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Home Hacks

A laundry checklist

Story by Jeremy Press

Jeremy Press (aka the Appliance Whisperer) of Appliances by Design has agreed to provide home appliance tips and advice to LOCAL Life readers. Got a great home appliance tip? Contact him at [email protected]

Ways to keep your washer and dryer running at their best, when you need them most

July days are hot and long. The great times outside just don’t stop, and ultimately, our laundry can pay the price. With the added sand and other materials in our clothes, our washer and dryer are working harder on every load then they typically do during other times of the year. Keeping your clothes and towels clean without over stressing your machines can be done with just a couple of preventative steps.

Keep your washer washing

1. Keep sand out. Times are great when you are on the beach. Just make sure you shake out all the sand from your towels and clothes when you get home before loading them into the washer. If sand gets into your pump and builds up, it can completely stop your entire machine, causing a very costly repair. Simply shaking all the sand out of your items can save you hundreds of dollars down the road.

2. Make sure your washer tub is cleaned and clear of lint. It doesn’t matter if you have a front load washer or a top load washer. Lint can build up and hinder performance. If you have a front load washer, lint will build up around the rubber gasket. In top load washers, the lint will be at the bottom of the tub. Like sand, lint can build up and block the motor from running efficiently.

[PRO TIP] Cleaning the tub and pipes in the washer is easy. Take some white vinegar (1/3 of a cup) and pour it in where you put your detergent. Run the shortest cycle your washer will allow without any clothes in the washer. The vinegar will break down the build up of detergent of fabric softener in the machine. This will keep mildew or bacteria from settling in the machine.

Wonderful washers

(click on thumbnails for larger photo)

Keep your dryer drying

Dryers require two things to work efficiently — a level of heat and air movement. Lint buildup in the dryer and the venting will impede the dryer from drying your clothes efficiently. During times of heavy use, especially with towels, the lint buildup will be dramatically increased in the dryer. Make sure you look at two places on your dryer to ensure the air flow is at its best.

1. Check the lint trap. Make sure it is truly clean before each use. Also check just behind the lint trap. Reach in and pull out any balls of lint you see. They will build up quick.

2. Check the back of the dryer, where the air is discharged from the unit. You will be able to pull the vent off the back of the dryer and check the 4-inch round duct that is there. Clear out any lint or materials blocking the air flow. If the vent pipes themselves are full of lint as well, cleaning them out will make a world of difference on how long your dryer has to run to dry the clothes, saving you lots of money in electricity.

[PRO TIP] Shake out your clothes when you remove them from the washer. It’s kind of a hassle but it helps prevent wrinkles and cuts down on drying time. Also, don’t add wet clothing to a partially dry load. It throws off the moisture detector, resulting in under and over dried clothing.

Cool combo

GE 4.5 front load washer and GE 7.5 front load electric dryer
The washer’s time saver function allows you to clean a full load in 37 minutes and the dry’s steam refresh mode rejuvenates lightly worn clothes by getting rid of wrinkles and odors by using the power of steam. Available at Billy Wood Appliance.