Consumer Tips

Clothes Washing Machine and Dryer Maintenance Tips

Have you noticed bad odors coming from your front loading washing machine? If you have a top loading washing machine, have your water hoses leaked or burst, causing a flood in your laundry room? Does your dryer now take two-three cycles to dry a load of clothes? Whether you have experienced these problems or not, regular washing machine and dryer maintenance can help prevent appliance emergencies and make certain your machines are running at optimal performance.


  • Make sure to clean clothes dryer filter and lint traps between each drying cycle for the dryer to work most effectively.
  • Remove lint from air duct vents on the back of the dryer and the adjoining ducts on the wall pushing air outdoors. Lint and debris will accumulate here over time, even if lint traps are cleared. Cleaning the air ducts will prevent fire hazards! If your dryer is taking two-three cycles to dry one load of clothes, it's very likely your dryer air duct is clogged and needs cleaning.
Washing Machines
  • If your washing machine is emitting a bad odor, run one empty wash with a cup of white vinegar to clear it out. You can also purchase a special washing machine cleaning solution. Also leave the lid open to air out the drum. For front-loading washing machines, also wipe mildew and soap scum from under the rubber door seals and the soap dispenser regularly.
  • Replace old rubber washing machine hoses with braided, steel-jacketed hoses. Check & replace every three to five years. Place a sticker or tag with the date you replaced them to keep track. This will prevent hose leaks or burst water hoses that can cause a flooding emergency!
  • Install a drip pan under your washing machine to protect the flooring under your washer.
  • Don't use too much soap. Most laundry detergents are purely concentrated and require a very small amount to clean an entire load. Also, front loading washing machines in particular use much less water than top loading ones. Using too much laundry detergent can actually damage the machine's performance and trap dirt and excess soap in clothing that was not rinsed out.
In general, following these few tips as well as adhering to the manufacturer specifications for use will ensure your washing machine and dryer will run at tip-top shape for years to come.

Contact ELA Home Repairs at 800-368-PROS for all your home repair needs.