Most appliances are a large financial investment, and new washing machines are no different. Whether you spend $400 on a standard washer or $1,400 on a high-efficiency washing machine, it’s an investment you’ll want to protect. Caring for your clothes washer properly not only prolongs its life span, but it’s also better for your clothes and helps your machine run more efficiently.

Your washing machine is an essential part of maintaining a household. Whether washing your clothes or cleaning larger items, it’s hard to deny the usefulness of this modern amenity. We’ve researched some of the best maintenance tips to keep your washing machine in top shape. Read our guide on how to extend the life span of your washing machine to learn more.

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Giving Your Washing Machine a Longer Life Span

To get the most out of your investment, here are a few steps you can take to extend the life of your washer.

Make Sure It’s on a Level Surface

An essential key to extending your clothes washer’s life is installing it properly. That means you should install it on a level surface. If the surface you install your washer on isn’t level, you should adjust the feet until the washer is leveled. Here’s how you check that your washer is balanced and securely in place:

  • Position washer into its final placement
  • Make sure all feet are touching the ground
  • Adjust feet if needed to touch the ground
  • Place a level front-to-back and side to side
  • Adjust feet further if necessary until the level is balanced in both directions

When your washer is balanced, it will vibrate less during the spin cycle. That means there is less of a chance of something coming loose or being damaged when the drum is rotating. If you hear strange noises after you’ve balanced your washing machine, you may need to call in a professional or repair person to ensure everything is functioning before continuing to use your machine. Otherwise, it may lead to further or irreparable damage.

Keep Your Washer Clean

Just like cleaning your fridge regularly will extend its life, the same is true for your washing machine. A clean clothes washer doesn’t just get your clothes cleaner — it helps maintain the appliance.

Once a month, run the “Tub Clean Cycle” if your machine is equipped with such a setting. Otherwise, run hot water and a tub cleaning tablet to help break down and remove any buildup or caked-on soap scum.

You should clean the dispenser tray regularly as well. It can be removed easily, allowing you to clean the bleach, fabric softener, and laundry detergent compartments, which can build up with residue, grime, and even lint. If you’ve got a top-load washer, wipe out the fabric softener dispenser on the top of the agitator. We recommend using a damp cloth and white vinegar — it cuts through soapy residue easily and leaves a nice, clean surface. 

Maintain the Hoses

Every so often, you should check the water fill hoses at the back of your machine. They’re made of a rubber material that can become brittle and crack over time. If the hoses crack, they can leak and cause damage to the machine or your home. These hoses are inexpensive and easy to replace, and maintaining them can save you from serious water damage. 

Clean Out Your Pockets

You should always check your pockets before throwing clothes in the wash. Skipping this step can mean washing away an important note or losing small trinkets to the abyss of your washing machine forever. However, if you skip this step, it can be bad for your appliance.

Metal items can clog or damage the inner tub of the washer, so it’s critical to double-check your pockets if you want the longest life for your machine. If you accidentally forget, there’s a safety net for those with a front-loading washer. If you realize you’ve started the washer and left something in your pocket, front-load washers have drain pipes specifically designed to catch these items. Just clear out the drain pump filter after the wash cycle finishes.

Avoid Letting Wet Clothes Sit

If you leave wet clothes in the washer, they can get musty and become damaged. It’s also bad for your washing machine. Being diligent with removing wet clothes from the washing machine is important to its longevity. Otherwise, mold and mildew may grow. If you want to avoid that, empty the washing machine as soon as the wash cycle is complete, and let the tub air dry.

Resist Using Too Much Soap

Adding too much laundry detergent can leave a soapy residue on your clothes and create a buildup of grime and soap scum on the inside of the washer drum. If you use a surplus amount of detergent, it can cause your machine to run longer. The rinse cycles and spin cycles will operate longer to remove excess suds, which is inefficient and hard on your machine. If you want your washer to operate long-term and with efficiency, don’t use too much soap.

The Benefits of a Home Warranty

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If you want a third-party solution to protect your washing machine, getting a home warranty is a guaranteed way to make sure your appliance is covered. Just like home insurance protects your house in the event of unforeseen damage, a home warranty protects your appliances. 

A good home warranty will help you save money on appliance repair or total replacement if your washer breaks down. The company will help you source a reliable washing machine repair service, giving you peace of mind that your investment is repaired properly. 

While regular maintenance is a great way to prevent things from going wrong, there is always a possibility that something unexpected can happen, which makes getting a home warranty a great safety net.

Final Thoughts

While machinery deterioration is inevitable, you can extend the life of your washing machine by following a few simple steps. Regular maintenance will help ensure you get the most out of your appliance, and a home warranty provides an extra layer of protection.

Editorial Contributors
Alora Bopray

Alora Bopray

Staff Writer

Alora Bopray is a digital content producer for the home warranty, HVAC, and plumbing categories at Today's Homeowner. She earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of St. Scholastica and her master's degree from the University of Denver. Before becoming a writer for Today's Homeowner, Alora wrote as a freelance writer for dozens of home improvement clients and informed homeowners about the solar industry as a writer for EcoWatch. When she's not writing, Alora can be found planning her next DIY home improvement project or plotting her next novel.

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Roxanne Downer


Roxanne Downer is a commerce editor at Today’s Homeowner, where she tackles everything from foundation repair to solar panel installation. She brings more than 15 years of writing and editing experience to bear in her meticulous approach to ensuring accurate, up-to-date, and engaging content. She’s previously edited for outlets including MSN, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes & Gardens. An alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, Roxanne is now an Oklahoma homeowner, DIY enthusiast, and the proud parent of a playful pug.

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