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Home tips: Caring for your washer and dryer

Design: The Interarch Design


The washer and dryer are practically indispensable in every urban home, but they are costly to replace. Look out for and immediately tackle the common troubles that might keep your appliances from running efficiently, to prolong their lives.

 

Issue #1: The washer has a musty odour.

When your washer becomes smelly and leaves your clothes smelling not so fresh, it’s likely there is bacteria build-up. To prevent this, remove finished loads from the washer immediately. For top loaders, leave the lid up to help it dry out. For front-loaders, towel-dry the washer drum and rubber gasket, and keep the door ajar to foster air circulation. If the smell persists, run a cup of white vinegar in warm cycle to disinfect the machine.

 

Issue #2: The machine rattles and shakes during the spin cycle.

A machine that shakes, rattles or shuts off during spin cycles may be off-balance. This may cause wear, not only to the appliance itself, but also to the floor and wall near it. Pull the machine from the wall, taking care not to strain any hoses or cords. With a carpenter's level, check whether the machine is level side-to-side and front-to-back, determining which leg or legs need to be adjusted. Use a wrench or pliers to make sure the legs are all lined up.

 

Issue #3: The dryer takes too long to dry.

If your clothes aren’t drying well, or it takes too long, you probably have a blocked dryer vent. Run a flexible dryer vent brush or a vacuum hose through the pipe to remove trapped lint. Make it a habit to clean the lint screen after each use; lint build-up reduces the machine’s efficiency and can be a fire hazard. Every three to six months, disconnect the exhaust pipe from the back of the dryer and clean it out thoroughly.

 

Issue #4: Water pools around the washer.

The rubber hoses that supply water to your washer can become stiff and brittle over time, and may have small cracks where water can begin to leak. Prevent burst washing machine hoses — that could spill hundreds of litres of water an hour and flood your home — by replacing old, damaged hoses with those with mesh-wrapped ends or stainless steel-clad ones. Tighten loose fittings, and make sure your washer is at least 4 inches from the wall to prevent kinks in the hoses.

 

Tip!

The front loader door’s rubber seal is notorious for trapping sludge and bits of hair and fabric. Clean it out thoroughly with a half-and-half solution of water and vinegar with an old toothbrush or cotton buds. Rinse and towel dry after.

 

 

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