If you live in a condo or rent a small apartment, you’ve probably fallen in love with front load washing machines. These powerful little work horses are compact by design, meaning you can dutifully keep up with your laundry while not compromising on space.
But while these little machines work wonders and reduce crowding, they can sometimes be tricky to keep clean. They’re energy efficient and powerful, but unfortunately their design lends itself to unwanted mold and mildew.
The good news is that you can still take advantage of these ergonomic, energy efficient machines and keep them clean by following these great tips!
First Tip, Load the Washer Strategically
Front load washers are petite in size compared to traditional top load washers, yet they can take on heavy cycles. However, the thing to keep in mind when beginning a load of laundry is bulk. Large and small articles of clothing should be added together in a load of laundry to ensure that the clothes don’t lump together. Balance is key here.
If you add a large quantity of heavy items to your front load washer, you’ll end up hearing a lot of noise and feel the machine move. This can cause damage to the machine. Not only does it promote wear and tear, adding bulky clothing to your wash load also means that your clothes might not come out as clean as you want.
Be strategic about how you load the washing machine. Make sure the clothes fit in loose and that there’s a variety of sizes.
Second Tip, Detergent
It’s a common misconception that you need to use the measuring cup that comes with your favourite detergent whenever you do a load of laundry. They usually overestimate how much detergent you need, which can impact your machine. Using too much detergent during a wash cycle can cause clogs or deterioration of certain parts, which means permanent damage.
It might seem strange at first, but you really only need a tablespoon of detergent per load of laundry. The measuring cup that comes with the detergent is about 10 times that size! Your clothes will still come out clean, but you’ll have the added bonus of protecting your washing machine. Not only that, you’ll save a ton on detergent costs.
The same tip goes for fabric softener; only use a small amount per load. If you use detergent pods or cubes, make sure you place them in the washing machine before you put in your clothes.
Third Tip, Remove Immediately & Keep Open
One of the best things that you can do to keep your front load washing machine from growing mold or mildew is to remove clothes as soon as the cycle is complete and keep the door open. By keeping the front load washer’s door open, you’re letting air circulate and therefore drying out the inside drum. This prevents any unwanted growth. By removing your clothes immediately and keeping the door open, you’re also preventing the machine from getting smelly, which can impact the cleanliness of your clothing.
Fourth Tip, Clean the Washer Regularly
Inside the washing machine on the door, there’s a rubber seal that can get clogged. The buildup of grime and gunk is inevitable with most washing machines, but it can be tougher to clean with front load washers. Keep this part clean by mixing a one to one ratio of vinegar and water and using a clean cloth to wipe it down. You can use a cotton swab for the harder to reach places. You’ll also want to be mindful and remove any bits of hair or dust that you might find.
To clean the drum itself, you can pour in some washing machine cleaner into the washing machine as you normally would with detergent and run a cycle. You can also use regular old distilled vinegar mixed with baking soda—just be sure to put the vinegar in the detergent dispenser and the baking soda directly in the drum. Run the washing machine on its hottest cycle and be sure that it rinses out completely. If you want to be extra careful, you can run it once more after the first cycle is complete.
Fifth Tip, Use the Correct Spin Cycle
Lastly, in order to maintain your front load washer, you want to ensure that you’re using the correct spin cycle per load. While faster spin cycles can lead to dryer clothes, they’re not always appropriate for every load of laundry. In fact, if you continuously choose the wrong spin cycle for your clothes, you could be exposing the machine to unnecessary wear and tear which can cause permanent damage.
Cottons and bulky items are generally ok for higher, more aggressive spin cycles. But synthetic materials, delicates, or any garment labeled with “hand wash only” should be set to a low-speed spin cycle.
Enjoy Your Front Load Washing Machine
Front load washing machines are a wonderful addition to your home, especially if you’re trying to save on space and want to be more energy efficient. They’re ergonomic, beautifully designed, and work hard to deliver fast, clean clothes. While front load washing machines have incredible benefits, you do have to keep in mind that they require some upkeep. Clean them once a month, be mindful of the amount of detergent you use, and make sure to select the appropriate spin cycle for each load.
If you experience any issues with your washer, like a loud noise or issues with water supply, try to identify the issue yourself before calling a repairperson. It could be that you’re using too much detergent and the washing machine needs to be unclogged with a hot rinse cycle, or the machine is off balance due to an aggressive spin cycle.
If you can’t locate the problem yourself, then it’s time to reach out to a professional. Sometimes you might be able to have the washing machine fixed, but if not, it might be time to find a new one. If that’s the case, or you’re currently in the market for a front load washer, reach out to a trusted appliance provider.