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Washing Machine Maintenance

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Look for effective tips to simple washing machine maintenance. A few precautionary measures can go a long way in ensuring that your washing machine serves you for years to come. For effective results in washing machines, it is advisable to put the detergent in before the washer is loaded. Nowadays several brands of washing machines automatically add detergent bleach and fabric softeners to the wash cycle at the appropriate time.



Washing machine - Energy consumption

  • The water temperature may be adjusted suitably; lowering the water temperature to warm wash and rinse will make the clothes clean and energy bills could be reduced.

  • Frequent small loads use more energy; it is better to wait for a full load before running the washing machine.

  • To avoid wasting energy and over drying clothes, use the automatic dry cycle installed in the washing machines.

Washing machines generally use squirrel cage fractional horse power induction motors. This means they don't use carbon brushes which will wear out. They have good torque and generally require very little attention in their life time. But the starting and the running capacitors age and may cause poor starting as the first sign of trouble. Check the weight of the load. If the motor hums and does not rotate, switch off the power. If you continue to feed the power you will end up ruining the motor. Do not exceed the load under any circumstance as it may overload the motor or the coupling. Some machines use machined couplings which do not take kindly to excess weight.


Electronics Control Modules form the brain for the washing machine. They orchestrate various components as per built in directions and interact with the user directives. They can beep and indicate their status in a Light Emitting Diode (LED) panel or LCD panel. They are generally well protected against the ingress of dust or moisture and require little attention. They fail drastically sometimes which results in complete malfunctioning of the unit. You need to call the dealer who will replace the entire control module.


  • Most washing machine hoses are made of reinforced rubber. As they get older, the resiliency may be lost and the hose might burst. It is better to get into a good preventive maintenance practice to check these hoses from time to time for any sign of wear or weakness.

  • It is safer to turn off the water supply to the washer whenever you are traveling away for extended periods of time as a precautionary measure.

  • The tube of the washing machine needs to be lifted up periodically and checked for collection of lint. Sometimes lint gets collected during the wash cycle and goes down the drain during the drain cycle. There are times when lint settles near the center of the agitator in which case one needs to lift the tube and clean it periodically. Some machines have lint filers on the top of the tub, which need to be slid out, cleaned off and reinserted. Cleaning the lint also helps save energy and allows clothes to dry faster.

  • If the washing machine rattles when it runs, it means the machine needs leveling. Tilt the machine slightly and adjust the screw on the feet until the machine is level with all four feet touching the ground. These days most washing machines come with 'self adjusting' rear legs. These legs could be set by tilting the entire machine forward onto its front legs and then setting the machine back down. This way the legs should adjust automatically.

  • It is safer to replace the drive belt of the washing machine if it shows any signs of wear.

  • Never overload the washing machine with clothes. This may contribute to shortening the life of the machine by reducing the washer and hose life.

Cleaning of washing machines

  • The washing machine has either painted steel or porcelain coated steel cabinet. It is prudent to clean the surface of the machine with little detergent and a damp rag. In case the surface of the machine is porcelain then use little non-abrasive cleaner for stubborn stains.

  • If the washing machine develops rust, it is better to remedy this situation using appropriate products that are available in appliance repair shops or hardware stores. This rust product should not be mixed with any other sort of cleaner or bleach.

Disclaimer: This series of articles contains general information on home maintenance of household machinery. This is not an exhaustive list of service procedures. A lay user can only attend to general maintenance with limited skills and tools. All electrical and electronic machines operate at lethal voltages and can CAUSE serious damage or even electrocution or shock hazard to self and home. It is positively dangerous to even attempt to repair any electrical machine without the required skills or knowledge. Always refer servicing to qualified technicians or the dealer. For detailed troubleshooting refer to owner's manual and service manual if available. The information contained herein is only for general reference and does not carry any warranty implied or otherwise. You use the information provided here at your own risk.

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Washing Machine Maintenance
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