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Important Washer and Dryer Maintenance Tips

Inspecting Dryer
Your washer and dryer represent a big investment on your part. You're certainly not going to want to replace them any time soon. That said, the washer and dryer are also complex machines with a lot of moving parts. You'll want to keep up on a maintenance schedule to ensure they're in good working order - and even at peak efficiency.

Wash the Lint Trap

Naturally, you know you need to clean the lint trap after every dryer use. However, chemicals from the drying process can get trapped in the tiny holes of the basket. Make sure this buildup doesn't restrict the airflow by washing it every three months or so. Soak the trap in detergent, and use a brush to scrub it. Rinse thoroughly, and allow the trap to dry completely before replacing it.

Clean the Dryer Vent

One of the most important washer and dryer maintenance tips is to keep the dryer vent clean. The vent starts inside your dryer just underneath the lint trap. During installation, a section of piping is attached to the back of the dryer that leads outside. The job of the dryer vent is to pass moist air and gases safely outside.

Unfortunately, as part of the venting process, lint gets past the trap and into the dryer eventually settling within the vent itself. Over time, the lint builds up. Because of the heat from the dryer, the lint can provide a fire hazard, which is why it's so important to clean the dryer vent every year or two.

While it's possible to do this process yourself, a professional can inspect the entire system to make sure it's operating smoothly and safely.

Check the Level of the Washer and Dryer

The washer can start hopping around during the spin cycle, and dryers can also vibrate too much while working. Both of these herald unbalanced machines, which isn't good for the interior workings. To re-balance them, use a carpenter's level to check the balance of your machines, and make any adjustments as necessary. Most machines have adjustable feet for that purpose.

Air Out Front-Loading Machines

Front-loading washing machines can be prone to mildew buildup because people often close the front door to minimize the amount of space taken up. Closing the door doesn't allow the inside of the machine to fully dry out, though, which can result in the mildew smell, which even permeates your clothing. Naturally, the best way to avoid this problem is to leave the door open.

Examine the Front Door Gasket

Front-loading washing machines seal up with a gasket between the hole and the door. The rubber gasket can develop mold and break down over time, especially if the interior isn't aired out properly. Examine the gasket regularly by looking for signs of mold or breakdown, such as tears and rips. If you notice a failing gasket, you'll probably need to have it replaced.

Wash your Washing Machine

Believe it or not, washing clothes doesn't actually make the interior of your washing machine clean. Every three months or so, you should wash out the interior of your washing machine. To do so with a front-loader, use cleansers made for this task. You can wash the interior more often if you start to smell mildew.

You can use a specialty cleaner for your top-loader as well or use household items. For the latter, soak the interior in hot water and bleach, then run a long rinse cycle. Repeat the process with hot water and vinegar. Meanwhile, clean all the moving parts you can see with a cloth, and run hot water through the builtin detergent dispensers to keep them clear.

Keep your washer and dryer in top working order with regular maintenance. The appliance experts at ACA Appliance can help with both the maintenance and repair of your washer and dryer.