Washing Machine Care: 16 Tips to extend the lifespan

A washing machine is a necessary home item that makes our lives simpler.

It not only helps to clean our garments efficiently but also saves a lot of time.

However, just like any other machine, a washing machine too requires adequate maintenance so that it performs well and lasts a long time.

In this post, we will cover the possible ways to extend the life of your washing machine and make sure it operates at its optimum level.

Average washing machine lifespan

A washing machine usually lasts anywhere between 10 and 15 years. However, this can vary depending on factors such as usage frequency, maintenance, and the quality of the machine.

One of the main reasons for a washing machine’s lifespan is the wear and tear of its components.

Over time, the drum bearings, motor, and other mechanical parts can become worn and eventually fail.

Additionally, the electrical components of the washing machine, such as the control board and wiring, can also deteriorate over time and require replacement.

The quality of the appliance, the materials it’s made of, and how often it’s used are among the most important factors that influence its overall longevity.

Machines that are made with high-quality parts and modern engineering are more likely to last longer than those manufactured using cheaper components (usually done to keep the overall cost down).

Another important thing that affects how long a washing machine lasts is how well it is taken care of (the maintenance aspect).

In general, washing machines are made and designed to last a long time.

The machine’s outside and inside parts are made of strong plastic and metal, which increases the machine’s durability and makes it resistant to wear and tear.

Following best practices like performing regular maintenance, not overloading the machine, and using the right detergent and cycle settings, can reduce wear and tear and make the machine last longer.

Factors Affecting the Lifespan of a Washing Machine

Several factors can impact the lifespan of a washing machine, including:

Frequency of Use

The more often you use your washing machine, the faster it will wear out.

If you have a large family and do laundry frequently, your washing machine may not last as long as someone who only does laundry once a week.

Type of Machine

When we talk about the “type of washing machine,” it simply refers to the design and make of the washer.

Not all washing machines are made the same; some use agitators while others use impellers.

So, the overall design, i.e., front-loading or top-loading, and the drive technology used in the washer strongly influence the washing performance, energy efficiency, budget, and most importantly, the lifespan.

Quality of the machine

The quality of the washing machine you purchase can also impact its lifespan.

Cheaper models may not last as long as higher-end models.

Some manufacturers may offer the best features at a competitive price, but the build quality may be compromised.

So, do a thorough check by inspecting the exterior and interior before deciding to get one.


Proper maintenance is crucial to extending the lifespan of your washing machine.

Regular cleaning and inspections can prevent problems before they become more significant.

Hard Water

If you live in an area with hard water, it can cause buildup in your washing machine’s pipes and reduce its lifespan.

How to extend the lifespan of a washing machine?

Avoid Overloading

One of the common reasons why washing machines break down is overloading.

When you load the washer with clothes, it’s important to keep it at or below the recommended capacity to prevent strain on the machine’s motor and other components, which can cause damage and reduce its lifespan.

Overloading the washing machine can cause the water level to rise too high, which can put pressure on the motor and other parts of the machine.

So, leave a decent amount of space so that the clothes can agitate freely inside the washer.

Remove the clothes once the cycle is complete

Leaving clothes in the washing machine for too long can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, causing unpleasant odors and stains on the clothes.

Additionally, the weight of damp clothes can also cause the drum to become unbalanced, leading to excessive wear on the machine’s components and potentially causing it to break down or require expensive repairs in the long run.

The weight of wet clothes in the drum may not have an immediate impact, as it takes a while for the damage to build up over a period of time.

To avoid these issues, it’s important to remove clothes promptly after the cycle has finished and leave the machine door open to allow air to circulate.

Use the Right Detergent

To be honest, using the wrong detergent can cause your washing machine to malfunction in the long run.

Even though the effect may not happen right away, everything builds up over time, causing the internal parts to get clogged and damaged.

It is important to use the right type of detergent that is suitable for your washing machine.

Therefore, always read the label on the detergent bottle as well as the user manual of the washer in order to ensure that you are using the right method and detergents to wash your clothes.

Also Read: Can front load detergents be used in top load washers?

Ensure checking the pockets

Not checking pockets and zips before washing clothes can cause damage to a washing machine.

Small items like coins, keys, or other objects can become lodged in the machine’s drum or pump, causing damage and loud noises.

Additionally, if zippers are left unzipped, they can catch on other clothes and cause them to become tangled or torn, potentially damaging the machine’s drum or agitator.

Clean the lint filter

The lint filter in your washing machine collects lint, hair, and other debris that can clog the machine.

It is important to clean the lint filter after every wash to prevent buildup and ensure the machine runs smoothly.

Clean the washing machine regularly

Beyond just enhancing the cleanliness of your clothes, maintaining a hygienic interior of your washing machine is vital for its longevity.

Over time, washing machines can develop a buildup of detergent, dirt, and grime.

Also, bacteria like E.coli can linger and compromise both your garments and the machine itself.

To prevent this from happening, it is essential to clean your washing machine regularly.

You can use a washing machine cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to clean the machine.

These natural cleaning agents will help sanitize the interior, preserving the machine’s components and ensuring a fresh laundry experience each time.

Make sure the washer is level

An unlevel washing machine can cause excessive vibration and shaking during operation, potentially leading to damage to the machine’s drum bearings, motor, and other components.

This can cause the machine to malfunction or break down entirely.

An unlevel machine can also cause the door to become misaligned or damaged, leading to leaks or other issues.

Properly leveling the machine before use can help prevent damage and prolong its lifespan.

Only wash machine-washable items

Washing non-machine-washable items or items that are not suitable for the washing machine can potentially damage both the item being washed and the machine itself.

Delicate items or items with embellishments like sequins or buttons can cause damage to the item or the machine’s drum.

Similarly, washing items with heavy stains or materials like mud, sand, or gravel can cause damage to the machine’s pump or drain.

It’s important to only wash machine washable items in the washing machine to avoid damaging either the item being washed or the machine.

Following the washing instructions on clothing labels and the user manual of your washing machine can also help prevent unnecessary wear and tear on the machine’s components.

Stay away from limescale buildups

Limescale buildup can damage the heating element in a washing machine, causing it to take longer to heat up or not heat up at all, leading to decreased cleaning effectiveness and potential machine breakdown.

In order to get rid of limescale build-ups, you can run a hot water cycle along with baking soda.

If your washer does not have the option to run a hot water cycle, just pour the hot water manually into the drum and run the regular cycle by adding some baking soda solution to it.

Also Read: How to descale a washing machine?

Check the hoses

The hoses that connect your washing machine to the water supply can deteriorate over time due to aging and regular wear and tear, causing leaks and other issues.

It is essential to check the hoses regularly and replace them if you notice any signs of wear and tear.

Balance the load

Imbalanced loads can cause your washing machine to vibrate excessively, which can damage the machine.

To prevent this, it is important to balance your load properly before starting the wash cycle.

Don’t slam the door

Slamming the door of your washing machine can cause the latch or locking mechanism to become misaligned or damaged.

This can prevent the door from properly closing, which can lead to leaks or other issues during operation.

Repeated slamming of the door can also cause the machine’s control board to malfunction.

The control board is responsible for regulating the machine’s cycles and controlling the timing of different operations.

If the board becomes damaged due to repeated slamming, it may need to be replaced in order for the machine to function properly.

Also Read: How to know if the washer’s control board is bad?

Guarding Against Pocket Hazards

The key to safeguarding your washing machine from potential damage lies in the simplest of actions i.e, checking pockets before loading.

Coins, keys, and other small objects inadvertently left in pockets can wreak havoc on the delicate mechanisms of your machine.

Regularly inspecting and emptying pockets before each wash cycle can prevent these items from causing costly internal damage.

Addressing Drainage Concerns

To prevent potential drainage issues, our recommendation is to have a skilled repairman inspect your drain pipes for lint build-up.

This proactive step can mitigate potential blockages and ensure smooth water drainage.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using and maintaining your washing machine. This will help prevent problems and prolong its lifespan.

Additionally, it’s always a wise idea to go through the user manual at least once, as it contains important information on how to properly use and maintain the product, which can further prevent potential issues and ensure its longevity.

Call a Professional

If you notice any signs of wear and tear on your washing machine, it is important to call a professional.

A professional appliance repair person can not only diagnose the exact issue but also recommend the best course of action to fix it.

Are washing machine cleaners necessary?

You can always use a homemade solution, like a mixture of vinegar and water or baking soda and water, to clean the washer.

So, a washing machine cleaner may not be a mandatory thing, but it can certainly help prolong the appliance’s lifespan by keeping it clean and fresh.

By preventing limescale and mineral deposits from building up, a good quality washing machine cleaner or even a homemade solution like vinegar and hot water can get rid of the unpleasant odors caused by dirt, grime, and bacteria.

Ultimately, whether or not to use a washing machine cleaner is a personal decision, but it can certainly aid in maintaining a healthy and hygienic cleaning routine.

Also Read: How to use Affresh washing machine cleaner?

Final Thoughts

Knowing the average lifespan of a washing machine and the factors that influence its longevity can help you plan for future repairs or replacements.

While you can’t control every factor, following the manufacturer’s instructions, using the right detergent, performing regular maintenance, and avoiding overloading can all help extend the life of your washing machine.

You can save money and avoid the hassle of unexpected breakdowns by properly maintaining your washing machine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth repairing a 7-year-old washing machine?

Consider the cost of repairs, the machine’s condition, and your own preferences when deciding whether to fix or replace a washer that is seven years old. Repairing may be preferable if the cost of doing so is less than the cost of purchasing a new equivalent appliance and the appliance in question has been properly maintained. However, if the cost of repair is excessive or the equipment has additional problems, it may be more economical to replace it.

How do you preserve a washing machine?

To preserve a washing machine, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, avoid overloading, clean it regularly, check hoses for damage, keep it dry, and run a hot water cycle with vinegar or cleaner every few months. Likewise, refrain from using harsh chemicals or abrasive washing machine cleaners.

Can a washer last 30 years?

It’s possible for a washing machine to last up to 30 years, but it’s rare. The average lifespan of a washing machine is around 10-15 years, and factors such as usage, maintenance, and quality of the machine can affect its lifespan. Also, you may need a lot of repair work if you plan to keep the washer for that long and it may not be cost-effective in the long run to do so.

Why top load washers are better?

Top-load washers may be preferable for some people due to their affordability, ease of use, and lower maintenance requirements. They are also better for washing bulky items and typically have shorter wash cycles. However, front-load washers are more water-efficient, use less detergent, and provide a more thorough clean, making them a better choice for some users.

How long does a Bosch washing machine last?

On average, a Bosch washing machine can last for more than 10 years. However, there are several factors that can influence the overall lifespan, including frequency of usage, maintenance, and the type of water your location has.

Can hard water damage my washing machine?

Yes, hard water can cause buildup in your washing machine’s pipes, reducing its lifespan.

Should I repair or replace my washing machine if it breaks down?

It depends on the age of your washing machine and the cost of repairs. If your machine is older and the cost of repairs is high, it may be more cost-effective to replace it.

Hemant Sarkar is a seasoned techie with a diploma in computer science and an impressive track record of over 15 years in dealing with speakers, kitchen appliances, and various home appliance-related issues. He is widely recognized for his exceptional expertise in repairing dryers and washing machines from all major brands. In addition to his appliance repair prowess, Hemant maintains engaging blogs on topics related to music and speakers. For any inquiries or assistance regarding appliances or tech-related matters, you can reach out to him at: hemant (at) theportablelaundry.com.