Every appliance in your home is an investment in keeping your home running smooth and maintenance free. It makes life easier! And if you take care of each major appliance, they can last even longer than usual.

Not only is your washer an essential household appliance, its also one of the major contributors to water usage in your home. Investing in an energy efficient washing machine can help you save money from the beginning. There are also a few ways to make sure you keep you investment in good working order with these tips.

Are You Using Your Washing Machine The Right Way?

Metal Can Damage

Those big, clunky zippers on sweaters, jackets and pants can be dangerous in your washing machine. They can snag delicate clothes, and quickly get caught in the drum of your washer, or even crack glass on front loading machines. Coins can act in a similar manner. To avoid problems, make sure you check all pockets before washing, and zip up zippers to their full position before adding a load of laundry to your machine.

Cold Water

One of the best ways to save energy is to wash with cold water. And by doing so, you also reduce shrinkage and fading in your natural fiber clothing. Yet cold water doesn’t keep your machine operating in top condition. A washing machine needs an occasional hot water cycle to remove mineral deposits and kill bacteria that may be sitting around. If you don’t wash with hot water on occasion, at least once a month run a hot water cycle with a cup of vinegar to give it a solid cleaning.

Too Much Detergent

Soap is good; too much soap isn’t. If you wash with too much detergent, a filmy residue will be left in your clothes, and it may cause damage to the control panel in your washing machine. Different types of detergents require different amounts of soap. Make sure you measure carefully and only use the recommended amount of detergent.

Too Much Laundry

While washing with small loads of laundry will waste energy and water, the opposite isn’t a good thing either. Washing with full loads is a good thing; over-stuffing can do more damage than good. It can put excessive wear on the suspension and the bearings, and actually prevent your clothes from being cleaned. Also remember that a full load of jeans is different from a full load of blouses. Check with manufacturers guidelines to load accurately.

Electricity Can Damage

Any appliance run by electricity can be damaged by a lightening strike or a severe power surge. Make sure your washing machine is grounded and is protected by installing a surge protector.