Appliance repair technician Renae DuHaime goes over the basic do’s and don’ts of washing machines. We asked her about some of the most common mistakes people make with their washers, and how to remedy them.
Watch our full conversation with DuHaime below:
1) Use Less Detergent
In our conversation, we were surprised to discover that we’ve been using too much detergent in our washing machine. Turns out, we only need two tablespoons of regular detergent for an effective wash, otherwise we would be wasting money and, ultimately, hurting our machine. “No amount of extra rinses is going to be able to wash all of that out,” DuHaime says.
Watch this TikTok video of DuHaime further explaining why we only need two tablespoon of detergent:
2) Load Your Machine Half- to Three-Quarters Full
Load your machine to the right density of clothing. That means you should avoid packing it completely, because the mentality of a really “full load” is counter-productive. Your clothes, which get clean by rubbing together as they spin in the washing machine, won’t have enough space to move around, and the detergent won’t be evenly distributed, either. But don’t do too small of a load either, because if your clothes end up all on the same side during a spin cycle, your machine will shake too hard, and its parts will wear out faster, DuHaime warns.
3) Read Your Manual
“A lot of the service calls I go out to are for people who just didn’t really know how to use their machine correctly,” DuHaime explains. For example, if your keypad isn’t responding, maybe you have the child lock activated. You could save money on a repair technician if you find an easy solution in the manual first.
In addition, DuHaime offers some helpful maintenance tips to keep our machines properly cleaned. While it may sound unnecessary, regularly maintaining your machine will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. DuHaime advises us to run the machine empty once a month to once every other month with a washing-machine cleaning product. Doing so will help prevent the buildup of mold, mildew, soap deposits, and other harmful bacteria. With regular cleaning, your washing machine will also last longer and work more efficiently.
And don’t forget about that drain pump filter, which exists to catch any loose change or other items you forgot in your pockets before they end up in your drain pump. Most front-load machines have one. Check it once a month, DuHaime says, because it might contain drain-blocking dog hair, coins, or even baby socks, in her experience. You may be surprised by what you find in there.
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