The washing machine, a revolutionary invention that we take for granted… We’ve all got one and put it through its paces on the regular, but do we do enough to ensure it lives a long life and performs at maximum capacity?
From daily maintenance to thorough cleaning, here are all our secrets to keeping your washing machine clean and performant.
Maintaining your detergent tray
We have found that when it comes to cleaning your washing machine it is best to start small and work your way up, starting with things like the door seal and the detergent tray.
The detergent try is something that is routinely ignored when cleaning washing machines, but cleaning it is a crucial! Over the course of many consecutive washes, the detergents and fabric softeners can build up in the tray and the connecting pipes, which can cause blockages. Once a month, pour hot water and vinegar into the tray and let soak to help peel away the built-up residue.
Pro tip: Make your own laundry to minimize the risk of clogging your pipes. To do this, you will need:
30 g Marseille soap shavings
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoons of soda and bicarbonate crystals.
Put on some protective gloves and mix it well, and you’ve got yourself a homemade laundry powder!
As for the seals on your machine, clean them with a cloth and vinegar to prevent mould and bad odours.
Overcoming tartar and limescale
Limescale is the arch nemesis of your washing machine, as it can slowly build up and clog its pipes, rendering it less effective. This is made worse by the fact you cannot see this happening!
The first step to fighting back against this invisible assailant is to find out about the hardness of the water in your region. What do we mean by hardness of water you ask? Well the water in your region can be hard, with a high percentage of dissolved minerals (at high risk of limescale buildup) or soft, at the other end of the scale.
The harder the water that runs through your machine, the more limescale will have a tendency to build up, especially if you routinely do washes at high temperatures. It seems clear, then, that in order to properly prepare to take care of your machine you should first make an effort to find out the nature of the water in your area.
To check the hardness of the water in your city,
If you want to learn more about water hardness and its impact on your drains, take a look at our complete overview on how to care for them.
For example, Morges and Yverdon-les-Bains have very hard water, while Lausanne and Zurich have rather soft water with less chance of limescale buildup and therefore less harmful to your washing machine.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way we can move onto the methods you can use to combat limescale buildup. The first of which to use a healthy amount of citric acid to clean out the inside of your machine and the pipes. Best practice is to scrub the inside of the drum by hand with a rag doused in the citric acid and then pour some into the detergent tray and let the machine run for a fast cycle. This will allow it to flow through and clear out the buildup. For more severe cases, you can actually find and buy anti-limescale balls that go in with your washes and will help to fight limescale by absorbing the dissolved minerals that are in the water.
Daily routines to preserve your washing machine
Whilst washing machines often come with a 10-year guarantee, that’s no reason not to take good care of them!
There are a few simple steps you can take that will give your washing machine a better quality of life. First off, the essentials: Before putting a wash on make sure to empty out all pockets, to stop any rubbish or tissues from falling out into your machine and eventually clogging up its filters. If your machine is particularly energetic when working on full speed, we recommend putting either some rubber or even a piece of carpet under its stands to stop it vibrating against the hard floor below. Take the time to read the labels on your clothes and more importantly, never use too much washing detergent at a time, as we previously mentioned, this can lead to blockages over time.
Also, to reduce the strain on your machine, always try an choose the appropriate wash setting, and try to give your machine a break in between long washes.
Lastly, when you’re done cleaning and have unloaded the machine, make sure to turn it off correctly and leave the door open for a while to let it air out and avoid any mould building up within.