The washer and dryer are the hardest working appliances in the home. So to show my appreciation I perform regular maintenance on the machines. Keep reading for tips on how to clean a washer and dryer and setting up a laundry schedule.
While I’ll never fully embrace cleaning something that’s supposed to do the cleaning (where does the cleaning end??), I will ensure these expensive machines keep working well for a long time. It’s up to me to keep them clean so they can in turn keep our clothes clean. I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine, home appliance style. I also stick to a laundry schedule. This helps me to stay on top of it all and makes the difference between running out of clean underwear and having options.
Washer & Dryer Maintenance
An overlooked, yet important, chore is regular maintenance of the washer and dryer. Learning how to clean a washer and dryer is necessary to help them perform like new for longer.
On the first of every month I start by cleaning the washer. Front load washers get a bad rap for smelling mildewy over time. By cleaning it properly and regularly you can eliminate this problem. There are 3-4 steps to cleaning a front load washer (depending on your model).
- Remove the soap dispenser tray and wash it out with dish soap and a sponge.
- Wipe down the door and seal (pulling back the rubber parts to get inside). I use Affresh Machine Cleaning Wipes.
- Run a cleaning cycle. I use Affresh Washing Machine Cleaner for this step as well. They are small tablets that are placed in the drum before starting the cycle.
- Empty the drain pump clean out. Some washing machine models have a drain pump panel on the front of the unit. If so, drain the water and clean the parts. Mine is hidden on the bottom so I skip this step.
Dryers also need some love too! Use a dryer vent cleaning kit to clear lint from the lint trap and wall hookup. I tried a vacuum attachment from Amazon this time and it worked pretty well! I started by cleaning out the lint trap area and then pulled the machine out from the wall. You’ll be surprised (and grossed out) by how messy it can get back there. I detached the vent hose from the dryer and sucked up any extra lint hangin around and the did a quick clean up of the floor.
Cleaning your machines and optimizing your laundry routine can increase energy savings – for yourself and your home. A washing machine uses the same amount of energy whether it’s full or not, so waiting for a full load run on a cooler temperature setting will be the most efficient.
I wash all of our clothing twice a week (Wednesday and Sunday to be exact). Two is our magic number because it keeps the size of our loads and size of our wardrobes just right for us. We wash on Wednesday because my daughter has gymnastics on Tuesday and Thursday. This makes it the perfect day to wash her leotard to be ready for the next practice without needing to buy more than one. Sunday is our other wash day so we can start the week with a closet full of clean clothes. There is usually one full load of kids clothes (we have 3 aged 9, 9, and 4) and one full load of our clothing (I only separate between whites and darks). Sheets and towels, whites, and delicates are washed as needed. Since I’m washing my kids clothes twice a week they have a very minimalist wardrobe. (Check out my Kids Fall Clothing Guide to see what I mean.)
When determining the perfect schedule for your family, some things to consider might include:
- Personal schedule
- Uniform usage
- Washing machine capacity
- Wardrobe size
Do you have a laundry schedule? Join the discussion over on Instagram!
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