Washing machine maintenance – must-do tips

Each month the government, via the ACCC, recalls numerous household products that could potentially pose a risk to the safety of either property or people. It’s a significant task; in July 2015 alone the ACCC issued recall notices for 38 products. Everything from a model of dirt bike to a brand of children’s paracetamol.

burnt out samsung washing machine
Burnt out Samsung washing machine.
Source: abc.net.au

One of the products recalled by the ACCC in June was the Samsung Top Loader Washing Machine – model numbers SW75V9WIP; SW65V9WIP; SW70SPWIP; SW80SPWIP; WA85GWGIP; WA85GWWIP. In some circumstances, there is a chance that moisture may penetrate the electrical connectors of the machines. This could cause the machine to short out – or even catch fire.

Samsung has previously advertised the recall, and has recently readvertised in the hopes of capturing the attention of owners who did not respond first time around. To date there have been 59 incidents involving these machines around Australia, including 36 that were serious fire hazards. In total, 150,000 washing machines were affected. You can visit www.samsung.com.au, call 1800 239 655 between 8am – 8pm AEST Monday to Sunday or email wm.samsung@samsung.com to find out if your machine is affected.

What if your washing machine is affected by the recall?

If your weashing machine is affected by the Samsung recall, you have the right under the Australian Consumer Law to choose the remedy you want, which includes the choice of a refund, replacement or repair. Visit the ACCC website for more information.

How to maintain your washing machine

Even without manufacturing issues, it’s a good idea to keep your washing machine well-maintained. Some maintenance tips include the following:

Check the washing machine hoses

When was the last time you pulled your washing machine away from the wall and looked behind it? If you’re like many of us, there could be all manner of lost socks – and plenty of dust – back there.

It’s a great idea though, once or twice a year, to pull your machine out and take a quick look at the hoses that run into it. Check for signs of wear and tear in relation to both the hose and the attachment. A burst hose pipe could leave you with some expensive water damage!

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Keep the loads balanced and reasonable

Not too big, not too small – you want the amount of washing in your machine to be just right in size. If you wash just one item (a doona, for example) you run the risk of that one item becoming bunched up on one side of the machine, throwing it off balance. Similarly an over-full load can throw the washing machine off balance. This runs the risk of damaging the machine.

Front Loaders VS Top Loaders
 Front loader washing machines versus top loader washing machines

Keep it clean

Yes your washing machine spends its life cleaning things, but it also needs to be cleaned to remain in optimum condition. Preventative measures such as not using more washing detergent than you need will help, but once or twice a year, give the machine a separate clean. White vinegar seems ot be a popular cleaning product choice; run your machine on a hot, full cycle (with no clothes added) and toss in a cup of white vinegar. That should do the trick. Alternatively you can buy special cleaning descalers.

Make sure you keep the outside of the machine clean as well. And if you have a front loader, make sure you clean the locking mechanism to prevent it sticking.

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Careful what you put in there

It’s amazing what can end up in our (or our children’s) pockets. Coins, rocks, lipsticks – even an iPhone if you’re unlucky. All of these things can cause expensive damage to your machine.

washer dryer combo
 Front loader washing machine survey results

Keep it level

In addition to clothes throwing your machine off balance, it can also be thrown off balance if your floor is uneven or if the machine legs are uneven. This can cause the washing machine to vibrate its way across the floor – not a good thing. Also, like any other electrical appliance, your washing machine needs space. Don’t jam it against the wall too tightly, or store things up against the back of it. And if you’re going away for a while, switch it off at the wall and turn off the taps. Just in case!

Check out what our survey respondents thought of their top loader washing machines here.

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