- 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 the top of the agitator axle without packing down the clothes. An overloaded washer stains 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 at 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 worm-driven clamps.