Tips & Advice
What is a high efficiency detergent?
High-efficiency or “he” detergent is a special formula that is highly concentrated, low-sudsing, and quick-dispersing. There is a special logo on these detergents to distinguish them, and they are often stated as required or preferred by some machine manufacturers in the user manual. High-efficiency detergent is used with both front-loading and top-loading high-efficiency washing machines.
What is meant by a “fully automatic” washing machine?
A fully automatic washing machine completes the entire clothes-washing cycle with settings specified by the user, vs. a semi-automatic one, which has separate tubs for washing and spinning. With a fully automatic machine, preset washing functions are available with the click of a button (or two).
What are the benefits of a top- vs front-loading washing machine?
Top-loading washing machines are less expensive and have a longer life expectancy. From a usage perspective, they’re easier to load, not requiring any squatting or bending. However, front-loading washing machines are more energy-efficient and use less water. They are also gentler on clothes than traditional top-loading machines with a central agitator.
What causes a washing machine to stop before a rinse cycle?
A washing machine might stop before the rinse cycle because of a clogged drainage hose, a worn-out clutch assembly, or smaller things like a door safety switch that isn’t closing properly, or a broken timer.
Which is most efficient: Gas dryer or electric dryer?
Gas dryers are slightly more energy efficient than most vented electric dryers. But ventless heat-pump dryers are increasing in popularity, and are more efficient than any other type of dryer, including gas models.
How long should it take for clothes to dry?
An average load of clothes takes 45-50 minutes to dry. A heavy load could take up to 60 minutes. If it’s taking longer, your load is likely too big and needs to be split into different loads. If this happens often, even with normal-sized loads, there may be an issue with your dryer.
What are the different types of clothes dryers?
Clothes dryers can be either electric- or gas-powered. Gas-powered dryers always require a vent going outside and a dedicated gas line. Electric dryers don’t necessarily require an outside vent, and they do not require their own dedicated gas line. Basic vented dryers are the cheapest and most common.
Condenser dryers are the most common type of ventless dryers. They use a dual loop system that recirculates the same air after drawing it once into the machine, until the clothes are dry. They’re more expensive, but a popular solution for people who can't have a vent through the wall.
Heat-pump dryers are also ventless, but they have a heat pump instead of a condenser. They are the most expensive to purchase, but by far the most energy-efficient to operate.
How often should clothes-dryer lint be cleaned?
Clean out dryer lint from the dryer filter (AKA lint trap) before every load.
How do you clean a clothes dryer?
To clean a clothes dryer, first wipe the exterior and interior of the machine with a damp, sudsy sponge or a rag and cleaning spray. Then, clean out the lint trap, soap dispensers, and lint filter. Use a vacuum with a hose extension to vacuum the dryer, including the outside of the dryer vent. Note that once or twice a year, the dryer vent should get a thorough cleaning that often requires a couple tools to remove the vent from the dryer. If this seems like a bit too intense of a chore, an experienced handyman can do it in half an hour.
How do you to sanitize clothes dryers?
Sanitizing a clothes dryer should be done only once the dryer is unplugged and well vacuumed with either the hose or brush attachment. Mix either vinegar and water or chlorine bleach and water (if bleach, only ½ cup to the gallon of water). Wipe the drum and door of the dryer down with the solution. Then, wipe the same areas down with a clean towel that has been wet with plain water. Then, either run the dryer for 10 minutes or leave the door open and let it air-dry.
While you’re doing all this, don’t forget to wash the lint trap and clean out the exhaust hose (you’ll need to remove both from the dryer in order to do this). Both tend to get clogged with lint, and lint is the main cause of dryer problems -- ranging from failure to get clothes dry, to sparking fires.