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How To Maintain Your High Efficiency Washer

Modern washers do an excellent job of washing clothes and saving water, however to maintain their peak performance they must be maintained.

Front loaders have always had maintenance issues, the door must be left ajar between cycles, lint filters must be manually cleaned and the excess water must be drained form the machines on a regular basis.

Some newer machines have eliminated the manual clean lint filters however most still have them. Top loaders are now high efficiency as well and while they require less maintenance than front loaders they must also be attended to on a regular basis.

Let’s take a look at what‘s required:


Front Loaders:


1. Once a month or approximately every 40 cycles, a front load washer should have its tub rinsed out to remove excess soap residue.  If this is not done, mildew can form and the machine will develop some very unpleasant odors.

Most newer machines have a special ” Washer Clean or Tub Clean” cycle for this purpose. A washer clean product such as Affresh, or Tide Washer Cleaner should be used during this cycle. Some newer Samsung models clean the tub without the need for any additional cleaning agent.


No clothes should be placed in the washer during this cycle. Bleach may also be used if desired, consult the washer manufacturer’s instructions for the correct amount of bleach to use.


2. On most front loaders the lint filter must be manually cleaned and the excess water drained from the tub. This is performed via a small trap door on the lower right or left side of the machine.  Use a small pan to collect the excess water. Some newer machines from Maytag and Whirlpool have eliminated the need for this procedure.

3. If your washer does not have a” Tub-Clean or Washer Clean” cycle, use the Heavy Duty cycle with the hottest water setting along with the washer cleaner to maintain your machine. Always place the cleaning agent in the tub, not in the soap dispenser.

4. On all front loaders, the washer door should be left ajar between cycles to allow the door gasket to dry out, this helps prevent the development of mold in the machine. This is very important as once mold has formed it is difficult to remove.


Top Loaders:

Maintenance on top loader is much simpler; they do not have lids that seal the machine so leaving the lid open between cycles is not necessary. However the tub clean cycle should be performed on a regular basis. Every 40 cycles or once a month is a good rule of thumb.


1. Use the washer clean or tub clean cycle, place the Affresh tablet or Tide Washer Cleaner packet in the washer drum, and start the washer clean cycle. No clothes should be placed in the machine when the washer clean cycle is used. Bleach may also be used if desired, consult the washer manufacturer’s instructions for the proper amount of bleach to use.

2. In some machines a residue from the washer cleaner may remain, simply wipe out the machine with a damp cloth to remove it. 


Performing this simple maintenance on a regular basis, using these quick and easy to follow procedures, will prevent the development of mold and mildew and allow your washer to perform at its best for many years to come.


Mike, The Home Depot Answer Man

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Posted 2016-05-05T18:11:36+0000  by Mike_HD_OC Mike_HD_OC