5-Minute Washer & Dryer Maintenance Tips

Time: 10 minutes

With just 10 minutes spent in the laundry room you can kill two birds with one stone--help lower your energy bill and make sure that your washer isn't a flood risk.

What’s in it for you?

  • Fewer repairs
  • Improved efficiency

Washer

If your washer has rubber hoses, you should plan to swap them out every five years (a good trick is to check your hoses every leap year).

At the very least, pause this weekend to take a look at their condition. You should check the hoses for signs of wear, including cracks, kinks, stiffness, or brittleness. Weak hoses should be replaced immediately.

Each time you fill your machine with water and the valve closes, a pressure spike causes the hose to expand. Rubber hoses lose resilience over time and can burst due to high water pressure. Stainless steel braided hoses aren’t too much more expensive and can provide extra protection.

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To Replace Your Washer Hoses (30 minutes):

  1. Unplug the washer and shut off the hot and cold water valves (usually located in a small box on the wall behind the machine).

  2. Lay down a towel and use a wrench to loosen and remove the old supply hoses. Remove the drain hose from the drain and replace it if it has any cracks.

  3. Use a soft bristle brush to clean the washer filter screens. This will remove any sediment build-up that could restrict water flow.

  4. Hand tighten the new hose fittings and give each hose an extra quarter turn with the wrench. Make sure to match the hot with the hot and the cold with the cold when reconnecting the water supply.

  5. Reconnect the drain hose to the drain, open the water supply valves and check for leaks. Your washer is ready to use!

Pro Tip: Use a hose that is long enough to allow you to move the machine (60” usually does the trick). You should also keep the washer at least 4” away from the wall to prevent your supply and drain hoses from kinking.

Dryer

Have you ever washed your dryer lint filter? Even if it looks clean, airflow may be restricted by a nearly invisible film caused by dryer sheets.

You can test it by pouring water into it - if the filter holds water, it’s past time to clean. When airflow is restricted, it forces the machine to work harder, increasing drying time and energy use.

To clean your dryer lint filter and filter housing:

  1. Remove the lint screen from the filter housing.

  2. Clear the lint from the screen. You can also use a vacuum cleaner and soft brush attachment to remove remaining lint.

  3. Wash the filter using a small amount of detergent and a soft-bristle brush, and let it dry completely before returning it to the machine.

  4. Swap out the soft brush attachment for one with a longer neck, and use the vacuum to remove any lint from the filter housing (also known as a lint trap). If you don’t have a narrow enough attachment on your vacuum, you can also use a Swiffer duster or sticky paper from a dog hair or lint remover roll. Simply wrap the paper around your fingers and swipe your hand through the filter housing.

You should wash your dryer lint filter twice a year at a minimum, but we recommend doing it monthly to maximize the benefits.

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