One of the miracles of getting older is how things that used to be of zero interest are suddenly popular topics of conversation.
Investments, traffic, home decor, the cost of a placement fee for a young child to secure a spot in the school of your choice (it’s a modern-day racket) – none of those are of the slightest concern to most early 20-somethings.
I will include taking care of home appliances in that list, because you were once young and had more to live for than extending the lifespan of the washer and dryer.
Right, for the rest of us old bags, it’s time for some tips via Consumer Report. In a 2018 survey, their readers found that they expect a washer and dryer to last 10 years, on average.
You’re only reaching that lifespan if you put in a little grunt work now and again, and they advise heeding these tips.
There are five for the washing machine:
1. Keep it level. The drums on modern washers can spin up to 1,600 rpm. To keep the machine from vibrating excessively and damaging itself, the washer needs to sit dead level, with its feet firmly on the floor.
2. Don’t overdo it on detergent. A surplus of suds makes the washer work harder and could trigger extra rinse cycles, extending wash time and wasting energy and life span. Use the correct type of detergent in the amount recommended by your washer’s manual.
3. Clean the dispenser drawer. Remove it and clean it on a routine basis. When detergent builds up in the dispenser, it can cause suds galore, making the washer work harder.
4. Try to prevent mold. It thrives when it has food and water, and washers provide plenty of both, with detergent and fabric softener residue serving as food sources. Run the tub-clean feature regularly—the recommended frequency varies by machine, from once a month to every 50 cycles.
5. Inspect the water-fill hoses. Replace when cracked or brittle. If a hose bursts, the flood can damage your appliances and your floor, for starters.
I know, you’re busy and you want somebody else to handle all of this maintenance stuff. We get that.
Sweet – get an expert from FIXITT to come by. They offer 24-hour ON-SITE, FREE quotation on all your household and commercial appliances, and will gladly give your goodies the once over.
(Also, a reminder to anybody who runs an Airbnb and can’t handle the horror of guest gripes at 4PM on a Friday – you’re better than that.)
Now for three tips to prolong the life of your dryer:
1. Clean the lint trap. It may seem obvious, but this is something to do before every load to ensure that the air flows freely. A blocked lint trap requires the dryer to run longer, adding to wear and tear on the machine.
Not as fun as cleaning the lint out of a belly button, from what I hear, but just as necessary.
2. Replace an accordion-style duct. Plastic or foil accordion-style ducts can sag, enabling lint to accumulate in low points and in the ridges. If lint builds up to the point where it restricts airflow, your clothes won’t dry and conditions are ripe for a dryer fire. Replace the duct with one that’s rigid metal.
3. Keep the duct clear. Once you have the right type of duct in place, be sure to clean it at least once a year. Disconnect the duct from the dryer, then vacuum the dryer vent with a long-handled attachment. Next, use a special brush made for cleaning dryer ducts: Feed it into the duct, vacuuming up chunks of lint as you move it back and forth.
Again, if this all sounds like too much effort, or if your lack of effort has resulted in things going bottoms up, call in the big guns.
Then you can get back to the things that matter, like ranting about the non-refundable R20 000 placement fee for the youngster.
No, it doesn’t come off their school fees for the first year. It’s a bloody racket, I tell you.
Take your freebies where you can get them.
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