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Caring for a washer, dryer

The longevity of a washer and dryer has a lot to do how you use and maintain them. Here are 10 tips to help you get the most out of your laundry appliances. Kate Forgach, Go Frugal Blog

Look for a moisture sensor: When buying a new dryer, look for a moisture sensor that will automatically shut off the machine when clothes are dry.

Don't overdry: Overdrying wastes energy and reduces the lifespan of your clothes.

Keep it clean: Clean out dispensers and attachments at least once a month.

Wipe it down: Wipe the glass and door gaskets dry after each load, paying particular attention to folds and crevices.

Read the manual: Manuals make for the most boring reading on Earth, but it's important you know the ins and outs of your appliances. Different machines have different requirements. For example, some washer manuals suggest regularly running an empty load with bleach. Others suggest wiping around and under the bleach dispenser to catch any spills, then running another load to eliminate any residual bleach.

Crack the door: Unless you have small children who could climb into the washer, leave the door open a crack after each load so the drum can dry.

Forget the Affresh tablets: They're supposed to prevent odors by removing dirt and detergent, but residue frequently remains after use.

Clean ducts and screens: Lint buildup reduces the effectiveness of dryers, making them work harder and longer and costing more money.

Vent dryers properly: Flexible plastic or foil ducts trap lint when they sag or bend, creating a fire hazard. Look for flexible or solid-metal ducts.

Prep for vacations: If you plan on being away from home for an extended period, unplug your washer and dryer and turn off the water supply to the washer. This helps avoid accidental flooding due to a water pressure surge.

Caring for a washer, dryer 06/14/10 [Last modified: Monday, June 14, 2010 12:32pm]

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