Your washer is designed to not only clean your clothes but to protect them through the washing cycle. At one time or another, you may come across the common washer complaints, such as clothes not coming out smelling fresh, fabrics pilling over time, colors bleeding, or even damage to clothes. Before you blame your washer for the issue, make sure you’re not making these mistakes.
It can be tempting to throw in as many items as you can possibly fit into each load to get laundry done quickly. However, your washer needs room to swoosh water around and agitate clothes to get them thoroughly cleaned. Plus too full of a load can strain your machine, causing components to wear out prematurely. Check with your washer’s manual to make sure you are filling your washer to the appropriate capacity to ensure your clothes come out clean.
Too Much Detergent
More laundry detergent does not equal more cleaning power. Instead, too much detergent can actually have the opposite effect on your clothes (and your washer). Excess suds that hold the dirt from clothes can get caught in areas that can’t be rinsed away, causing bacteria to build up. You can either check the back label of your laundry detergent to make sure you’re using the correct amount of detergent for each individual load or choose a washer with an automatic detergent dispenser, like GE’s SmartDispense™ which dispenses the perfect amount of detergent based on the individual cycle setting.
Leaving A Wet Load
Unless your washer is WiFi connected and can send you notifications, it can be easy to forget about a load. Unfortunately, a load left overnight quickly becomes susceptible to mildew which leaves clothes smelling icky. It takes about 8-12 hours for mildew to set in so if you’ve gotten uncomfortably close to this time limit, it might be best to re-wash the clothes. After all, there’s nothing worse than being in public when you discover it’s your clothes that are giving off that sour smell. Trust us, we’ve been there before.
While the washer makes cleaning clothes incredibly efficient, some items should never see the inside of a washer. Certain items are too delicate for the washer because they can fade or get damaged. Items with fine fibers, such as swimsuits and silks, should be hand-washed with a small amount of detergent made specifically for that fabric. Any item with a dry-clean-only label should strictly be dry-cleaned since the heat and agitation from the washer can cause damage or shrinkage.
Not Levelling Your Washer
The tub of your washer moves vigorously to agitate clothes and spins incredibly fast to get as much moisture out of your clothes as possible. If your washer is not level, these vibrations and motions can damage your floor and prematurely wear out your washer’s components. They can also be very loud, especially if on a second-story level. Use a level and the adjustable feet on your washer to ensure it’s level.
Using An Old Washer
Another reason your clothes may not be coming out as clean as you’d like is that you’re using an old washer. Washers have a certain life expectancy and usually won’t clean clothes as well the closer it reaches this expectancy. Old washers can also waste a lot of energy and water compared to a high-efficiency washer. In fact, Energy Star certified washers can use anywhere from 10-50% less energy water than conventional models. Plus, new washers have a ton of features and cycle settings to give each individual load a custom wash.
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