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Appliances 9 tips for washing machine care

Published on March 25th, 2013 | by Chris Zeisler


9 tips for washing machine care

In most homes, the washing machine is often the hardest working appliance and yet it requires only minimal maintenance. There are, however, a few easy, important steps to keep it fresh, clean and problem free.

Be sure to study your owner’s manual for specific instructions for your model.

First check out our popular How-it-Works video information for maintenance tips and solutions to common problems associated with washing machines.

Top-load washing machine

Front-load washing machine

1.)   Inspect the hoses.

A couple of times monthly, check your washing machine’s water hoses for signs of wear or weakness. If you discover any cracks or blistering, replace the hose. Any damage could cause a leak or burst – and extremely expensive flood damage in your home.

Most manufacturers recommend replacing the hoses every five years.

RepairClinic stocks many types of hoses designed specifically for your washing machine model. Have your model number ready and head here.

For more peace of mind, use high-quality, stainless steel hoses.

2.) Prevent flood damage.

In the event that your washing machine’s fill hoses burst or water level switch malfunctions, you’ll have instant water damage in the room.

In our homes, we use these two products to prevent this:

Water Shutoff System

This water shutoff system prevents water damage by automatically shutting off the water flow when a malfunction is detected. Installation can be completed in five minutes. No special tools are needed.

Floodstop water shutoff system

Washing Machine Overflow Pan 

This popular plastic pan fits beneath a washing machine and will protect a floor from water damage due to overflow and leakage. It has a fitting to accommodate drain line attachment. Inside dimensions: 27″ x 30″ x 2″

Washing machine pan

3.) Don’t overload it.

Follow the owner’s manual’s instructions for appropriate loading sizes. Oversized loads will throw the machine off balance and that will lead to problems.

4.) Keep it level.

It’s abnormal for washing machines to vibrate the floor and walls of your laundry room. If your washing machine is not exactly level, with all four legs on the floor, it may rock back and forth and vibrate strongly.

It’s best to keep the machine as close to the floor as possible. The closer the machine sits to the floor, the less it will vibrate.

The front legs are adjustable with a locknut. Position the legs at the desired height and tighten the lock nut against the body of the machine so that the legs cannot rotate.  Some models also have adjustable legs in the rear, too.  Follow the same process for adjusting those.

It is more common for machines to have self-adjusting rear legs. Ask someone to assist you with this. Tilt the machine forward on its front legs so that the rear legs are three to four inches from the floor. When you set the machine back down to rest all on all four legs, the legs should adjust automatically. If you find that they are not level, tilt the machine forward again and tap on the rear legs with the handle of a hammer to loosen them.

5.) Easy on the soap.

Regardless of what’s recommended on detergent packaging, follow your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended amount of detergent.

6.) Clean the inside once monthly.

It’s common for detergent residue to build up inside of washing machine tubs. We use this cleaner once per month to keep our high-efficiency washing machines free of odor-causing residue.

Washer Cleaner - HE

7.) Clean out the fabric softener dispenser.

Gooey in nature, liquid fabric softener is known to gum up along fabric softener dispensers. Use a damp rag and HOT water to clean out this periodically.

8.) Polish the outside.

Spilled detergent, stain remover and fabric softener dries to a sticky mess.  This all-purpose cleaner and a rag will make cleaning easy.

Refrigerator Cleaner

9.) Touch up gashes and scrapes with paint.

Prevent rusting by taking care of gashes and scrapes right away using touch-up paint.


Something not right with your washing machine? We’ll help.

RepairClinic has replacement parts for washing machines including hoses, pumps, belts, touch-up paint, water inlet valves, pulleys, seals, leveling legs, knobs, gaskets and many others. Our troubleshooting and repair help guide offers help information on the likely cause of its problems as well as the recommended part(s) for your machine. Have your model number ready and head here.

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Since its founding in 1999, has helped three million do-it-yourselfers save 225 million dollars in repair costs by successfully repairing appliances and outdoor power equipment on their own.

RepairClinic’s free online repair help system empowers do-it-yourselfers to fix common problems associated with major home appliances, outdoor power equipment, HVAC equipment, water heaters, floor care, and more. DIYers can enter a model number to choose from a list of common symptoms for that particular model, troubleshoot and watch expertly-produced videos to learn the most likely causes and conditions and purchase the correct, recommended part. stocks more than one million parts and accessories for 160 brands of furnaces, air conditioners, air handlers, heat pumps, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, snowblowers, leaf blowers, edgers and many other products.

Since 1999, the company has served more than three million customers including homeowners, first-time and beginner DIYers, advanced DIYers, appliance repair professionals, small engine repair shops and landscaping and lawn care business owners. RepairClinic orders are backed by a 365 Days. Period.™ return policy that enables customers to return any part. Of the more than one million parts available on the website, 95 percent of parts ordered are in stock and guaranteed to ship the same business day. RepairClinic ships within the United States and Canada.


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About the Author

Chris Zeisler is an appliance expert with expertise earned through years of experience as an appliance repair pro. As a technician for major appliances, HVAC equipment, hot water heaters and outdoor power equipment brands, he regularly completes manufacturer training. Chris joined RepairClinic in 1999 as the lead technical guru. He is credited for creating much of RepairClinic’s pioneering DIY repair information that has helped millions of people complete repairs on their own and save money. He remains a leader in content development for RepairClinic’s repair help information and how-to videos. He’s also frequently called on for technical advice and press information for journalists and bloggers. Chris keeps RepairClinic staff abreast of industry trends and relevant news. He develops and leads frequent Customer Care staff training programs. He serves in a supervisory role, offering counsel on technical issues to staff. Outside of RepairClinic, Chris and his wife are busy with their four children and coaching soccer, baseball and softball teams. He also enjoys restoring and maintaining muscle/performance cars. He lives with his family in metro Detroit.

4 Responses to 9 tips for washing machine care

  1. Robert Schell says:

    If you have very soft water, the reduction in detergent must be severe. We found that even using half the recommended amount of HE detergent causes to much sudsing and clogging of drain lines to the septic system. Since the reduction, all drains flow quickly and the clothes are even cleaner.

  2. Mike Loshe says:

    Thanks for share! Great tip about keeping your washer level, often times that is what causes it to rock back and forth and cause a racket. Another tip I would add would be to make sure you always use certified Whirlpool Washer Parts. Some times people try to use alternative parts and end up destroying their machine.

  3. PC Richard says:

    Whether you have a front load washer or a top load washer, here are some common problems, explained by “”>PC Richards professional team that can occur with your machine plus easy solutions to fix them.A clicking sound may indicate that an object is actually stuck in the washer drain. Be sure to check your drain and take away any sort of objects that have been stuck. Make certain to always check out and take away items from pockets before washing.

    • Jody Lamb says:

      Hi PCRichardson!

      Yes, great additional tips. It is very important to check pockets before washing and to inspect for objects in the washer drain. That’s definitely the cause of some sounds. Thanks for the additional tips!

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