By Rajinder Koul
The onset of monsoon season has brought much relief to everyone from the scorching heat, bringing joy and elating moods. However, the flip side to this weather is the clothes getting drenched often and the humidity in the atmosphere makes it tough for clothes to dry. Since clothes tend to get dirty often, the laundry load also increases. About a third of urban Indians rely on a washing machine for their laundry today. For all these washing machine users, it is critical that the washing machine operates effectively through the year and even more so in the monsoons.
Here are some simple tips to maintain your washing machine and get the best laundry results:
* Use the right amount of detergent. Check the product handbook to make sure you are using the right type and amount of detergent for your machine. Using a top load detergent in a front load machine, for example, is not recommended! You should also check the detergent dosage as per the load. Too much or too little detergent both are not recommended. The dosage guidance will be included in your machine manual.
* Clean the machine: Detergents or hard input water sometimes leads to scaling on the machine – this affects the wash quality adversely and a foul smell starts getting developed especially in Front Loading Washing machines. It is a good idea to rinse away detergent residue using a washing machine cleaning powder, through an empty load or tub clean mode. This can be done monthly. You might alternatively run an empty load of hot water with a small amount of white vinegar as an option. Add some detergent in the middle of the cycle and wait for it to finish. Using a clean towel, wipe down the drum, doors, and gasket.
* Prevent bad odour: A mouldy smell in the laundry area and in your clothes is never pleasant. Remember to leave the washing machine lid open after each wash, to dry out the unit and to keep it smelling fresh. Also, thoroughly wipe the gasket around the door, even from inside, after doing your laundry to prevent mold build-up.
* Plan your laundry: Make sure you always use the washing machine to its full capacity, but not overload it. This will help the appliance use the least amount of energy possible. If you only need to wash a few small loads, you can use the machine’s eco-mode (available in select washing machines), which uses less electricity and saves water.
* Anti- Germ Mode: Use the anti-germ option on your washing machine for bedsheets, extremely soiled clothes, or clothes you’ve worn outside, and which have collected muck in the rain. This setting is available in washing machines that have an internal heater allowing you to wash your clothing in hot water. While most front-load washing machines have a built-in water heater, there are a few top-load washing machines and semi -automatic models that have this feature as well. It is particularly relevant in current times.
* Clean the lint collector: After several wash cycles, the lint collector (often found in the center column of most machines) becomes clogged. Clean it at least once a week, by washing it under tap water to ensure that it continues to efficiently collect the lint particles. This simple tip goes a long way in delivering a superior wash.
* Being careful about the controls: While some machines come with moisture resistant controls, many don’t. It’s a good practice to keep wet clothes away from the control panel.
* Paying attention to the basics: Ensuring proper earthing is a hygiene for all appliances, and this must be checked by the consumer by getting in touch with an electrician before installation. Further, it is often seen that consumers place the washing machine exposed to the elements. While the machine will deliver the wash performance and most machines also come with anti-rodent mesh at the bottom, it is recommended to keep the machine in a safe area, away from rodents as they can easily lead to frayed wires, leading to critical safety issues.
* Regular servicing from an Authorized Service center: Getting the washing machine serviced, periodically by a technician who is associated with an authorized service center to clean and service various parts & components that we as consumers are unable to clean is also a good practice. Any early signs of wear and tear can also be identified & repairs can be done on time thus preventing machine breakdowns
Careful usage and regular maintenance go a long way in helping appliances to perform better – not just during the monsoon but for years to come.
(The author is Product Group Head- Washing Machines, Godrej Appliances. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)