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Helpful Hints on Cleaning and Maintaining Your Washer and Dryer

by BrandSource Canada

Laundry machines have changed drastically over the years but one fact that still remains is that you need to ensure you clean your machines to ensure they are always at their best. Whether you have top-loading or front-loading laundry, here are a few helpful hints that are recommended to be done at least once a month.

Washer Hints

1.  Never Leave Damp Clothes in the Washing Machine

Leaving damp clothes in the washing machine for an extended period of time could foster a perfect environment for bacteria, mould and mildew to develop within your clothes and machine.  If this becomes common place your machine and clothes will start to smell bad and this is quite difficult to remedy.

Washer Door Open2.  When You Are Not Using Your Washer, Leave the Door Open

You can leave the door open slightly, which is just enough to dry any remaining moisture that exists in the washing machine.  This will help avoid the build-up of mould and mildew which can cause that musty smell.  Also you can leave your dispenser drawer open as well to remove any moisture from that area.

3.  Run a Monthly Cleaning Cycle in Your Washer

Newer machines today have an actual ‘clean washer’ cycle that you should do once a month.  For those that do not have this cycle you can add liquid bleach to your dispenser and run a normal cycle through; make sure your machine is empty when you do this.  You can also use a specialty cleaner such as Affresh or Tide Washing Machine Cleaner.

Washer Below4.  Wipe the Washer Bellow

This is where mould and mildew lives, so make sure you wipe the bellow with antibacterial wipes on a monthly basis.  Make sure you do more than just the surface, make sure to wipe where the drain holes are as well.

 5.  Clean the Hose Filters

A place that most people don’t realize they need to clean or they just forget about would be the inlet hose filters.  These filters do serve a purpose as the keep minerals and debris that is in the water from getting into your washer.  You can find these filters inside the water connections and when they are clogged, the water won’t flow properly into the machine.  So don’t forget about them.

Dryers Hints

Dryer Lint Filter1.  Clean the Lint Filters

It is very important to clean the lint screen before and after drying each load of laundry.  Excessive lint build-up can block the flow of air, which causes overheating and in some cases could result in a fire. Make sure you clean the filter chute as well on a monthly basis with the soft brush attachment on your vacuum.

2.  Be Careful When Using Softener Sheets

Softener sheets leave a residue on the lint screen which is hard to detect and can’t be removed by just removing the lint.  This residue clogs the screen, thus blocking the air flow.  To remove the residue, use a cotton ball with a small amount of rubbing alcohol and rub the entire filter screen clean.  Make sure the filter is completely dry before returning it to the filter chute.

3.  Pay Attention to the Drying Times

If your clothes are taking much longer to dry than usual, it is likely that lint is clogging the venting system and a thorough cleaning should happen as soon as possible by a professional.  Your local appliances store can help you find a local professional near you.

Dryer Vent4.  Check the Exterior Dryer Venting Area

To ensure proper airflow, make sure to remove any debris, snow, leaves, weeds or lint that has built up around the exterior vent.

 5.  Inspect Gas Dryer Connections

It is important for those of you who have a gas dryer to have the gas line and connections inspected annually by a professional to ensure everything is in good working order, intact and free from leaks.  It might be a good idea to install a Carbon Monoxide monitor in your laundry room as a precaution with your gas unit.

Isabelle Osmar, Your Appliances Expert