They're notoriously temperamental devices and it's generally no surprise to hear that someone's washing machine has kicked the bucket. But it may well be our fault – and not the machine's. For how indispensable they are, most of us are guilty of at least a few of the cardinal laundry sins.
So if you want your washing machine to last, ask yourself if you do any of the following.
1. You don't empty your pockets
When it comes to the spin cycle, metal coins left in pockets zoom around battering your washing machine's drum – and the glass if you have a front loader. Look at it like a bonus to clean clothes and a healthy machine – whoever does the wash, keeps the change. It's a win-win.
2. You leave the laundry in your washing machine for too long
Now this is a transgression many of us are guilty of. If you don't have the time or energy to hang your clothes out immediately, that's fine – but you should still remove them from the machine. Wet laundry belongs in a well-ventilated basket, not in your washer.
3. You never clean the filter
Let's be real about it – just think of all the awful things your washing machine has probably cleansed from your clothes. Sweat, blood, poo, wine, food, dirt, vomit – the list goes on.
If you don't clean your filter, there's little particles of all of those things that go through the wash with your other clothes, every single time.
4. You never clean your machine
As per the above, the washing machine can be a bit like a war zone. You clean your shower, so similarly, it's important to clean your machine. To do this, run an empty hot cycle without washing powder. Once the water has filled, add ½ cup of bicarbonate of soda and two cups white vinegar.
5. You overload your machine
Overstuffing your machine might seem efficient, but the poor contraption can only work so hard. Consistently forcing it to spin with too much weight inside will damage the suspension and shorten the lifespan of your appliance.
Be sensible when loading – if you have to start squashing it in to fit, you've gone too far.