Your washing machine does a great job of keeping your clothes clean. But please don’t take your hard-working appliance for granted. Give it a little TLC now and again, and you’ll get years of great service in return. Here are three things that it’s worth doing regularly, to keep your washing machine in top condition.
How to give your washing machine a maintenance wash
A regular maintenance wash is the best way of making sure you keep getting great results from your wash. It’s basically a deep-cleaning cycle for your machine where you add a specialist machine cleaning solution (choose one with bleach for the best results).
A maintenance wash gets rid of any bacteria, stains, sludge and mould that might have built up inside the washing machine. Plus, it clears out any old water that might be left in the drum.
How often do you need to do a maintenance wash? We recommend doing it once a month. If you’re starting to get little black spots building up inside your door seal, or you can see sludge when you gently pull the door seal back, it’s time for a wash.
To run a maintenance wash, follow these simple steps:
1. Make sure your washing machine’s empty
2. Add a washing machine cleaning solution. Refer to the instruction leaflet for the amount you need to use
3. Choose the ‘cotton’ cycle on your machine
4. Press the temperature control until it goes to your hottest setting
5. Start the cycle
6. When the cycle ends, open the door, pull back the seal and wipe away any debris or water
7. Leave the door open until everything inside dries out
This will stop any sludge or black spots of mould building up inside your door seal, and it’ll also stop any nasty smells. Perhaps most importantly, it helps increase the life of your washing machine.
Top tip: If you’ve run out of washing machine cleaning solution, you can make your own. Use two cups of white vinegar, half a cup of water, and a quarter cup of bicarbonate of soda. Mix well before you use it.
How to clean your detergent drawer
It’s also worth cleaning your detergent drawer after every maintenance wash, to stop old detergent deposits building up and affecting performance.
To do a proper clean, you’ll need to completely pull out the drawer. It should be pretty easy to do this. Simply pull the drawer out as far as it can go, then look for a catch to press down that lets you remove it from the machine. In most models it’s right in the middle - if you can’t see it, check out your manufacturer’s instructions.
Now wash your drawer in a sink full of warm soapy water. Take out any compartments that are easily removeable, and give everything a good scrub. Then rinse, dry and reassemble. Slot it back into your machine - but before you do this, give the drawer slot a good wipe too.
How to clean your washing machine filter
Here’s our final washing machine maintenance tip - clean your filter every 4-6 weeks.
You should find this right at the bottom of your machine, and you might need to remove a small cover to get access to it.
Some water will leak out when you remove your filter, so put some towels down to protect your floor. Unscrew the filter and let the water flow out.
Then clean the filter by running it under hot water. Screw it back on tightly, replace the cover, and you’re all done!