5 Tips for Extending the Life of Your Washer & Dryer

5 Tips for Extending the Life of Your Washer & Dryer

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Taryn Williford
Jun 16, 2010

You've spent a fortune on those babies! And while it might not be your most favorite gadget in the house, it's definitely the least fun to have to shell out cash for repairs or replacements. If you're lucky enough to have a set at home, here's 5 tips for extending the life of your washer and dryer.

1. Keep it clean.
It's probably a good tip for any appliance. But make sure to clean out any dispensers and attachments at least once a month. Another once-a-month task? Scrubbing down the lint trap with dish soap—especially if you use dryer sheets (They cause a film that makes it harder for the dryer to dry your clothes). And if you want to be really meticulous about taking care of your appliances, wipe the glass and door gaskets dry after each load.

2. Don't Overdry.
Its tempting to keep running the dryer until you've zapped every last drop from your load of towels, but overdrying wastes energy and reduces the life span of your clothes and your machine. If you hang linens out to dry to finish, you'll save money, too.

3. Read the manual.
You know how to use a washing machine, right? Well it can still help to read the manual and get to know the in's-and-out's of running your appliance from the people that know them best—the manufacturer. If you've lost it, check out iFixit or Manuals Online; both offer many manuals online for free.

4. Crack the door.
Leaving the door to the washer cracked open after each load will help the drum to dry—and prevent unnecessary wear-and-tear. But be weary of this tip if you've got a front-loading machine and small children or pets.

5. Prep for vacations.
If you're leaving for a trip (or just taking an in-home stay-cation from doing laundry), unplug your washer and dryer. It might also be a good idea to turn off water supply to the washer to prevent accidental flooding.

Via The Consumerist

(Image: Flickr user Nate Kay under license from Creative Commons.)

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