10 Common Ways You Are Damaging Your Washing Machine

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I have often talked about how the IFB washing machine at my in-law’s place lasted for 20 years without much of any problem. Had it not been for a wretched rat, it would have been alive even now.

From what I have observed, they take meticulous care of all their appliances. Proper maintenance is definitely one of the key factors that enhances the durability of any appliance. So incorporating their advice as well as tips from other experts, we bring to you the common ways people wreck their washing machine unintentionally.

Not Levelling The Washing Machine

If you ever find your washing machine vibrating excessively or moving around while spinning at full speed, then you need to check if it is level. Functioning at an uneven level not only causes vibration but can also damage the alignment of the motor, drum and lead to excessive wear and tear. 

To level the washing machine, you will need a spirit level or you can use the level option in Measure app, which is inbuilt in iPhone. Fortunately, most washing machines these days come with height adjustable legs so levelling it is fairly easy. You just need to use a wrench to adjust the height and level the machine. 

However, take care to level the washing machine front to back and side to side and finally, rock the levelled machine to ensure that all legs are touching the ground. This is especially important if the floor is uneven. 

damaging washing machine

Not Balancing Washing Machine Load

Even if your washing machine is properly levelled, it may vibrate and shake if the load is not balanced. And in the long run, it could damage various components and even the drum alignment. 

Newer washing machines have an auto-balancing feature whereby it spins a few times in the beginning, to distribute the clothes and balance the load evenly.

But if your washing machine doesn’t have such a feature, then you may want to load your clothes evenly to both the sides of the drum so that weight is evenly distributed. Spruce notes that washing a single bulky load such as a duvet could lead to an unbalanced load. So, you may want to add a few towels along. 

Overloading The Washing Machine

In newer models of washing machines, you can see how much load can be washed in each wash program. It is mentioned in Kilograms. But if your washing machine doesn’t have such an option, try to fill only half to three-fourths of the drum. Overloading the washing machine not only reduces the wash quality but could also damage the drum and throw it off-balance.

Not Using Water Softener

If you, fortunately, live in an area with soft water supply, well and good. But if the hardness of the water supply at your home exceeds 170 mg/L, then you may have to install a water softener for your washing machine. (Note that hardness is different from TDS. Hardness refers to calcium and magnesium level in the water, while TDS refers to total dissolved salts).

Hard water can over a period of time cause scale build-up which gradually closes up the water pipes and reduces water pressure and volume. Also, chunks of scale could break loose and cause plugged lines and damage valves of the washing machine too. 

Excessive Use Of Detergents

Excess detergent not only reduces the wash quality but can also damage your washing machine. It causes increased wear and tear on the washing machine’s pump and motor as the excess foam acts as a brake and prevents its proper functioning.

The top signs that you overuse washing powder are- a presence of a slimy layer on the front door gasket; strong odour inside the drum and slimy layer on clothes.

The first thing you need to do to prevent overuse is to throw away the scooping spoon that comes with the washing powder packet. That spoon is bound to make you overuse. A general rule of thumb is to use one tablespoon of detergent for a regular load. 

Not Removing Wet Clothes Immediately After Wash

Leaving your washed clothes in your washing machine for long could lead to mildew and mould formation inside the drum and unpleasant odour on your clothes. Hence, try to remove the clothes soon after washing. You could use the Time Delay Function to minimize clothes remaining wet inside the drum. 

Using DIY Detergents

Google for DIY detergents and the first result you find is a soap-based detergent. First of all, soap-based detergents don’t clean as effectively as surfactants in store-bought detergents. Moreover, the soap residue will build up over time and damage the drum, motor and other components too. Hence, it is better to avoid DIY detergents for washing machines.

Not Emptying Pockets And Leaving Zippers Unfastened

Zippers, coins, clips, bra hooks, underwires and other metal parts can damage the drum and glass door of your washing machine. So, empty the pockets, pull up the zippers and put your brassieres in a pillow cover or mesh bag to avoid any damages.

Leaving Doors Closed When Not In Use

It is better to leave the washing machine door open for proper air circulation and to dry out the drum and gasket. Otherwise, it could lead to odour, mould and mildew formation inside the drum.

Ignoring Monthly Maintenance

Just like every other appliance, in order to enhance the durability of your washing machine, you need to maintain it well. The following are some of the key aspects to take care of.

  • Descale the drum every month. If your washing machine has a drum clean or self-clean wash program, use it. Or else, use drum descale powder and run it on a high-temperature wash program of at least an hour’s duration. LG, Bosch and IFB have their own drum descaling powder. You can use it even on washing machines from other brands.
  • Wipe the gasket monthly with a mild solution of bleach or vinegar.
  • Clean the detergent dispenser and pump filter located at the bottom right corner of the washing machine at least on a monthly basis.
  • If you use a washing machine cover, take it off and wipe the washing machine with a dry cloth every month.
  • If you keep your washing machine on a stand, take care to inspect it every month to ensure that rust from the stand doesn’t creep into the washing machine’s body.

Image courtesy: pixabay.com, freepik.com

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