Washing machines are such an integral part of life that it’s easy to take them for granted. They’re also significant investments, so it pays to know how to find the right one, how to use it properly and how to keep it in great shape. We’ve handpicked the best washing machine tips, including buying a new washing machine tips for your convenience.
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Tips for Buying The Perfect Washing Machine
Are you in the market for a new washing machine? Here are some tips for selecting the perfect one:
- Include Room in Your Budget for Extras – When setting a budget for your purchase, make sure to include room for extras that normally go along with it. These extras may include stacking kits, hoses and fees for removing the old one.
- Be Wary of the Lowest-Priced Models – Sure, you’ll spend less. However, the cheapest models are generally less efficient and noisier. By spending an extra $100 to $150, you’ll get a model with more options, better performance and other perks.
- Newest Isn’t Always Best – Washing machine models are usually sold for three to five years. You’ll save money and still get similar features by opting for a slightly older one.
- Measure Your Space First – Larger washing machines offer greater capacities, saving time and energy. However, large machines can be 2 to 3 inches wider than the standard 27 inches, and they’re usually taller and deeper. Measure where you’ll install it, and allow for 6 inches of space behind the unit for water hookups.
Tips for Using Your Washing Machine Effectively
Get the most out of your washing machine by keeping these tips in mind:
- Use the Right Amount of Detergent – Refer to the laundry detergent box and follow measuring instructions closely. Using too much detergent can reduce your machine’s effectiveness by not allowing fabrics to agitate properly. Pre-measured pods are also convenient options to consider.
- Sort and Separate Your Laundry – Check the care label for each article of clothing before washing, and then sort items by color and fabric. Take care with delicates by washing them by hand or in a mesh bag on the delicate cycle.
- Choose the Appropriate Wash Cycle – In particular, take note of the care label instructions regarding which agitation speed and spin speed to use.
- Select the Right Water Temperature – Hot water sanitizes items the best but uses more energy and may fade or shrink certain fabrics. Reserve it for bedding, towels and exceptionally dirty items. Warm water is best suited for dark colors, moderately dirty items and the permanent press cycle. Use cold water for clothes that aren’t very dirty, fabrics with dyes that may bleed and the delicate cycle.
- Don’t Overload the Washing Machine – Doing so can negatively impact operation, damage the machine or not get clothes as clean as they should be. A small load should fill about one-third of the machine, a medium load should fill about half the machine and a large load should fill no more than three-quarters of the machine.
- Use Fabric Softener Correctly – Never put fabric softener directly onto laundry. Measure it out and place it in the appropriate compartment, usually marked by a flower symbol.
- Remove Wet Clothes Right Away – Make sure the end-cycle signal is on so that you know when laundry is ready to put in the dryer. Otherwise, mold and mildew may accumulate on the machine and your clothes.
- Use the Right Laundry Detergent – If you have an energy-efficient model, you’ll probably need to use a high-efficiency detergent, which produces fewer suds. Powder detergents tend to be cheaper, but they don’t always dissolve properly in cold water, leaving white residue on clothing. For liquid detergent, use one with the highest number of enzymes possible. Laundry detergent pods are also convenient because they are pre-measured, but they tend to cost the most.
Washing Machine Maintenance Tips
Keep your washing machine in tip-top shape for years to come with these simple washing machine maintenance tips:
- Leave the Door Open After Removing the Laundry – Doing so allows the machine to air out, which can ward off issues like mold and mildew.
- Clean the Washing Machine Every Month or Two – Even if you’re careful about leaving the door open after each cycle, mold, mildew and various types of residue are sure to accumulate over time. Special washing machine cleaning products are available; just follow the directions on the package. A great do-it-yourself alternative is to run an empty wash cycle with two cups of white vinegar. About halfway through, add half a cup of laundry detergent, and then let the cycle complete.
- Inspect Connections Once a Month or So – Avoid unpleasant surprises by checking the connections at the back of the machine every month or so. Examine hoses and other connections for cracks, bulges and other issues. Make sure all of the fittings are tight.
- Wipe Down the Machine Periodically – Using a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar, wipe down the washing machine’s drum, door and gasket with a sponge or cloth. While you’re at it, examine the gasket for any defects.
- Protect the Finish – After investing your hard-earned money in a new washing machine, you’d probably like to keep it looking like new for as long as possible. Keep its finish looking bright and clean by wiping down the tops and sides of the unit with glass cleaner and a clean cloth from time to time. For front-loading machines, keep the top clear, and avoid placing heavy objects on top to avoid damage.
Make the Most of Your Washing Machine
As you can see, when it comes to washing machines, a little bit of effort goes a long way. Remember the tips above when buying a new washing machine, doing your laundry, and maintaining this important appliance.