Tumble Dryers n Front Loading Washers – Regular Maintenance

Cleaning - 001 Washing Machine Maintenance edited re-sized

There are many different brands of washers and dryers in the market place and it is of utmost importance that you use and maintain your electrical appliances in strict compliance with their User Manuals. Having said that, here are some aspects of regular maintenance of a Front Loading washer (instead of top loading washer) and a condensation Tumble Dryer (as opposed to a vented dryer) which are home solutions in place of calling for expensive servicing or part replacements!

Please walk your helper patiently through all the steps and repeat slowly. Even if your helper has had prior working experience in your country, every household use their own brand of washer, dryer and detergent and have very specific do’s and don’t s regarding how laundry should be done. Click here for my post about “Laundry, Starch ans Stains” and click here for my post about “Washing Machines and Detergents”.

Some comments about maintenance of  Washing machine

When I first started running my own household, it was several months before I realised that my washing machine needed to be cleaned as well! My common sense had told me that it was getting a good wash each time a load is washed, right? It was all good and well till mildew and mould came to visit the rubber gasket. Front load washers are built with lots of rubber around the door to prevent water from seeping out. Those seals create spaces for soapy water to gather, and if it can’t dry out completely, it’s the perfect breeding ground for mildew. Here in the Tropics with high humidity all year round mildew and mould are frequent un-welcomed visitors.

Mould and mildew is not only unsightly. In some cases, mould in your home can make you sick, especially if you have allergies or asthma. Even if you don’t suffer from allergies, mould exposure can irritate your eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs. It is also inconvenient and expensive to change the washer’s rubber gasket.

Guess what? Mold, mildew and dirt are found not only around rubber gaskets. They thrive where the detergent and softener dispenser is too!

Here are some tips about Maintenance of Washers :

1. Daily Maintenance ( as shown in the top photo)

  • run a clean towel all around the rubber gasket making sure to get into all the groves. If this is done well you will have much less problem with mildew on the gasket.
  • leave front door open as wide as possible with a dry towel at the base of the gasket and some parts of towel tucked into the groves to absorb any water still left in the gasket.

2. Once-in-a-while Maintenance

Detergent and softener build up in the dispenser. Completely remove this dispenser once a month or 2 months (this is dependent on frequency of use of the washer). Elbow grease assisted by toothbrushes, toothpicks, hot water, rag, and your favourite cleaning liquid (vinegar, bleach or DIY enzyme cleaner) will get it all spick and span again.

If despite daily maintenance, some mildew is found on the rubber gasket, soak a piece of disposal kitchen towel with some diluted bleach and leave it to soak for 2 hours or so. Use a soft brush to scrub mildew and repeat till it is clean.

3. Cleaning the entire washer

If you washer still doesn’t smell fresh and clean you might have to clean the entire washer. Residue from detergent and liquid fabric softener can build up over time and cause a funky smell. Before using bleach, make entirely sure your washer is completely empty. Then, pour a cup of bleach into the detergent compartment, and set your washer to run a long cycle with hot water, and an extra rinse cycle. If there is still a strong bleach smell when that cycle completes, you can run another empty cycle with hot water to rinse it out again.

Fortunately, the Daily and Once-in-a-while Maintenance has done the job for me.

Some comments about Tumble Dryer Maintenance

Most of us know about this easy obvious step of removing the lint filter and cleaning it. I used to think that that was all there is for dryer maintenance. Sigh….there is more if you really want your dryer to run efficiently and safely—doing a quick deep-cleaning is a must.

Lint filter; the inside of the dryer and the drum; and the Vent.

The lint filter doesn’t catch all the lint created in the tumble dryer.  For some dryers, lint cakes up over time in the inside of the dryer, especially around the drum. We don’t want a fire hazard. Efficient dryers saves time and money. Whip out your vacuum to suck up all the stray lint that is found in those needful places.

Handy with tools and confident that you can dismantle and fix back all parts of your Vented Tumble Dryer? Once you’re in, vacuum and sweep out the lint build-up around the drum and inside the lint filter tray. Someone has advised that it is a 30 minute job (depending on how difficult your dryer is to take apart and how dirty it is inside). Use a vent-cleaning brush (available at hardware stores) to pull out any lint deposits and the vacuum cleaner to clean the dryer ducts as well.

For a clear self-explanatory video on Regular Maintenance of Bosch Tumble Dryers, watch this video clip http://youtu.be/ZyElH1LRoxo.


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