How to Extend the Life of Your Washing Machine

washing machine looking new in wash room

Your washing machine goes through a lot over the years, especially if you have a family.

It’s important to take care of your machine, so you can get the most out of it. We are going to be talking about some ways to extend the life of your washing machine.

Out of all your large household appliances, your washing machine is most likely to fail. Nobody wants an unexpected repair bill, which is why you should take some time out to keep your washer in good shape.

The tips that we will discuss are things that you can do from the day you buy your machine to get the most washes you possibly can before it eventually gives up.

Check your pockets before a wash cycle

Checking your pockets while you’re loading up the drum is the most common piece of advice a repairer will tell you.

items that can get stuck in a washing machine from your pockets

This is because a large majority of faults are caused by objects getting stuck in different areas of the machine, including the drain pump.

If you don’t check your pockets before you start the cycle, you’re going to end up trying to recover lost items from your washer.

What you’re looking for are small objects that can slip through the door seal, which will then go through the sump hose and into the drain pump. If your drain pump has to deal with a blockage, then it can break the impeller.

Things to look out for:

  • Coins
  • Hair clips and hair bands
  • Screws, nails, and bolts
  • Car and house keys
  • Small pieces of jewellery

It also goes without saying, the last thing you want to do is to lose anything of any value, so double check your pockets before you press start.

Use washing detergents properly

Excessive amounts of washing detergents and fabric softeners can clog up the dispenser. Most products should be used sparingly.

filling washing machine drawer with fabric softener

When you buy a new washing detergent, the label will usually advise you of the correct amount to use for a single wash. You should follow the guidelines carefully.

If you’re unsure of how to fill the detergents drawer correctly, you can take a look at our how-to guide on what the 3 compartments in a washing machine drawer are for.

If you think your washing machine drawer has gone past the point of no return, it’s worth attempting to clean it out with an old toothbrush.

If you scrub the top of the dispenser, you can sometimes unblock any old detergent which can breathe new life into your machine.

If you are tired of having to deal with measuring washing detergents, you can always buy an auto dosing detergent technology washing machine.

Clean your washing machine

Keeping on top of cleaning your home can be difficult, we get that. If you spend some more time making sure your washing machine is clean it can extend the life of certain parts.

washing machine being cleaned with cleaning spray

The main areas you want to keep clean:

  • The door seal
  • The detergent drawer
  • Drain pump filter

Cleaning your washing machine door seal is really easy to do and can extend the life of the seal by years. Not to mention that a door seal with mould and bacteria build up is not desirable.

The detergent drawer has to deal with all the powders and fabric softeners that you use during a wash cycle. These can get blocked up really quickly, especially if your washing machine fills with cold water only.

By giving the soap drawer a wipe out and scrubbing the soap drawer box, you can make sure that you prevent any unwanted blockages in the soap dispenser and the pipe that feeds the drum with water.

The drain pump filter is where you will find any lost items and blockages. Taking it out to clean it every now and then is a great way to extend the life of the drain pump. It’s also a good way to make sure your washing machine drains properly.

Don’t overload the drum

It’s tempting to try and cram as many items of clothing as you can into the drum, but it’s a terrible idea if you’re trying to get the most out of your washing machine.

clothes falling out of washing machine door

Not only does it make the machine less efficient when it comes to cleaning, it can also make it difficult for your machine to enter the spin cycle.

This can put added strain on the drive motor, the drum, and the suspension legs.

Regularly overloading a washing machine with clothing is a contributing factor to bearing failure, which can be one of the most expensive faults to get fixed.

Look out for bra wires

If you notice that one of your bras is looking a little worst for wear, then it’s a good idea to leave it out of the next wash.

If the bra wire comes out, it can get stuck in one of the holes in the drum. Sometimes this can lead to it slipping all the way though.

If a bra wire gets stuck in the drum, it will cause your washing machine to become noisy and can damage the heating element.

This will result in you needing to have an expensive repair on the machine to get it back to working as normal.

A great way to stop this from happening is to buy a laundry bag so you can put your underwear in without risking the health of your machine.

Make sure the machine is balanced

Making sure that your machine is properly balanced is a basic way to make sure that it is operating efficiently.

washing machine on balancing support wheels

If your machine is unbalanced then the drum can shake around more than usual, resulting in damaged suspension legs and a poor spin cycle.

It’s been known that unbalanced washing machines can damage the cabinet, due to the excessive shaking and banging around.

You should always make sure that when you install a new washing machine you make sure it’s properly balanced, remove the transit bolts and give enough space at the back for the pipes.

If you have just bought your machine and it’s banging around a lot, you should check if the transit bolts have been removed.

Remove your clothes right away

After you hear your machine finish a cycle, it’s considered to be a good habit to remove the clothes as soon as possible.

removing clothes from washing machine

It’s common for people to leave wet clothes in the drum for hours after the cycle has finished but this can lead to more bacteria and mould build up in the machine.

Not to mention, it can make your clothes smell really bad due to the dampness.

Most washing machines now come with a function to let you know when the cycle has ended. If your machine does not have an audible beep, then you can always set a timer on your phone.

Take care of small faults

The final thing you should do to extend the life of your washing machine is to keep on top of the small faults that build up.

tools on top of washing machine ready for repair

Sometimes ignorance is bliss, but in this case, it leads to big repair bills and a headache.

Small washing machine faults like slow fill times, noises and problems draining can get progressively worse over time and will often be easier to fix earlier on.

If your machine is experiencing any cosmetic issues like broken control knobs or a snapped door handle, it’s usually something you can fix yourself by ordering the spare parts online.


Just to recap, here’s a breakdown of everything you should do to maintain your washing machine:

  • Always check your pockets for objects that can get stuck inside the machine.
  • Regularly clean your machine, paying special attention to the rubber seal and the soap dispenser.
  • Use washing powder, fabric softener and all other detergents as they are intended and take the clothes out of the drum after the cycle has ended.
  • Try not to overload the drum because this can cause damage to the machine and result in poor wash results.
  • Make sure the machine is properly level and take care of any small faults that present themselves.

Eventually, all washing machines break down and inevitably come to the end of their life. It’s important to try and buy a washing machine that is reasonably repairable in terms of spare parts.

Some repairs are too costly and wouldn’t make sense due to the cost of the parts/labour against the initial cost of the machine. Failed control boards and bearing failure often end the life of a washer.

Hopefully, by now you have learned a few things about your washing machine that will help to extend its life and continue to serve your home.