14 Ways You’re Shortening the Life of Your Washer/Dryer

The lifespan of your average washing machine is around a decade. Same with your dryer. But if you're doing these things, you could be cutting it short.

You run the washer/dryer more than you need to

Clothes in washing machine, close upAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

"The life of a laundry machine is completely dependent on how often it's run," say the tax experts at H&R Block, who provide that information to help inform commercial taxpayers on depreciation and individual taxpayers on budgetary concerns. Try to stick to eight loads a week or less, which they say will "yield an average of a (low) double-digit life," regardless of the type of machine (front-loading or top-loading, for example). Running only full loads will help to keep your energy bill down, as will these 13 clever tricks.

You didn't have your washer/dryer professionally installed

connecting water supply hose to washing machine using adjustable wrenchasadykov/Shutterstock

Proper installation is critical for all laundry machines. For one, they must be installed "level," according to one Home Depot sales associate who spoke to Reader's Digest. Depending on the peculiarities of your floor, that can be more or less complicated. As for dryers, proper venting is critical, and proper venting means selecting the appropriate size and material for your venting tube as well as proper placement of the tube to permit optimal air flow. If you installed your own machines, consider having a professional eyeball your work.

You're stuffing your machine

Preparation and loading clothes in the washing machineProStockStudio/Shutterstock

Neither washers nor dryers work optimally when overstuffed, and worse, they have to work harder than they should when they're too full. That increases wear and tear on the machine's mechanisms such as the washing machine's central agitator. Plus, if you pack too many clothes into the machine, some detergent residue could be left behind—which will attract more dirt next time you wear the clothes. You'll also want to take care that these 11 things never end up in your washing machine

That was 14 Ways You’re Shortening the Life of Your Washer/Dryer

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