Clothes Washer Maintenance
Fabric softeners are waxy and can gum up in the washer if
introduced undiluted with water before dispensing. So mix
them with water before use. If there's a fabric softener
dispenser on your machine, add the recommended amount and
then top off with water. If you're pouring from a cup, use
a 3-to-1 ratio of softener to water.
Avoid overloading the washer. Add clothes until the unit
is filled to just below top of the agitator axle without
packing down the clothes. An overloaded washer strains the
motor and transmission, shortening their lives.
Once a month
Remove and clean intake screens where water-supply hoses
enter the washing machine. The screens get clogged with
sediment and/or mineral buildup. Because they're difficult
to reseat—improperly installed, they can jam open an
internal valve—replace them with flat screened washers
(available at most hardware stores) in the end of the
hose. Be extra careful when removing and replacing hoses,
as the plastic threads on the intakes at the back of the
washer are easily stripped.
Every five years
Replace rubber water-supply hoses if they're splitting,
cracking or are losing flexibility. Rubber replacement
hoses last five years, but hoses that use a braided-jacket
of stainless steel, although more expensive, last at least
twice as long.
Replace pinch-type hose clamps with more reliable