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You run the washer/dryer more than you need to

You run the washer/dryer more than you need to
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“The life of a laundry machine is completely dependent on how often it’s run,” say the tax experts at H&R Block. Try to stick to eight loads a week or less, which they say will “yield an average of a (low) double-digit life,” regardless of the type of machine (front-loading or top-loading, for example). Running only full loads will help to keep your energy bill down.

You didn’t have your washer/dryer professionally installed

You didn’t have your washer/dryer professionally installed
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Proper installation is critical for all laundry machines. For one, they must be installed “level.” Depending on the peculiarities of your floor, that can be more or less complicated. As for dryers, proper venting is critical, and proper venting means selecting the appropriate size and material for your venting tube as well as proper placement of the tube to permit optimal air flow. If you installed your own machines, consider having a professional eyeball your work.

Find out more home renovation mistakes to avoid.

You’re stuffing your machine

You’re stuffing your machine
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Neither washers nor dryers work optimally when overstuffed, and worse, they have to work harder than they should when they’re too full. That increases wear and tear on the machine’s mechanisms such as the washing machine’s central agitator. Plus, if you pack too many clothes into the machine, some detergent residue could be left behind – which will attract more dirt next time you wear the clothes.

Try these handy hints that make doing the laundry less of a hassle.

Using too much detergent

Using too much detergent
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Using more detergent than the manufacturer recommends is bad for your washing machine, according to Angie’s List. Using too much soap leads to more suds, which could cause your washer to overflow. Have a high-efficiency washer? They require even less soap to wash clothing properly, so be sure to skimp on the detergent and only use soaps marked safe for HE washers.

Washing stuff you shouldn’t be washing

Washing stuff you shouldn’t be washing
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Hand washing certain items is not just for the sake of said item, but also better for your washing machine, too. Hooks and underwires from lingerie can damage your washing machine’s drum, while zippers can scratch the door of your front-loading machine.

Not cleaning out your washing machine’s dispensers

Not cleaning out your washing machine’s dispensers

“When you’re done washing a load of laundry, wipe down the detergent and fabric softener dispensers,” Angie’s List advises. “If you don’t, the build-up could cause a clog.” You should also be washing your washing machine monthly if your owner’s manual recommends it.

Did you realise you can put these 16 things in the washing machine?

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Not cleaning out the lint from your dryer

Not cleaning out the lint from your dryer
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You should be cleaning the lint out of your lint-catcher every time you run the dryer. Leaving lint in the dryer filter lowers the efficiency of the machine by slowing down the drying process. It can also cause the dryer to overheat and possibly catch fire.

Find out eight brilliant ways to put dryer lint to work in your garden and backyard.

Not regularly maintaining your dryer vent

Not regularly maintaining your dryer vent

Maintaining your dryer vent (the tube that directs moisture and lint out of the dryer drum and out of the house) is crucial to keeping your dryer in good working order. A good rule-of-thumb is to have your dryer vent inspected and cleaned out once per year, according to Ivey Engineering.

Here are 40+ more things all homeowners should be doing (but probably aren’t).

Overusing dryer sheets

Overusing dryer sheets

“Dryer sheets might make your clothing soft, static-free, and smell fresh, but they have a waxy layer that melts in the dryer,” advises Angie’s List. Using too many can gum up the appliance. But no matter how many dryer sheets you use, you need to be cleaning your lint trap on a regular basis – not just cleaning out the lint but actually removing the lint trap and soaking it in sudsy water every couple of months (or more often if you’re also using fabric softener in the washing machine, which also leaves a residue in the dryer).

Leaving stuff in your pockets

Leaving stuff in your pockets
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Gum, tissues, even coins, and paper money can clog your washer drain, and if they don’t fall out of your pockets during the wash cycle, you’ll probably hear and/or see them spinning around the dryer, which isn’t good for your dryer’s inner workings. So empty your pockets before throwing your clothes in the wash for the sake of your laundry machines running smoothly, efficiently and over many years.

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