machine, you probably love the fact that they save water and that you don’t have to use as much detergent. However, you may not love that if you don’t clean them regularly, they may start to smell. It’s important not only to clean your high-efficiency washing machine regularly but also to maintain it properly. This not only prevents those bad smells but also prolongs the life of your appliance and ensures that no gunk builds up on your clothing. Here’s how to best maintain and clean your HE washer.
Cleaning Your Washing Machine
The first step to cleaning your washer is to locate the gasket, which is the rubber ring that runs around the opening of the drum. To get into the gasket, open the door as wide as it will go and peel back the rubber. You don’t want to remove the gasket, simply pull it open and clean out anything that is stuck between the seal and the washer. After you take out foreign objects, you can clean out any dust or hair that stuck in the gasket. This happens pretty regularly, so you may want to clean your gasket every week.
Next, you should check for black spots which indicate their you have mildew growth. If you see mildew, spray the gasket with soapy water or a mildew cleaner and remove it with a clean cloth. Mildew growth may indicate that you are using too much detergent. Wiping out the gasket weekly is a good rule of thumb, but if you have a mildew problem, you’ll also want to deep clean the gasket on a monthly basis. Use a cup of bleach and run an empty load on the hot cycle, putting the cup of bleach directly into the machine and another half cup into the detergent compartment. When the cycle is done, run a few more cycles with no extra bleach added. To clean the drum of your washing machine, sprinkle 1/3 cup of baking soda inside, close the door, and load two cups of vinegar in the detergent tray. If you have the option, set your washer to a cleaning cycle. If not, choose a high-temperature wash to allow the vinegar and baking soda to react and clean the drum. To clean the detergent dispenser pad, pop off the detergent dispenser panel and soak it in warm water, then spray it with an all-purpose cleaner and wipe thoroughly. Do the same with your fabric softener dispenser if you have one.
Finally, wipe down the outside of the washer with a clean cloth and multi-purpose cleaner. This will not only make your washer look better, but it will also help prevent dust, dirt, and lint getting into your washer.
Maintaining Your HE Washing Machine
Although regular cleaning of your high-efficiency washing machine is necessary, you also need to know how to maintain it to prolong its effectiveness and life span. Remember, HE washing machines are not the same as regular washing machines and should not be treated the same.
First, you should buy detergent that is designed for HE machines. You should also make sure you are using only the recommended amount, which is less than you are used to using for a regular washing machine. Using the wrong detergent or too much detergent will cause buildup on both the clothes and the washing machine itself. Buildup leads to mildew growth and odor. Removing your laundry right after the cycle is finished is another important tip. If your wet clothes stay in the washing machine for too long, they will develop mildew and odors much more quickly than in regular washing machines. Drying the gasket between loads to remove moisture is another way to prevent mildew growth.
To further prevent mildew growth, keep the washer door open a bit when the load is finished. This allows moisture to evaporate. Removing and drying the dispenser tray after every load is also recommended as it encourages air movement in the machine itself. Properly cleaning and maintaining your high-efficiency washing machine will help prolong its life and make sure your clothes look and smell clean.
Have problems with your high-efficiency washing machine in Omaha? The knowledgeable team at ASAP Appliance and Plumbing are always here to help!