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Maintenance Monday: Washing Machines

Mesa Falls has a great maintenance staff. With seven maintenance technicians and plenty of experience, they can fix just about anything. It amazes me every day that they are able to keep up with all of the maintenance requests from 408 apartments! A lot of the problems they fix are very avoidable. One of them being washing machines. Let’s look at a couple of do’s and don’ts to keep your washing machine in good shape.

 

 

Don’t: Overload

One thing many people do is over estimate how much their little washing machines can hold. These machines are doing their best, but we often give them too much to clean at once. There are a couple of problems caused from overloading your machine. Some of them are easily fixed and some of them completely damage your machine.

  • Your machine will become unbalanced and make a lot of noise during each cycle. 

  • The drum will be damaged and decrease the efficiency of your washer. 

  • There isn’t enough space for your clothes to move as they should to soak and clean. 

  • This can cause you to wash your clothes a second time, which raises your gas and power bills. Running the load twice is a good indicator that it’s too big. 

    In short, don’t overload your washing machine. There are so many ways to avoid some serious damage to these great machines. Washers are supposed to last for many years as long as you treat them right, so do your part to help them last. 
 

 

Do: Separate Your Laundry 

    If there is one thing I really dislike about laundry, it’s having to sit in a pile of dirty clothes and separate the lights, darks, and bulky items. To solve that, I got a laundry bin that has separate bags so I can toss it in the right bag and already have it separated. It sure makes doing laundry a whole lot easier.

    Separate your laundry to keep your loads smaller and your clothes nicer. Have you ever noticed that your favorite t-shirt or blouse doesn't last as long as your heavy duty work jeans? That’s probably because you’re washing them together. It’s like continuously rubbing chalk on the sidewalk. Of course the chalk is not going to last very long. We all wear clothes, so it’s important to know at least a little bit about fabrics.

I’ll give you a quick crash course on fabrics: A few heavy fabrics would be jeans, towels, and hoodies. Anything that is thick would be considered a heavy fabric. A few light fabrics would be polyester, blouses, t-shirts, and tank tops. Anything that is thin is considered a light fabric. All of your whites are on a different plane of consideration. It’s very important to wash your whites together and not with any other color. This will help keep the vibrancy of the white  and keep any possibility of colors bleeding and ruining your clothes.

The best way to separate your clothes is by color. For starters, always separate your jeans from the rest of your laundry. Anything with a jean fabric should be washed together to avoid damaging other clothes. In order to separate by colors, you should have 3 different loads (besides your jeans): whites, lights, and darks. Each of these loads should be washed at different temperatures. Your darks and jeans should be washed in cold water. All lightly colored clothes ought to be washed in warm water. To keep your whites the brightest, they need to be washed in hot water. By separating your laundry by fabric and color, your clothes will last much longer. 

 

 

DO: More TLC

In order to keep your washing machine in good condition, it needs a little tender love and care. Now that we have covered using smaller loads, let's talk about keeping your machine clean. It’s odd to think that you have to clean something that cleans something. It’s very similar to your shower. You get washed, but the shower gets dirty and needs its own cleaning. 

Your first step in keeping your washing machine clean is keeping the lid open in between cycles. This allows the humidity in the machine to disperse and air out. Do this to avoid any musty scents and odor build up. Occasionally, you will open the lid right after a load finishes and find that the clothes have a scent you did not add with the soap. This happens because some suds from the soap dry on the sidewalls. When the water fills the machine, the old soap will get on your clothes. You simply need to clean the machine with a cleaning solution from the store. If you would rather go the DIY route, you can mix ¾ cup of bleach with 1 TBSP of powder detergent and run the washer while it’s empty. Make sure to use the least amount of water in the load since it is empty. It’s best to clean the machine at least once a month. 

 

 

Don’t: High Water Levels

    A common mistake is using too much water in your loads. This is a big one you want to avoid as it can cause a flood in your apartment, and you certainly don’t want that! There are options for load size on your machine and this determines how much water will be used to soak the clothes. If you were to put your washer on a “Super Load” when there is a small load, the clothes wouldn’t be able to soak up enough water and the machine would shake the excess water onto your floor. Make sure to keep your water levels appropriate to your load sizes. 

 

In the End

     In the end, keeping your washers in good condition is really important and quite simple. If you have other tips on keeping your washers clean or separating your clothes, email them to us at mesafalls@kartchner.com  and we can add it in our next Maintenance blog!