Caring for your washing machine

With a little bit of TLC, your washing machine can carry on providing the very best results and help save you money in the meantime.

From the time you choose to tackle the laundry to cleaning your appliance, little steps can always make a big difference. Find out our top tips below:

Prep your clothes

It seems like common sense but spending a few extra minutes to check pockets and close zips can make a big difference to the life of the appliance - and prevent damage to your favourite items too.

Make the most of each wash

For full-cycle cotton washes, you should load the washer drum so that it is three-quarters full with enough space for your fist to comfortably fit between the top of the clothes and the roof of the drum. This allows movement and enables the clothes to be cleaned properly without damaging the appliance via overloading.

The advised weight of the drum and volume of the wash load can vary depending on the manufacturer’s guidance on each wash setting with ‘quick wash’ settings being much better suited to smaller wash loads. With this in mind, it’s definitely worth checking the recommendations provided in your product booklet.

Reduce your costs

With two-rate and multi-rate energy tariffs, it may be cheaper to run your washing machine during certain times of the day. Although it’s not always convenient, this is usually between 7pm to 8am during weekdays and can vary depending on your energy provider. If possible, it’s worth taking advantage of this and timing your laundry for when the running cost is at its lowest.

Know your wash symbols

Feel confident on laundry day with our washing symbols guide. From deciding whether your new top is hand-wash only to selecting which wash programme to use, these little symbols hold the secrets to a stress-free wash.

All machine washable clothing items have a similar symbol on their labels that usually resembles a bucket filled with water, however it’s the small details that provide the most information. If the bucket features a dot or number inside it, this is your recommended wash temperature.

Whether it’s one (30°C), two (40°C) or four dots (60°C), these are important guidelines as it will preserve the item’s colours and prevent accidental damage to the fabric. Lines underneath the bucket also advise on the recommended wash programme with one line indicating a synthetic cycle and two representing a gentle or wool wash cycle.

Although the hand wash symbol may seem a bit daunting, many modern washing machines have a programme specifically designed to take extra care with these items. If yours doesn’t offer a suitable option, simply wash the item by hand at 40°C or lower to avoid damage during the wash cycle.

Cleaning is key

To keep your washing machine looking good and performing great, it’s generally recommended to do a maintenance wash once a month. This will clean the pipes of detergent and dirt build-up which can breed bacteria as well as cause strange odours.

How to do a maintenance wash: 

  1. Check that the washing machine drum is empty 
  2. Add a detergent specifically designed for cleaning washing machines (follow the instructions on the packaging for the dosage amount). 
  3. Select the ‘cotton’ cycle on your appliance 
  4. Choose the hottest available temperature setting with 90 degrees being the best for killing bacteria 
  5. Start the cycle 
  6. Once the cycle has finished, open the door and remove any debris from the door seal. 
  7. Allow the drum to dry with the door open and give the seal a wipe to keep the rubber in good condition.

How to clean your detergent drawer:

Your washing machine has different compartments for different washing aids (for example detergents, fabric softeners, etc.). Make sure you add the correct product to the correct compartment when operating the washing machine.

It’s worth cleaning your detergent drawer after every maintenance wash to stop old detergent residue from building up and impacting its overall performance: 

  1. Pull the drawer out as far as it can. 
  2. Find the catch to press and remove it completely from the machine. This is usually located in the middle of the drawer. 
  3. Give it a wash in warm, soapy water before leaving it to dry. 
  4. Slot the drawer back into the machine and you are good to go!

How to clean the washing machine filter:

This cleaning task is often overlooked due to the cover hiding it from view, but it is a quick and easy process to follow. Just put down towels to soak up excess water before unscrewing the filter. Once removed, you can run it under hot water and screw it back in – it’s that simple!