Fix-It Guy: 3 Tricks to Double the Lifetime of Your Front-Load Washer


One in all my saddest duties as an appliance repair tech is breaking the news to a customer that it is going to cost over $500 to repair their front-load washer. I do know that almost definitely they are going to buy a recent machine and the broken washer will find yourself within the landfill. But a few of the most typical problems are easy to stop. These three suggestions can double the service lifetime of your front-load washer, saving you money and keeping it out of the landfill.

Tip 1: Avoid Washing Heavy Items

Front-load washers should last over 10 years, so consumers are understandably upset when their machines last only half that point. Often, on the four-year mark, a customer will tell me that their washer could be very loud and wobbly during high-speed spin: “My washer appears like a jet taking off during spin.” This all-too-common criticism is the death knell of the front-load washer. The issue is either a worn-out rear bearing or a broken spider support bracket. The identical practice causes each of those problems and it’s easy to avoid.

First, try this video to see the best way to test your washer for a worn-out bearing.

What causes your washer’s rear bearing to fail or the spider bracket to interrupt? Here is one potential perpetrator:

When wet, bath mats are too heavy to your machine’s spin cycle. Image credit:

Bathroom mats absorb a lot water that they grow to be much too heavy to your machine to spin. Washing them wears out the parts prematurely and cuts the washer’s life span in half.

Other items that may result in the premature death of your washer include:

Sleeping bags
Weighted blankets
Dog pads/mats

All the above are too heavy and beyond what your washer was designed to handle. But nowhere in your washer’s owner’s manual will it say anything about avoiding washing heavy items.

My customers ask, “How am I alleged to clean my large, heavy items?” My advice: Make the trek to the local coin-operated laundromat once a month; their big, robust machines can handle heavy-duty washing.

Tip 2: Keep Washer Door Open Between Washes

Countless front-loaders are thrown out annually attributable to an accumulation of black mold throughout the machine — particularly on the grey rubber door boot seal. Customers complain, “My clothes smell worse once they come out of the washer than after I put them in.”

Not only does the black mold smell really bad, but it surely also is usually a major health problem for many individuals.

Black mold in door boot seal of front-load washer
Black mold on the door boot seal. Photo credit:

Black mold is a standard problem with all front-load washer designs. It’s so pervasive that there are many class-action lawsuits against front-load washer manufacturers.

To stop water from leaking out of the machine when it’s running, the door is manufactured to be water-tight when it’s closed. Unfortunately, many individuals close the door once they finish using the washer. With the door closed, the within the washer is a warm, moist, air-tight environment that mold loves. And the rubber door gasket is an ideal matrix for the mold spores to latch onto.

This video shows the best way to replace the mold-covered door boot.

You’ll be able to easily avoid the mold problem with this easy tip: Keep your front-load washer door open when not in use. This enables airflow so the rubber door gasket can dry out between uses.

Some people have complained to me, “I can’t leave my washer door open because my cat will jump contained in the washer.” You don’t need to go away it wide open; it’s OK to go away it open by by as little as 1 inch.

LG front-door washer's magnetic door prop
LG washer’s built-in magnet holds the door open just 1 inch when not in use. Photo credit:

The photo above is of an LG washer that has a built-in magnet that holds the door open just 1 inch when not in use. LG made this modification in response to a class-action lawsuit.

One other practice that helps is wiping out the door boot with a small towel after each wash — especially the world at the underside of the rubber door boot where water collects.

I also suggest using Affresh washer cleaner once a month. Running a hot cycle with one Affresh tablet will prevent mold from forming. In case you already see mold on the gasket, run the identical procedure twice in a row. It’s very hard to remove black mold stains, however the Affresh cleansing cycle will remove the mold and also you’ll only have a mold stain remaining.

Tip 3: Clean the Glass Door Bowl After Each Load

Water leaking out below the door is probably the most common of those three front-loader issues. And it’s the simplest to resolve.

An accumulation of dirt, soap, and hair where the glass door meets the rubber door boot compromises the door’s watertight seal. Consequently, water dribbles out throughout the cycle, making a puddle in front of the washer.

You’ll be able to fix this in under a minute. Just take a wet washcloth and wipe the underside outside area of the glass door where it meets the rubber door boot as shown on this video: How To Stop Front Leak. Problem solved.

The silver lining to all three of those common front-load washer problems is that they’re easy to avoid. Just follow the following pointers to increase the lifetime of your front-load washer: Avoid washing heavy items, keep the door open when not in use, and clean the glass door bowl after each wash.

This text was originally published on September 24, 2021.

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