Washer and dryer set in a laundry room

16 washer and dryer maintenance tips

A working washer and dryer help you keep your family’s laundry tasks on track. With regular upkeep and the right preventive measures, you can help ensure that your laundry appliances remain in good condition. Read this guide to learn key washer and dryer maintenance tips to help you get the most out of these essential home appliances.

Do washers and dryers need regular maintenance?

Caring for and maintaining your washer and dryer may help them continue to work properly, washing and drying your clothes as expected. Different machines may require different care, so make sure you know what your appliances need. It is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

If you experience any issues with your machine that you are not able to correct, contact a professional repair service rather than attempting to fix it yourself. Whirlpool® washers or dryers come with a warranty. Read more about the appliance warranty coverage and find information about your specific model.

What is the average lifespan of a washer and dryer?

Washers and dryers are typically built to last quite some time, but just how long will ultimately depend on their initial quality and how well they are maintained. With regular maintenance and proper care, a washer and dryer can last many years, giving you value and reliability load after load.

Whirlpool® washers and dryers are designed to help you keep caring for your family’s clothing. Read more about Whirlpool® appliance warranty coverage.

How to maintain your washing machine

Maintaining your washing machine can help ensure it cleans each to your expectations. The front and top load washer maintenance ideas below are a great place to start in caring for your laundry appliances.

  • Leave the washer door open after use: After washing a load of laundry, leave the door open to allow the wash basket to dry between uses. 

  • Empty the washer quickly after use: As soon as the cycle ends, remove the wet load from the washing machine. This can help keep your washing machine clean.

  • Do not overload your washing machine: Overloading your washing machine can prevent the load from getting a proper clean, can cause an unbalanced machine, and may put extra stress on your machine.

  • Inspect hoses and connections: Wear and tear, installation issues and poor water quality can cause hoses and connections to leak or fail. Inspecting your washing machine hoses and connections for bulging, cracking and fraying every five years can help prevent them from failing and causing damage to your washing machine and home.

  • Inspect door seals: Check your washing machine’s door and lid seals for moisture and residue buildup. Wipe them dry after every use and clean them regularly to help maintain your machine.

  • Ensure the washing machine is level: It is important the washing machine is level to avoid putting stress on the washer’s parts. Your washing machine’s use and care guide should include instructions for how to properly level your washing machine.
  • Use the proper detergent: Aside from choosing the best detergent for your family’s cleaning needs, you’ll also want to choose a laundry detergent that works for your washing machine. If you have a high-efficiency washing machine, be sure to use high-efficiency detergent. It’s also important to use the proper amount of detergent and fabric softener and to clean the detergent reservoirs and drawers, as needed.
  • Clean the lint filter: Depending on your model, the lint filter may be in the agitator or near the top of the wash tub. Keeping this lint filter clean can help ensure your washing machine runs properly. 

  • Clean your washing machine: Cleaning your washing machine every 30 days or every 30 wash cycles is recommended to help ensure your clothes come out clean every time. You can read our guide about how to clean your washing machine to learn more. Select Whirlpool® washing machines are equipped with a Clean Washer with affresh®1 cycle to help you keep your washing machine clean and ready to care for your laundry.
  • If your front load washing machine has access, you should also clean your washing machine’s drain pump filter.

How to maintain your clothes dryer

Maintaining your dryer is important for proper operation. Check out the tips below for gas and electric dryer maintenance to learn how to care for your dryer and help keep it in good working order.

  • Clean the lint trap: Cleaning the lint trap and slot regularly is essential to the proper maintenance of your dryer. When your lint trap is full, it can increase drying time and affect your dryer’s performance.
  • Clean the dryer vents: With regular use, your dryer may develop a buildup of dust and lint which can negatively affect its performance. They should be cleaned once every two years. Cleaning your dryer vents at the back of your dryer and from the exterior of your home can help ensure your clothes dry properly. If you are unsure how to clean your dryer’s vent, you can hire a professional to assist.
  • Avoid overloading: Packing multiple loads into the dryer may seem like a laundry day shortcut, but it can actually cause longer drying times. Your laundry needs to be able to move around in order to fully dry and overstuffing will block the necessary circulation of air.

  • Ensure the dryer is level: To ensure optimal drying performance and to keep your dryer in good working order, take the time to set the correct level. Adjust the supporting legs of your dryer according to your use and care guide.
  • Deep clean the lint screen: Laundry detergent and fabric softener can build up on your dryer’s lint screen causing longer drying times and affecting your dryer’s overall performance. Deep cleaning the lint screen is recommended once every 6 months.
  • Clean the dryer’s drum: A simple but important part of maintaining your dryer is keeping it clean. You can clean the drum with a soft cloth and a bit of dish soap and water. Read this comprehensive cleaning guide for more information about how to clean your dryer.

When to have your laundry appliances professionally serviced

Your laundry appliances can benefit from regular preventive maintenance and may help you avoid professional service. You also may be able to solve some washer and dryer issues on your own.

However, if you run into a problem that you are unsure how to fix or you can’t determine the cause, it might be time to call a professional. If you have a Whirlpool® appliance, repair and replacement services are available so you can continue giving your family’s clothes the care they need.

Explore Whirlpool® washers and dryers

Whirlpool® washing machines help you do laundry in a way that fits your family's routines. With select models, you can fill detergent once and skip refills for 40 loads with the Load & Go™ XL Dispenser.1 With select Whirlpool® dryers, create customized cycles for whatever you're drying in just a few touches with Intuitive Controls.

1. Based on an 8-lb load.

Learn more about washers and dryers with Whirlpool brand

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1 affresh® brand products and the recommending brands' products are all owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation.