How to Use a Washer & Dryer Every Day

With the convenience of modern washers and dryers, it's hard to believe there was a time when cleaning clothes had to be done by hand. Take advantage of the wonders of modern technology by using the washer and dryer in the correct manner, which can benefit the environment, extend the life spans of the machines and even save money by reducing heating bills. To use a washer and dryer efficiently and productively, take a few extra minutes to get things done right.

Keys to clean laundry include not overloading and combining colors correctly.

Step 1

Sort whites and colors before washing.

Separate clothes into whites and colors, in addition to any other special classifications such as delicates for the washing and drying process. Try not to wash or dry too small of a load at one time, as it will waste water and power. Place the clothes to be washed or dried into the respective machine without overloading it, leaving at least several inches between the clothes and the top of the machine.

Step 2

Make sure to wash and dry on the proper settings.

Check the buttons and instructions on the washing machine and dryer to see which settings work best for the type of clothes being washed. Most machines have special options for certain types of fabrics and the life of clothes can be extended by washing and drying them correctly. Just throwing stuff in the machine and turning it on a random cycle can result in shrunken or otherwise ruined clothes.

Step 3

Avoid using an excessive amount of detergent when washing clothes.

Add detergent to the washing machine according to the label on the detergent box or bottle to see how much is recommended for each load. If you are only washing a few items, use less, as a little can go a long way.

Step 4

Running a washing machine on empty can help clean it out.

Clean the washing machine to keep it from developing odors and otherwise getting grimy. If the washer has a drawer for laundry detergent and soap, wipe it out with a damp cloth and gently scrape away any accumulated gunk or scum. Consider purchasing a commercially produced washing machine cleaning product and running it through the machine on a hot water wash cycle on empty. A splash of vinegar can also be tossed in the machine before running it, sans clothes, which will help remove odors and any buildup. Also clean the machine's filter regularly to keep it from getting clogged and wipe off the exterior of the machine with a wet cloth and mild cleanser, if needed.

Step 5

Emptying the lint trap on a dryer can make it more energy efficient.

Clean the dryer by emptying the lint trap and removing bits of fuzz, fluff and anything else that may have collected. If the trap is particularly dirty, wash it in the sink and allow it to dry thoroughly before replacing it in the machine. Wipe down the exterior of the dryer, if needed, with a wet cloth and a gentle cleaning solution.

About the Author

Hallie Engel is a food and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in several international publications. She served as a restaurant critic for "Time Out Abu Dhabi" and "Time Out Amsterdam" and has also written about food culture in the United Arab Emirates for "M Magazine." She holds a bachelor's degree in communications and film studies from University of Amsterdam.