How to Maintain Your Washer and Dryer

The washer and dryer are convenient home appliances that make your life easier. All you have to do is put your clothes in and they come out clean, right? Not quite. Similar to other places in your home that are meant for cleaning, such as your kitchen sink or shower, your washer and dryer are breeding grounds for bacteria that, without regular maintenance, can leave your clothes dirtier than they were before you put them in. If you’re not cleaning your machines, they may not be cleaning as efficiently or as thoroughly as you might think. Take these simple steps to get the most out of your washer and dryer.

Don’t get hosed

Washing machine hoses are prone to damage, as the rubber can dry and crack over time, leading to a burst. Check your water hoses regularly for leaks or bubbles, and keep in mind that most manufacturers recommend replacing rubber hoses every two years. Routinely check your dryer vent hose to be sure that it is not kinked or bent in a way that can restrict airflow. Not only can a bent hose limit the flow of air out of the dryer, it can increase the risk of lint building up in the hose. If your dryer vent hose is made of vinyl or plastic, replace with a rigid or flexible metal vent hose, as vinyl or plastic hoses can be a fire hazard.


Your standard laundry detergent is not enough to keep your washer clean and germ-free. Routinely disinfect it by running a clothes-free wash cycle with hot water and a cup of bleach. Not only will this disinfect your washer, it will help to remove soap buildup and keep your clothes smelling fresh.

This load is just right

Plan your loads carefully and aim to wash full loads without overfilling. A load that is too small will cause you to use more water to wash all of your dirty clothes and cut down on the life of your washer. However, a load that is too large means your washer will not clean as effectively and will cause your dryer to use more energy to dry everything. Aim to find that perfect balance for your machines.

Filter it out

Dryers need their lint trap cleaned after each load. When a lint trap is full, your dryer will require additional time to dry clothes and won’t be able to catch the lint from the new load. If left unattended too long, the lint buildup can be sucked into the ventilation system and may block air flow.


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