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Chapter One: Care and Control of the Washing Machine
How difficult can it be? You add water and detergent, drop in the clothes, select the cycle and walk away. When you come back the clothes are clean. Okay...but have you ever considered how clean your washing machine is after all that hard water and all those dirty clothes?
Your washer needs some TLC from time to time, especially if you have hard water in your area. So if the clothes seem dull and gray, maybe you don't need that new and improved detergent. Maybe all you need to do is clean the washing machine. Here's the easiest way I know.
Fill the washer with hot water. Add 1 quart of chlorine bleach (no detergent, please). Run the washer through the longest wash cycle. When the washer is still wet -- this should be immediately after the bleach cycle -- add 1 quart of white vinegar and run the washer through the same cycle again. This will clean out soap scum and mineral deposits from the spin basket and also from the hoses. If you live in an area with hard water you really need to do this every three months -- otherwise, every six months will do. You'll be amazed at the difference it will make.
If you start to notice little brown, rusty-looking spots on clothes when they come out of the washing machine, well, it probably is rust! Look your spin basket over carefully when this occurs, and check for any chips in the finish. Chipped areas rust and transfer to clothes, and the only way to remedy this problem is to replace the spin basket. Check with your appliance dealer and be sure to get the right basket for your machine. And a word of caution: Take care when using detergent balls or fabric softener balls. They can chip the spin basket with their weight.
For information on removing rust stains from clothes, turn to the spotting section. It's easier than you think.Copyright © 2001 by Linda Cobb