Washers and dryers make our lives tremendously easier. Can you imagine having to wash all your clothes by hand before drying them on a line? Though these machines are very straightforward to use, it is important to remember that they are complex machines. As such, they can be damaged, work less efficiently, or even damage your clothes if not used properly.

Next time you head downstairs to do a load of laundry, keep these pointers in mind — it could save you from the headache of a faulty machine or a stained favorite shirt!

  1. Chapstick and pens. Chapstick (whatever the brand) is great for chapped lips, but not so great for washers, dryers, and clothes. These tubes are prone to either leaking or breaking open inside the machine, which then gets the lip balm all over your clothes. If you put these clothes in the dryer without noticing, you’ll set the stains and end up with countless tiny dark stains across the whole load. Same goes for pens, except the stains are usually even more noticeable!
  2. Too many dryer sheets. Many people use dryer sheets to keep their clothing soft and avoid static. There’s no issue with this, but it’s important to use only the recommended amount. Too many dryer sheets can leave a residue inside your machine, or get stuck in a crevice somewhere. Also, make sure to remove any used dryer sheets after each load.
  3. Coins, keys, and any other tiny pieces of metal. Nothing is more commonly found in people’s pockets than keys and coins. Unfortunately, they both can damage your washer or dryer. They can harm the drum, and in rare cases even break the panel for front loaders. Key remotes also don’t play well with water or heat! If you hear something rattling in your dryer or washer, move quickly to stop it and find what’s causing all the ruckus.
  4. Too much detergent. If a load is extra dirty, run it twice rather than adding extra detergent. No matter how much detergent you use, your washer will still use the same amount of time and water for rinsing. If you have too much detergent, it won’t be washed away and will leave your clothes soapy and goopy.
  5. Anything with rubber. Many people try to toss in their shoes or rubber-backed rugs rather than washing by hand. Oftentimes, this can loosen the adhesive holding the rubber, making it fall apart or even melt. Some rubber backed rugs may even lose the rubber which can clog a washer and cause a flood. If you absolutely must, turn the heat to the lowest setting and run it for a quarter of a cycle — but be aware of the risk. It’s always better to air dry.

If you have any questions about safely operating your dryer or need a hand with a repair, give Doc’s a call. We have decades of experience with fixing dryers, meaning we can help you out with any issue you may be having. Call today!