Understandably, a washing machine that does not clean clothes properly can be very irritating. Washing machines should be able to remove most food spillages, sweat patches and bad smells from clothes in a low-temperature fast wash and a bit of detergent, but over time, many people find that their clothes are still smelly and dirty after a long wash or even several washes.
Although your washing machine is not cleaning clothes properly, it’s nothing to panic over. So long as your washing machine is draining, spinning and filling up with water, it should still be able to clean your clothes. Consider the following issues and you could be cosying up in laundry-fresh bedsheets this evening!
Seized-up detergent tray
A common reason why your washing machines is not cleaning clothes properly is because the line leading from the detergent tray to the drum has become clogged up with washing up powder. This means that just a small amount of detergent actually reaches the drum – the rest of it becomes stuck behind the blockage.
Did you know that you don’t actually need to put washing up powder and liquid in the detergent tray? You can put powder directly into the drum on top of your clothes, or buy a washing up liquid capsule and put this in the drum before you turn on the appliance. If this successfully cleans your clothes, then you may need to clean your washing machine by clearing the detergent tray and line out – but you can still clean your clothes for the time-being!
In future, use less detergent – too much detergent will build up inside the machine. Follow the instructions on the detergent packaging.
Dirty washing machine
If you want to know how to clean your washing machine, check the manufacturer’s instructions. Some washing machine warranties become invalid when their owners use a washing machine cleaner or other de-scaling products.
- Washing machine cleaners, such as those made by Calgon, Dr Beckmann, Oust and Dylon, are available in most big supermarkets and many other stores. If your manual says you can use these, simply pick up a packet and follow the instructions on the packaging.
- Take out the detergent drawer and leave it standing in hot water. Gently scrub off any remaining detergent, mould or other materials with a clean scourer, your fingernails, or even an old toothbrush. Leave it to dry before you put it back in.
- Put your washing machine on to the highest possible temperature, and add white vinegar or washing machine cleaner to it. Don’t put any clothes in!
- Once the cycle has been completed, open the door and smell the drum. If it’s still a bit smelly, you will want to add more white vinegar or washing machine cleaner and run it again.
- If it seems clean, wipe any rubber seals and other crevices with a clean damp cloth.
Improper washing machine use
Are you overloading your washing machine? This will make it less effective at cleaning clothes, and can cause the drive belt to snap and the washing machine to stop spinning. Your washing machine should never be more than three-quarters full.
Are you using the right program? While eco-washes, with low temperatures and fast cycles, are suitable for most clothes (and are more environmentally-friendly), particularly dirty or smelly items will need a longer wash. Be careful increasing the temperature if you aren’t sure your clothes can cope with it!
Do you know what your buttons do? If you’ve not read your manual, you’re probably simply guessing – and while you might guess correctly, these buttons might be impacting your ability to properly clean your clothes.
No success? No problem.
Don’t forget, we offer cover for a range of household appliances to ensure you have peace of mind should yours ever suffer a breakdown. Please contact us via our website or on 0345 3192 247 to find out more. Or call us today for urgent assistance. Our technical teams will run through some simple diagnostics to see if it can be fixed over the phone and if not, they’ll send a manufacturer engineer where possible to take a look.
Don’t attempt to repair the appliance yourself unless you’re really confident what you’re doing. A number of things could go wrong including risks of jamming, electrocution, burns, scalds, cuts and much more. We’ve got a number of highly skilled engineers up and down the country – so you’ll never be far from help when you need it most.
Our appliance breakdown and repair cover could be perfect for you – when your washing machine breaks down, we’ll get it working again – no fuss! We offer customised packages too, so you can pick and choose what appliances you’d like to cover. All you need to do is contact us, then sit back and relax!
247 Home Rescue accepts no liability for any injuries or damages you sustain following the advice on this website. If in doubt, seek professional assistance.