Frequently Asked Questions
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1. Balance the feet of your washing machine
Before doing any sort of maintenance on your washing machine, turn it off and unplug it. If your machine is mid cycle when it starts to play up, follow the advice in your washing machine’s instruction manual for stopping and draining it. Now check the feet: they should be in firm contact with the floor. To adjust the feet, you’ll need to undo the locking nuts first, then unscrew the feet. The washing machine should be completely level so use a spirit level and keep adjusting the feet until you’re satisfied. When finished, you must remember to screw the locking nuts back into place, firmly against the machine’s housing, before doing your next wash.
2. Avoid unbalanced loads
Washing a heavy item, such as a cotton towel by itself, or only with light garments may cause problems. The towel will absorb water and gain weight; if this then sticks to the side of the drum, it will create an unbalanced load. Some modern washing machines can detect this and will attempt to re-balance the load or choose not to enter the spin cycle. If your washing machine does enter the spin with an unbalanced load, it could shake around in a noisy and violent fashion – possibly doing damage to itself or cutting out halfway through the spin cycle. You can avoid unbalanced loads by washing heavy items, such as towels or dressing gowns, together to try and balance out the load in the drum.
3. Check around the drum for coins or bra wires
Rogue items that get into the drum can cause both strange sounds and a number of problems. Some of the most common items are coins and bra wire.
4. Check the seal
We also found that some coins got caught in the rubber seal. It’s a good idea to check all around and clean the seal regularly anyway, because as well as a potential place for small items to get trapped, this is where mould and bacteria can fester. A regular scrub can help prevent build-up. If left too long mould sinks into the porous rubber seal and is impossible to remove, meaning you may need to replace it.
5. Clean out the filter on the front
Some items loose in the machine can work their way down to the filter. You’ll usually find the filter at the front of the machine, on the right and close to the floor. On some models, the filter will be on the side. Follow the instructions in your instruction manual to check and clean the filter. Make sure you put down an oven tray or dish to capture water, as when you remove the cap on the hose, any water trapped in the machine will otherwise spill onto the floor.
6. Find out if items are stuck in the outer drum.
Items that don’t get washed down into the filter will end up in the outer plastic tub that surrounds the metal washing drum. Anything stuck here will be flung about violently by the drum’s rotation, especially during the spin cycle. If an item does get stuck in this area, it’s likely to make a very loud noise when the machine’s running, especially during the spin.
7. Check the drum bearings
If the above steps don’t help, and you don’t think there’s anything stuck in the drum, your machine may be suffering from a bearing failure. This is a relatively common fault and one that will most likely require a professional repairer. Turn the drum while it’s empty to check if the drum bearings have gone. If you feel a resistance, the machine’s bearings may need replacing. Another giveaway symptom is that the metal drum may have dropped down slightly and will no longer be in line with the rubber seal around the door opening.
• Undissolved Detergent
If you are using powdered laundry detergent, it may not be dissolving completely. Always pour powdered detergent into the empty washer first before loading clothes. This will give it the most time to dissolve.
If you are washing in cold water, especially in really cold climates, a powdered detergent may not dissolve completely. For best results, dissolve the powder first in a cup of hot water before adding it to the washer or switch to liquid formula.
The same steps should be used with single-dose pods or packets and some liquid detergents. If you are seeing blue streaks, you're adding detergent at the wrong time. NEVER pour detergent directly on dry clothes or throw the packet on top of the load. Add both to the empty washer drum first before adding laundry so the product disperses evenly in water.
If you have a washer with automatic dispensers, they may be clogged with detergent or fabric softener (even liquid products will clump) that is not dissolving. Remove the dispensers and clean with a solution of two cups of hot water mixed with 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar.
If the dispensers are not removable, fill each dispenser with heated distilled white vinegar and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes. Finish by running a short wash cycle with no laundry in the drum to clear out the dispensers.
• Too Much Detergent
More is not always better. Using too much detergent can leave residue on clothes. This is particularly true in high-efficiency washers. These washers use much less water than a standard washer during the wash and rinse cycles. Using more than two teaspoons—yes, two teaspoons—of detergent will leave residue on your clothes.
• Too Much Fabric Softener
Never pour fabric softener directly on wet clothes, and use the smallest recommended amount. If you have an automatic dispenser, clean it frequently.
• Clogged or Failing Water Pump
Lint, undissolved detergent, and soil can redeposit on your clothes if the water is draining out of your washer too slowly.
Many new washers have a small door near the bottom of the washer to access the filter right above the water pump. On older washers, you will probably have to access the inner workings of the washer from the back to clean the pump area.
Open the access area to the drain line filter and check for clogs like lint or small items that can impede the flow of rinse water. You'll be amazed at what a button, coin, and lint can do to slow the draining action of a washer.
If you have cleaned the filter and the washer is still slow to drain, the water pump is probably failing. Find your washer user manual online or call a technician.
• Overloading Washer
Washing a full load of laundry is a good thing to save time and money. However, cramming too many items into a washer doesn't leave room for the soil and residue to be flushed away. Learn the proper way to load a washer.
• Dirty Washer
If you have never cleaned your washer, it can have soil, minerals, and detergent residue that is redepositing on clothes. Think of it as the same as the soap scum in your shower. Because of the low volume of water, you must clean an HE washer monthly and a standard washer at least twice per year.
• Hard Water
Hard water can react with detergents and leave mineral deposits that remain on clothes. Explore steps you can take to do laundry successfully with hard water.
How Do I Get Rid of the Residue?
Once you have eliminated all of the causes of the problem, the only way to get rid of the residue is to rewash the clothes. Wash the stained items again in the hottest water suitable for the fabric but do not add any detergent or fabric softener. Instead, add one cup of distilled white vinegar to the wash cycle to help fibers relax slightly and release the residue.
If you have already dried clothes that have blue streaks from excess detergent or fabric softener, it will be harder to remove. Fill a sink or bucket with warm water and add oxygen-based bleach following package directions. Completely submerge the stained items and allow them to soak overnight and then wash as recommended without adding additional detergent.
Where to Look: On underside of unit
Where to Look: Inside microwave, on rim