How to Clean Your Washing Machine – and Why You Should Do It

You may not have every had it cross your mind that a washing machine would need cleaning – after all, the detergents used in it would keep the machine itself clean too, right? Actually, the truth is that any good Bay appliance repair pro will tell you that washing machines do need regular cleaning; detergents for clothes are not going to keep your machine clear of issues. Neglecting to perform regular maintenance and cleaning is going to lead to you having to pay for unnecessary washer repair, and will also contribute to you having to purchase a replacement machine faster.

Minerals from the water (whether it’s iron, calcium, or anything else) along with soap residue are going to build up in your machine over time. You might eventually start to notice that clothes that come out of the wash just don’t seem quite as clean as they used to. Although you might at first think it’s because you shove too many items in at once, or because your washing machine is breaking, it might just be that your machine is long overdue for a cleaning. Read on before you make the call to a professional for washer repair in San Francisco.

Cleaning Your Washing Machine

There are many products available at grocery stores, hardware stores, appliance stores, and just about anywhere that were designed specifically to clean your washer. If you instead want to pass on these products and try a quick and easy two-step method that will do the job, all you’ll need is bleach and white vinegar – that’s it! (You can also skip the bleach step if you’re not comfortable using the chemical in your machine.)

Fill your washer with hot water, just as though you would if you were cleaning a large load of laundry. Add one quart of bleach and let the machine run for about one minute. Open the lid of your top-loading machine and let the bleach and water sit for one hour. After one hour, close the lid and finish the cycle. Repeat the above instructions, this time using one quart of white vinegar instead of the bleach. Let the tub fill, add the vinegar, allow the washer to run for a minute, open the lid and let it sit still, and then close the lid to allow the cycle to complete. Once all is said and done, you should notice that the inside of your machine’s tub feels smooth and clean, instead of rough with soapy build-up and hard water spots.

All it takes is two common, inexpensive household products and a couple of hours to clean your washing machine. It also costs only about $3.00! If you’ve noticed lately that your washing machine just is not performing up to par with the level of cleaning that it used to when it was new, you may want to consider a cleaning. If, after cleaning your machine, it still is not performing well, then you’ll want to think about calling us for appliance repair in San Francisco and the surrounding areas. We serve customers in places from San Rafael, Novato and Larkspur to Marin County, Mill Valley, and more.

Happy Washing!

Major Appliances You Can Control with Your Phone

Smartphones can do some truly incredible things. In addition to enabling us to communicate with people around the world, take pictures and videos, read entire books, and monitor our health, they can also control major appliances in your home—when you’re not even there.

At the grocery store and not sure if you need to buy more milk? You can take a look inside your fridge. Don’t feel like going downstairs to see if the washing machine is still running? Check its progress on your phone.

Read on to find out some of the ways you can control major appliances in your home with your phone.

Oven

What if you could turn on your oven and keep tabs on your baking from afar? There are now apps and programs that allow you to do so. If your oven supports Alexa integration (Amazon’s smart home product), you can control your oven with Alexa. Additionally, GE has a range of Wi-Fi- connected smart appliances and these can now be controlled with Google Assistant, which works the same as it does with Alexa. Samsung also has smart ovens that can be controlled with and Android app.

All of these programs enable you to do things like turn your oven on and off and control cooking time. The Samsung oven can even tell you how much your food weighs and many calories are in your meal!

Refrigerator

Refrigerators are getting cooler (pun intended) all the time; they can do things like dispense sparkling water, cool areas within your fridge at different temperatures, and display calendars, notes, recipes, shopping lists, and even stream television with LCD touch-screens. If that’s not incredible enough, you can now peer into your refrigerator when you’re not home.

Samsung’s Family Hub Refrigerator includes three cameras which can be accessed through a smartphone app at any time. Now, you don’t need to rack your brain to remember if you have enough butter or your raspberries have gone bad—you just grab your phone and see!

Washers and dryers

Your phone can also make doing laundry easier. With the Whirlpool Smart Front Load Washer and Samsung’s Smart Care washers and dryers, consumers can download an app and monitor your laundry’s progress from anywhere. The Whirlpool washer’s app also enables you to set and change cycles from wherever you are and track the amount of energy you’re using. There are also electric LCD touchscreen washers and dryers which can send your smartphone notifications when your laundry is finished.

Controlling your appliances with your phone gives you more flexibility and peace of mind. Check on your washer’s progress, take a look inside your refrigerator, and make sure that you turned off your oven. And if you live in the San Francisco area and your smart appliances are in need of repair, contact the experienced and professional staff at Absolute Appliances Repair.

Home Appliances Tips

Replacing a refrigerator or oven range can take a bite out of your budget, as can buying a new washer or dryer. To make sure your appliances stand the test of time and continue to perform, follow these home appliances tips:

Keep your fridge and freezer clean

In general, appliances operate best when spick-and-span.

Besides regularly cleaning up leftovers in the fridge, keep condenser coils clean. Do so by using a condenser coil brush.

To clean the freezer, unplug it, remove all food, wipe it down with a baking-soda solution, use water to rinse it, and then dry the freezer with a towel before plugging it back in.

Defrost your freezer

Many freezers today are frost-free. However, if you have a manual defrost freezer, plan to defrost it at least once every year, before frost gets to about a half-inch thick. Use a plastic or wooden scrape — no knives or other sharp instruments — to remove the frost layer.

Scrub your oven and range, too

Clean inside your oven often and never let food debris stick around on burners, even if it requires a bit of elbow grease to remove.

Don’t spray cleaning fluid directly on control panels though, which could cause them to short circuit. Instead, apply a little onto a rag to clean that surface.

Don’t foil your oven

Experts debate whether you should use the self-cleaning feature if your oven comes with one, but they agree you shouldn’t use aluminum foil under the baking element.

Replace filters

Whether it’s a charcoal filter in an oven, a filter in some dishwashers or refrigerators or the one in your furnace, follow manufacturer guidelines to clean and/or replace them as directed.

Don’t use dish soap in the dishwasher

This can hamper the machine’s performance with gunky buildup. Use only dish detergent.

Scrape off plates

Food debris can clog dishwasher pumps. It’s going to stop up the spray arms and, in the case of emptying the water out, it’s possibly going to make the pump … fail prematurely.

Don’t overload your clothes washing machine

Doing so adds strain on the motor, tub bearings and other parts, besides not getting your clothes clean if water and detergent can’t swish between them. You shorten the life of the machine.

Instead, follow the owner manual instructions on how much to load. Hint: If your machine is banging around under the weight of all of your laundry, you’ve gone overboard.

Improve your dryer’s circulation

Often forgotten, the lint screen needs to be cleaned regularly. Failing to do or allowing your dryer vent to become clogged will force your dryer to work overtime (read: retire sooner) and can present a serious fire hazard.

Plan to have your dryer’s exhaust system cleaned annually.

Watch where you apply stain removers

Spraying it on top of washers or dryers can corrode painted or plastic parts.

Appliance Tips

Appliance Tip #1:

For best dryer performance and to prevent possible fire, inspect outside vent weekly for lint obstruction and good air flow.

Appliance Tip #2: 

For best dishwasher performance, run water at the kitchen sink until hot just before starting your dishwasher.  It’s also best to use soft water for improved washability as well as increasing the life of your appliance.

Appliance Tip #3: 

Using a small nylon mesh laundry bag for small articles, such as children socks, etc can prevent such items from entering your wash pump and causing damage.  Always carefully check pockets and remove all items before washing such as keys, hair pins, safety pins, coins etc.

Appliance Tip #4: 

Using too much fabric softener can cause a build up over time that can actually affect your dryer’s performance. If using liquid fabric softener in the washer, use a very small amount, diluted. If your choice is a dryer sheet,  appliance manufacturers now recommend cutting the dryer sheet in half. Not only will your dryer be happier, you’ll save money, too.

Appliance Tip #5: 

Adding a product called “Finish Glass Magic” to your dishwasher may increase the cleaning performance.  Pour “Finish Glass Magic” into the bottom of the dishwasher tub.  Then, add your favorite detergent to the dispenser as you normally would.  There are several Finish products, but it must have the words “Glass Magic” on the box. Recently, phosphates have been removed from all dishwasher detergents and many people are calling us to report that their dishwasher is no longer getting dishes clean and/or leaving a white residue on dishes, particularly plastic items. You may need to soak the items in a vinegar solution to remove the residue.  Then, use the “Finish Glass Magic” with each wash.  Another product that is very useful with kitchen and laundry appliances is “20 Mule Team Borax”.  Simply pour 1/4 cup of “20 Mule Team Borax” in the bottom of the dishwasher tub for each load.  

Appliance Safety Tips

When installing electrical appliances, keep in mind that most standard home electrical circuits are on a 120-volt line. Conventional outlets have two places to plug in devices and are called duplex outlets. It’s also important to note the quality level of your appliance’s) because the labor cost for installing more expensive equipment will be higher than for less expensive appliance’s).

Appliance installation and safety tips:

Appliance Power Requirements

Check the power requirements of each appliance. To run major appliances and heavy electrical equipment, you need 220-volt current in the house. And unless your clothes dryer runs on gas, it will require a 220-volt outlet to operate, so it’s necessary to upgrade to 220 to handle these and other heavy equipment.

Appliance Installation

When having an appliance installed be sure it can be removed easily for service. Flexible hook-ups for dishwashers and gas ranges can make repair jobs less labor intensive. Also, leave extra electric cable when installing electric wall ovens and cooktops. This will minimize the time the technician spends on the job and reduce the cost to you.
Some other appliance installation tips to keep in mind:

  • Dishwashers
    If your kitchen floor is being tiled, make sure that it is tiled beneath the dishwasher or at least raise its flooring to the same height as the tiles. Once down, there may not be enough clearance to remove the dishwasher for servicing. The only alternative will be to lift the whole countertop off of the cupboards, a needless expense.
  • Wall Ovens
    If you are installing a wall oven below countertop level, be aware that small children could be exposed to a burn hazard. Wall ovens do not have to conform to the same temperature standards that regular ranges do. This is because they are designed to be installed above counter height.
  • Washing Machines
    When installing a washing machine, be sure water shut-offs can be reached easily. Also ensure the water hoses are long enough to remove the appliance when necessary. A floor drain may also be necessary should the water pump or motor fail.
    Washing machines are designed to be used on solid flooring, like concrete. If it is being installed on a wooden floor, extra joist bracing may be needed. The mounting of an additional plywood section can also strengthen an existing wooden floor. Severe internal suspension damage can occur if used on unstable flooring.
  • Refrigerators
    Refrigerators with forced air condensers are the only kind that can be built in. Models with regular static condensers will not be able to dissipate the heat if used in this application. This will result in poor cooling efficiency and damage to the compressor. You can tell forced air models by the fan, located in the compressor compartment, used to circulate air through the condense.
    While major appliances make our lives much easier, they also pose significant risks if not maintained properly.
    The average homeowner has several thousand dollars invested in major appliances. To protect your investment and ensure many years of reliable service out of each it’s important to properly maintain your appliances.

Appliance Safety Tips

  • Extension Cords
    Extension cords pose several risks. First, the extension cord connections may not be secure. Besides causing power fluctuations that may damage the equipment, poor connections can also result in sparks that could start a fire.
    Another problem with the appliance connections is that they are vulnerable to water penetration. This is especially true in damp areas such as laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, garages and outdoors. Water and electricity are a dangerous combination responsible for many avoidable deaths each year.
    People often make the mistake of using extension cords that are too small. The wires on extension cords are rated according to size, with lower ratings corresponding to larger sizes. A simple household extension cord for a lamp might have 16-gauge wire. An outdoor cord may have 14-gauge wire. Heavy-duty cords are usually 12-gauge.
    In general, in those circumstances where use of an extension cord is unavoidable, employ one that is heavier than the wires already attached to the appliance.
    Also, whenever using power tools or similar equipment on long extension cords, be aware that the longer the cord the more power that is lost en route. This phenomenon, called voltage drop, is much less pronounced in heavier wires. Whenever you use an inadequate cord, you run the risk of damaging the appliance or causing the wires to overheat and become a fire hazard.
    When extension cords, appliance wires and outlets are incompatible, people often use adapters to make things fit. Most commonly, people have a three-prong plug and a two-prong outlet. The third prong is the ground, and it offers important safety advantages. A much better long-run solution is to have an electrician replace your 2-prong outlets with properly grounded three-prong outlets.
    Heavy-duty appliances have plug configurations that are unique. Never use an adapter to fit these into more standard outlets.
  • Circuit Breakers and Fuses
    Older homes have fuse boxes while most new ones have circuit breakers. Both perform the same function. Whenever a short circuit or overload situation occurs, the device shuts off electricity to that circuit, preventing both shocks and fire hazards.
    Whenever an appliance stops working, first test the outlet with a lamp or radio. If the circuit is dead, turn off anything you know to be on the same circuit and go to your electrical box, usually located in the basement. If you have a circuit breaker, look for the one switch that is slightly out of alignment. Turn it off and turn it back on again. If you have a fuse box, replace the burnt-out fuse.
    If you try the appliance again and the circuit cuts off a second time, you may be overloading that circuit. Try the appliance in another part of the house. If it keeps causing circuits to cut off, something is wrong with the appliance. It may, for instance, have a short.
  • Pilot Lights
    Many older gas appliances (ranges, dryers, water heaters, furnaces, etc.) have pilot lights that run continuously. Newer models have electronic ignition instead.
    When an older appliance stops working, check to see if the pilot light has gone out. If it has, re-light it according to the instructions in the manual, which came with the unit or are printed on the appliance itself. In many cases, this will save you the cost of a repair call.
    Because pilot lights maintain a flame at all times, they are always ready to ignite any flammable gases that might be present. This is why you should never store paints, solvents and other chemicals anywhere near an appliance with a pilot light.

COUNT ON Absolute Appliance Repair TO SOLVE ANY APPLIANCE ISSUES

We provide San Francisco’s best appliance repair services, quickly and at a fair price. We stay up-to-date with the newest appliance technologies, and our expert service technicians can repair all major brands and models of household appliances.

We guarantee our work.

Absolute Appliances Repair is locally owned and operated.

We specialize in fixing refrigerators and freezers, washers and dryers, stoves, dishwashers, and any other type of electric appliance in your home.

When you depend on an appliance and it stops working, a fast repair is critically important. Using high-tech testing methods, we’ll quickly identify the root of the problem and advise you about the available repair options. That way, you can make the best choices.

How to clean the washing machine

The washing machine cleans the clothes and washes all the dust on the fabrics, but who cleans it? All dust, dirt particles of all kind must settle somewhere, right? Find out how clean the washing machine so that your laundry to stay clean and free of dangerous germs.

Disinfect the washing machine

If you want to get rid of bacteria that can accumulate inside the washing machine and the pipes through  were the water flows, use  vinegar.

Turn the machine on a program of hot water, but instead of detergent use two cups of vinegar. Leave the car wash  empty and  the entire system will be cleaned with this natural disinfectant solution.

Wash and clean the old soap

The washing detergent , either liquid or solid, leaves traces in the detergent and softener holder and also on the rubber drum (for front-loading washing machines), etc.

Use a solution  made of baking soda, vinegar and warm water and scrub with a sponge or toothbrush every such piece of the washing machine.
Rinse the full support for detergents in water mixed with vinegar, if it is removable.

Rinse with hot water all the components

If you’ve finished cleaning each  removable pieces you need to rinse everything well. Turn on the washing machine and run a program for cotton on maximum temperature without detergent without vinegar or laundry in it. The hot water will rinse the remaining soap traces and bacteria from pipes.

How-to-clean-the-washing-machine

WASHING MACHINE TIPS

Water Drips Into My Washer When It Is Not On

If you have water dripping into your washing machine when it’s not running, you may have a bad water inlet valve. This is what the hoses to the washing machine attach to at the back of the washer. To check this washer part:

1. Disconnect the hoses from the washing machine.

2. Turn on the faucets to clear any blockages in the hoses.

3. Inspect the filter screens on the water inlet valve. This washing machine part may have some debris built up that interferes with proper operation. Be very careful with the screens, as they aren’t replaceable.

4. Open the washer and find the coil shaped solenoids. You will need to test them with an ohmmeter or multitester. If these washer parts are bad they should be replaced.

5. The water inlet valve may have failed mechanically instead of electronically. Replace this washing machine part if none of the above seems to work and you still have water dripping into the washer.

Washing Machine Problem?
Call Absolute Appliance Repair!

Call us to set your appointment now

(415) 831-1259       San Francisco

 

ENERGY STAR WASHER AND DRYER TIPS

 

Washer Tips

  • Always use HE (High Efficiency) detergent.

    Front-loading clothes washers are designed to use High Efficiency detergent. Using regular detergent creates too much suds, which will affect the machine’s washing and rinsing performance. Over time, it can lead to odors and mechanical problems.

  • Fill it up.

    Clothes washers use about the same amount of energy regardless of the size of the load, so run full loads whenever possible.

  • Wash in cold water.

    Water heating consumes about 90% of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer. Unless you’re dealing with oily stains, washing in cold water will generally do a good job of cleaning. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut energy use in half. Using the cold cycle reduces energy use even more.

  • Use a drying rack or hang clothes outside.

    Where and when possible, air-drying clothes instead of using a dryer not only saves energy, but also helps them last longer.

  • Avoid the sanitary cycle.

    This super hot cycle, available on some models, increases energy use significantly. Only use it when absolutely necessary.

  • Activate the high spin speed option.

    If your clothes washer has spin options, choose a high spin speed or the extended spin option to reduce the amount of remaining moisture in your clothes after washing. This decreases the amount of time it takes to dry your clothes.

  • Leave the door open after use.

    Front-loading washers use airtight seals to prevent water from leaking while the machine is in use. When the machine is not in use, this seal can trap moisture in the machine and lead to mold. Leave the door ajar for an hour or two after use to allow moisture to evaporate. Make sure children do not climb into the machine while the door is open.

  • Rinse the washer every month.

    Some manufacturers recommend rinsing the washer each month by running a normal cycle with 1 cup of bleach to help reduce the risk of mold or mildew buildup. Consult the product owner’s manual before attempting.

Dryer Tips

ENERGY STAR does not label clothes dryers because there is little difference in energy use among models. Here are some ways to reduce energy consumption when using your clothes dryer:

  • Use the moisture sensor option.

    Many new clothes dryers come designed with a moisture sensor, which automatically shuts off the machine when clothes are dry. Not only will this save energy, but it will also save wear and tear on your clothes caused by over-drying.

  • Clean the lint filter.

    Cleaning the filter after every load will improve air circulation and increase the efficiency of the dryer. It’s also an important safety measure.

  • Scrub the lint filter regularly if you use dryer sheets.

    Dryer sheets can leave a film on the filter that reduces air flow and, over time, can affect the performance of the motor. Use a toothbrush to scrub it clean once a month.

Visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Web site to learn more about clothes dryers and energy efficiency

Call Absolute Appliance Repair NOW if you have any problems with your washer or dryer!

Phone lines

(415) 831-1259 San Francisco
(415) 388-0690 Marin County
(650) 525-0512 South SF / Daly City / Pacifica

 

HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR WASHER AND DRYER

Left unattended, a burst washing-machine hose can spill hundreds of gallons of water an hour. Likewise, a dryer can erupt in flame if lint is allowed to build up inside the machine or its ducts. In 1999 (the most recent data available), dryers caused 14,600 fires, 20 deaths, and $86.8 million in property damage in the United States.

Preventing such mishaps is as easy as replacing a washer’s old rubber hoses, ideally with steel-jacketed ones that can’t split open. Or discarding the dryer’s flimsy — and flammable — vinyl duct and putting a metal one in its place. (Regular lint-trap cleaning, while necessary, won’t keep lint from collecting in the duct.)

Once you’ve made those two major upgrades, as shown on the following pages, get in the habit of checking hoses and cleaning ducts every six months or so. Hoses should be replaced every five years; tag them with the date you installed them so you won’t forget. Your appliances will last longer, run better, and use less energy. Here, Richie Isaacson of Affordable Appliance, in Randolph, Massachusetts, shows how to keep a washer and dryer running safely and efficiently.

Read more here

Washer or Dryer Problem?

Call Absolute Appliance Repair!

Call us to set your appointment now

(415) 831-1259             San Francisco
(415) 388-0690             Marin County
(650) 525-0512             South SF / Daly City / Pacifica