Fixes for Problems with the Laundry

These are two simple answers for common household laundry problems.

1. Clothes not as clean as you would like?

During the winter months, the water coming from the cold-water supply can be colder than desired (this can also be the case year-round if you use well water).  Most washing machine manufacturers say that the cold water you use should be no less than 65 degrees F.  If it is lower than this, the laundry detergent’s additives might not fully dissolve. 

You can use a kitchen thermometer to determine the temperature of your cold-water supply. If your thermometer registers a temperature below 65 degrees F, try using a warm setting to fill the washing machine for a cold wash partially.  For some people, this may solve the problem.  If it does not, you may want to raise the temperature setting on your water heater.  Raising the temperature is often the best solution if the washing machine is far from the water heater.

Whenever you adjust the setting, when filling the washing machine, always ensure that the rinse is set on cold.  Rinsing in cold water is just as effective as warm water rinses, and you will save on energy costs.

2. Does your Washing Machine Walk?

Moving across the flooring during a spin cycle or even loud thumping noises can mean that your washing machine is not level. Although this is an easy fix, you should use a helper to fix it.

If the washing machine has moved from its original location, move it back to the correct position. Using a helper, or by using a simple tilt, the washing machine backward.  A brick or a stack of books can act as your fulcrum. A scrap piece of wood or a sturdy broom handle can be the lever. The front legs will be exposed by doing the above. Usually, the legs can be turned by hand after loosening a locking nut at the threads’ tops. Check with a level to ensure that the washing machine is level from back to front.  Check also to be sure that it is level side to side.  If not, repeat the procedure lifting the side rather than the front of the machine. When all is level, tighten the locking washer on the legs of the device.

Many washing machines use rear legs that self-adjust the position of the device from side to side.  Unfortunately, over time rust, dirt, and lint may build upon them and hamper their proper function.  It may be necessary to tilt the machine forward a little and drop it to the floor to jar the build-up on the legs loose.  If this does not work, it may be necessary to tilt the washing machine to the ground in front and tapping the legs with a hammer to loosen rust.

Most washing machines have self-adjusting rear legs that level from side to side, but dirt, lint, and rust may keep them from working correctly. If the back isn’t level, tip the washing machine up a few inches and then set it back down so the machine’s weight loosens the legs. If the device still doesn’t level out, the self-leveling support may be rusted against the washing machine frame. Tip the machine off the ground, then break the self-leveling support loose by tapping the legs.

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