A clothes washer is a wonderful machine. Throw in dirty clothes, add some detergent, turn a dial and come back later to clean clothes. Ever wonder where all that dirt goes? Most of it rushes away with the drain water; but some lurks in your machine and can cause laundry to appear dull and gray.
Clean That Machine
Cleaning is really simple. Fill the washer with hot water. Add 1 quart of chlorine bleach - no detergent. Allow the washer to run through its longest wash and spin cycle. Immediately fill the washer with hot water again and add 1 quart distilled white vinegar . Run the longest wash and spin cycle again.
Using the bleach and vinegar will clean away bacteria, soap scum and mineral deposits from the wash basket and hoses. This is especially important if you live in a hard water area and should be done every three months. Every washer should be cleaned at least twice per year.
Clean Those Dispensers
Newer machines have handy built-in dispensers for detergent, fabric softener and bleach. These, too, need to be cleaned regularly.
Each dispenser should be cleaned every month to six weeks to keep them working well. You certainly don't want them dumping too much product in your wash load or failing to empty at the correct time. Too much detergent causes overflowing suds, too much fabric softener can leave blue or greasy-looking spots on clothing and bleach can actually ruin colored clothing.
To clean, be sure the washer is empty. Warm 1 cup of white vinegar in the microwave or in a small saucepan. Pour it into the dispenser and allow it to sit for a few minutes to loosen any build up. Run the machine following a normal cycle. If you have removable dispensers, they can be submerged in warm vinegar and then rinsed with clear water and replaced in the machine.
If you begin to notice little brown spots on your laundry, it is probably rust. And, it is probably coming from your washer. Use a flashlight and look over your washer basket carefully to check for chips in the finish.
Many washers have spin or washer baskets that are replaceable. Check with an appliance store to see if that your model can be repaired. Kits are also available to repair and repaint the porcelain coating. You must follow directions very carefully. Be sure to keep an eye on the repair to be sure it holds up well.
Taking care of your washer will make your laundry day easier!
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