Appliance Maintenance: Clothes Washer & Dryer

By: Douglas Trattner from

Anything that affects a dryer’s airflow can cause the appliance to fail and possibly create a dangerous fire hazard, warns Doug Rogers, president of the Mr. Appliance repair chain. And when it comes to washing machines, the leading cause of costly home damage is hose failure.

Here’s a list of maintenance tips to keep your washer and dryer running smoothly and safely:

Replace vinyl dryer exhaust ducts with metal ductwork to reduce fire hazards.

Before every dryer load, clean out the lint filter.

Every three months, wash the lint filter with detergent to remove invisible chemical residues that can restrict airflow.

Every month, visually inspect the dryer exhaust duct for crimps, obstructions, and unnecessary bends.

Yearly, remove and clean out the entire exhaust duct line from dryer to exterior.

Replace rubber washing machine hoses with braided-metal ones to reduce the risk of bursting. Expect to pay about $8 per hose.

Monthly, inspect washing machine hoses for tight fittings, bulges, cracks, and leaks. Tighten loose fittings. Replace damaged hoses.

Always ensure that the washing machine is level and on firm footing.

Always use the proper type and amount of detergent for the machine and load.

To prevent washing machine odor in front-load machines, always allow the interior to dry before shutting the door. Families with small children, however, should not leave the door ajar. Instead, use products specifically intended to eliminate odor-causing residues.

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