How to clean and maintain your washing machine


Modern washing machines are made to stand up to a lot of use, but even they need regular maintenance from time to time. In order to help keep your washing machine in working order for the duration of a long and useful life, we’ve put together a simple, how-to guide to maintain your appliance. Homeowners should work through this list at least once per year to ensure that their washing machine will be keeping their clothes clean for years to come.

Remove the hold hoses
Turn off the hot and cold water valves and disconnect the washer from power. Next, disconnect the drain hose and make sure to have a bucket on hand to catch any water that remains in the hose. Look over the drain hose to see if it has any sort of cracks in it. If this is the case, make sure to replace it with the same kind of hose – a small crack can easily turn into a leak that will result in water damage over time. Now, place the bucket under the supply hose and remove it using a pair of adjustable pliers. Drain this hose as well, and look for cracks. If both hoses are in working order, you can simply reattach them and reconnect power to the machine.

Cleaning the filter
The filter screens are the next step of cleaning and maintaining your washing machine. Over time, debris is going to build up in the filter and prevent it from working correctly. When this is the case, you need to simply pull out a bristle brush and clear the filter connection. This is going to remove any sort of lint or other debris that is stuck inside of it. It is important to do this regularly, as mildew can build up on an uncleaned filter screen.

Installing a drip pan
If you have a washing machine in any other room of the house outside of the basement, it is a good idea to have a drip pan installed. This is an attachment placed under the washing machine in order to collect any sort of leak. It is also required in most states by law in rental units when the washing machine is not in the basement. You can find a drip pan at any home improvement or plumbing supply store. You probably need a bit of assistance lifting up the washing machine in order to place the drip pan underneath it, but once in place it is extremely helpful. It also makes it easier to see if there is a leak in the washing machine, as at the conclusion of every single wash you can simply look at the drip pan in order to see if there is water inside the pan or not.

Washing the inside
Generally, washing machines keep themselves pretty clean on the inside when they are being regularly used. However, if you want to keep your washing machine smelling its best, there are cleaning solutions you can purchase from your local grocery store that can be poured into the washing machine while running a cycle. This helps clean out any sort of mildew or mold that might have developed over time. You only need to run one of these when it starts to smell, or when you move into a new apartment, just to make sure you know that all of your clothes are clean and do not come out smelling like mildew.

Keeping your washing machine in working order is just one part of being a responsible homeowner. In order to ensure that your appliances and home systems will be working when you need them, invest in a TotalProtect® Home Warranty.

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.