Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Homestead Tips on Tuesday: Clean Your Washer and Dryer

Look! Money!!! I'm rich! 
If you have kids, critters and garden like we do, you have dirty laundry..... lots and lots of dirty laundry. That's why it is important to take care of your washer and dryer, so they can take care of your clothes. Wash my washer? Yes! Clean my dryer? Duh! A little love now will make them last longer and work better.

Let's start with the wash machine..... This hard working piece of machinery is something most folks would be lost without. I mean sure, if you dryer dies you can line dry your clothes, but what if your washer died!?!?! I personally hate lugging laundry to a laundromat! And let's face it, washers can get kind of yucky. Residue, stains, and the occasional funky smell is no fun. So how do you keep your washer in tip top condition?

First clean your washer. Stains can be removed with bleach. But if you want to give your washer a deep clean, bust out the white vinegar!! White vinegar will get in the holes, loosen residue and eliminate the moldy funky smells. Simply turn your machine on and let it fill with HOT water, then interrupt the cycle and put in about 2-3 cups of white vinegar and let it run through it cycle.

Once your have your washer cleaned, keep it nice with a few simple tips. First, remove clothing promptly when the wash cycle is done. Don't let it sit and fester or you will get moldy, musty smells in your machine and on your clothes. Second, when it isn't in use, leave the door OPEN. This will allow it to dry out well and eliminate that musty smell from building up. Third, use the correct amount of detergent. Using too much detergent will leave behind extra residue as does using fabric softener.

Now on to the dryer.... We all know to empty the lint trap but take it a step further from time to time. I clean my lint tramp every other load, but it still builds up lint that doesn't come off easy. That's because dryer sheets leave a waxy residue on your screen. So what is a girl to do? Wash the lint trap screen! Simply remove as much lint as your can, then soak the screen in Hot water. Now grab some soap and with your finger tips (or a soft tooth brush) scrub the screen. Make sure to rinse very well and get off all the soap. It is amazing how clean this simple activity will get your lint trap screen.


But why should you care how clean the lint trap screen is? Well for three important reasons.... First, a clean screen will allow your dryer to use less energy, cutting down on the cost to run the dryer and the time it takes to get your clothes dry. Second, since your dryer doesn't have to work as hard, your heating element will last long, thus extending the life of your dryer! And third, cleaning this trap screen helps prevent lint fires. I don't know about you, but I don't want to loose my whole house because the lint in the dryer decides to catch fire.

I know not many of us enjoy doing laundry, but with these simple steps, your machines will run better. And if we have to wash everyone's stinky undies, shouldn't we at least have a nice environment to do it in? Okay, yeah, I can't make any of this sound glamorous, but at least you'll make your machines last longer!


**Homestead Tips on Tuesday is a weekly series where we help you learn skills, tips, and trick to help you on your journey of homesteading. Many places post list of things you should/could do as far as homesteading skill, but I feel lists are at times overwhelming and can make people give up before they even start. So every Tuesday I share one thing for you to try or consider. I hope you join us every Tuesday and I would love to hear about your adventures with each weeks topic.**


45 comments:

  1. I ALWAYS use 2 cups of white vinegar in EVERY load of laundry, most loads this is my only soap and softener, I fill the softener dispenser with part of the 2 cups. When we have outside clothes with LOTS of dirt and grime I go back to the laundry detergent and liquid softener. Since many loads are not really dirty BUT have to be washed the vinegar is such a great cleaner and I am finding more and more uses for it. THANKS for all you write Mindie ;-) I don't know what this publish thing is but having to use anonymous to send this, Gerry

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    1. Awww Gerry, thank you for your kind words. Vinegar is such a wonderful item and your right it can do so much!

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  2. I need to try this. My washer smells right now. Suppose I should have thought of this on my own, but I'm not that clever....

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    1. It is not about being clever.... So many people don't even think about it... I mean who washes a washer!?!? Umm not many but everyone should! LOL

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  3. We just had to buy a new washer last week. This new machine has a setting for cleaning it. So I will definitely be running it at least once a month with vinegar. I want this machine to last for a VERY long time.

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    1. Most of the newer machines do have cleaning settings. I will never own one LOL Not because I don't want one, but at those prices, I'll stick to hand me down machines!

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    2. We are blessed that the hubby works for a company that gives a rather large discount on large appliances so we were able to get this one for half of what it usually sells for. Otherwise, I wouldn't have a new one either. LOL

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  4. Awesome ideas, Mindie! Thank you bunches for linking up and partying with us! Pinning this!

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  5. Off to do this now- my washer gets so funky smelling due to cloth nappies!

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  6. I'm hauling out the vinegar! Thanks.
    Please drop by!

    Blessings,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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  7. I was just wondering about this last week! Thanks so much for sharing! Now I need to go and clean my washer and dryer! :)

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    1. You will be amazed at the difference on your dryer vent screen!

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  8. It's one of those forgotten chores for me ... until I decided recently to clean my washer. I nearly gagged at discovering all the nastiness underneath the parts.

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    1. No one thinks about washing their washer! LOL

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  9. What a great idea for maintenance! You just don't really think to wash the washer often. :)

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  10. Great suggestion. Our washer and dryer are overdue for a cleaning....(pinned this!)

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  11. Since I started making my own (powdered) laundry detergent I have noticed my lint trap doesn't get that residue as quickly. Hello from Let's Get Real.

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    1. I don't know why so many commercial products have to be so unnatural (and leave behind such yuck) Good to know you see a difference!

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  12. This is not something everyone thinks to do but really is important!

    Thanks for sharing this post on #SmallVictoriesSunday. Added to the Small Victories Sunday Pinterest board. Hope you will join in again next week!

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  13. About once or twice per week, I have a "bleach load" - whites that must be bleached (towels and such).
    I find that having a bleach load - and doing the "get the clothes out fast" and "leave the lid open" seems to be enough to keep my washer clean.

    I always love your tips - and your farm-life posts. :)

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  14. I clean my washer, just need to do it more regularly and I use to use bleach, but I like the vinega, a little more natural. I also love how you respond to every comment. I do the same and think, "I am the only one that does this." Great tips.

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    1. Hubby often wonders why I respond to every comment on my blog (well except big giveaways) and I told him, if people can take the time to comment on something I did, then I am dang well going to show them they are appreciated for doing so. I think it is just a nice thing to do. I don't understand bloggers who never reply to comments.

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  15. I totally needed this. Been meaning to deep clean our washer and dryer for sometime and these are just the perfect (and easy) ways to do it! Thanks for sharing, Mindie! I'm definitely trying these tricks this week!

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  16. I'm embarrassed to say, I never thought to do this!

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    1. LOL Don't be! Honestly, who would think you need to clean something that cleans, but ya do. I learned that from my vacuum, but don't tell my washer and dryer, they might get upset. LOL

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  17. Thanks for the great tips. I will have to do this with my washer although mine is one of those new water saver without the agitator so I not sure it would work the same. Twitted & shared. Visiting from the Home Acre Blog hop.

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    1. Oh I am sure if you google it, someone knows how :)

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  18. This is a great post. I have a sign hanging in my laundry room, reminding everyone to leave the washer door open. Unfortunately, it is rare that anyone but me uses the washer though . sigh!

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  19. I knew about using vinegar to wash clothes, but never thought about using it to clean the machine itself. Great tips!
    Thanks for joining #WednesdaysWisdom.

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  20. Great post, Mindie! Gonna wash my washer today. :)

    Kristi @ Stone Family Farmstead

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  21. I "wash" my washer about once or twice a month usually after washing rugs or dog beds. I only wash 2 loads a week, I live alone. I make my own detergent with Borax, washing soda and a few drops of Dawn. Since using this homemade detergent I haven't used bleach and my whites are beautiful and soft! I love following your posts and blog!

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    1. And I love that you are part of our (mis)Adventures family! I wish I only had to do 2 loads a week!

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