The lifespan of a typical washing machine is around 10 years and if it is serviced households could get a few more years out of the appliance.
However, mistreatment can easily shorten the life of these appliances, as well as cause safety hazards and efficiency issues.
Households may not realise they’re guilty of some of these laundry habits. Or perhaps they’ve gradually picked them up over time. In either case, they will need to be avoided at all costs.
David Palmer, LG’s senior product specialist of home appliances, has shared the best ways to use and maintain a washing machine for multiple gains.
1. Avoid detergent overdosing
Most people think that the more detergent that is added to the wash, the cleaner clothes will come out, however, this is not the case.
David warned: “Detergent overdosing results in increased work for the machine, decreased wash performance and hinders your overall savings as it not only does detergent cost money, but it can also result in clothing damage and the need for replacement items.”
The same film that can coat clothes if too much detergent is being used can affect the appliance as detergent buildup can clog hoses, valves and other components, preventing water from draining properly.
The expert added: “Having to replace clothing is an expensive pastime and the prospect of splashing out on new items is anxiety-inducing for many, so using the right amount of detergent is key.”
2. Never overload the appliance
Whilst it is more cost-effective to fill up the machine, households are urged to never be tempted to overfill their appliance as this will mean the motor has to work more and cause excess heat, which could “damage the appliance in the long-term”.
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What’s more, the load won’t be washed as effectively. This is because the detergent won’t be able to fully reach the clothes for an even application. The clothes also won’t have room to agitate, which impairs stain removal.
Instead, David recommended: “The best way to fill a washing machine is item by item, don’t just dump the washing basket right in.
“It helps the wash performance and means there are no unwanted guests like pens or phones your children may have forgotten.
“The simple test to check if you’re at optimum capacity is to place your hand on the top of the drum, if you can freely move your hand, you’re good to go.”
3. Clean the machine
The expert shared that an astounding one in 10 people “never clean their washing machine”. A dirty machine will not clean clothes and instead leaves them with “dark marks or a musty smell”.
David said: “It’s important to clean your appliance. Doing a tub clean every 30 cycles to ensure your appliance can perform to the best of its ability.”
4. Reduce the temperature
The expert claimed that there is “no need for a super-hot wash” as even stained items can be washed at cooler temperatures.
The Energy Saving Trust says wet appliances like washing machines account for around 10 percent of a typical household’s energy bills. So, an “easy way” to reduce this is reducing the wash temperature to 20 to 30 degrees for longer durations, which is when a washing machine is the most energy efficient.
David claimed that energy prices are at their lowest between 10pm to 5am, therefore, for the night owls and early risers, “this is the best time to use your machines”. This applies to those on a time-of-use tariff in which the price of a unit of electricity goes up or down depending on whether it’s day or night.
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