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How do I do a maintenance wash?

(19 Posts)
MrsBosh Sat 12-Sep-15 17:54:58

Probably sounding embarrassingly clueless here, but how do I actually do the so-called washing machine maintenance wash? I've been inspired after a couple of recent threads and want my four month old machine to stay nice.

So far I've gathered to put it on empty with a hot temperature (I have 60 degree cycle - is that fine?) but do I put washing powder and fabric softener in the drawer as usual or do I just let the hot water work its magic on its own? confused

Thanks all!

GloriaHotcakes Sat 12-Sep-15 17:57:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Konserve Sat 12-Sep-15 18:00:54

just put on a boil wash with a couple of old hand towels.
if you are in a hard water area put in a cup full of white vinegar in the drum.

bookbook Sat 12-Sep-15 18:02:46

well, I do it a bit differently!
I gather up anything that I can to do a boil wash - my washer goes up to 90??, so its white damask tablecloths, cotton teatowels etc , washing powder and a calgon tablet.
But I do know others use vinegar, but I never have. On my 3rd washing machine in 40 years.

NattyGolfJerkin Sat 12-Sep-15 18:05:54

My machine never smells after a maintenance wash.

I run a 90 degree cotton programme (empty) with 1/2 powder & 1/2 soda crystals (measured in a scoop).

If there have been stomach bugs I run the maintenance wash with one of the Dettol washing machine cleaners instead.

About once a month (I do about 5-6 washes a week).

MrsBosh Sat 12-Sep-15 18:18:07

Ooh, thank you, everyone.

Oh dear, Gloria, that doesn't sound good. Hope you managed to get rid of the smell eventually?!

I'm keen to still give it a go and think I'll try with some old tea towels and cloths with a bit of powder. If it's successful I'll get some vinegar in to pop in with the next one (cheers for that tip, Konserve).
Apparently we are in a 'medium' water area according to some map I just Googled hmm hadn't heard of that before...

bookbook, third machine - that's amazing! Do you tend to go for the sme brand?

Natty, would you put the soda crystals in with the powder in the same drawer? I think I have some hiding in the cupboard...

Many thanks!

bookbook Sat 12-Sep-15 18:31:50

That was 90 degrees btw!
well, 1st one in the deep dark past was an Indesit- DH kept it going for years when we had no money to change , then 2 Mieles - I only got rid of the 1st after 18 years as I was having a new utility room done - never had either go wrong smile

wowfudge Sat 12-Sep-15 18:46:06

You can put powder/soda crystals in the drawer or the drum - doesn't really matter. If you use a very hot wash the machine will have a longer programme as it heats the water. Plenty of time for everything to dissolve. The soda crystals soften the water and help the powder dissolve more effectively. You could use soda crystals on their own as they are good at dissolving sludge.

I've done a maintenance wash once only - we are in an area with very soft water and I have always left the drawer and door open between washes. However after using some liquid detergent, although only for a short period, it was a bit less-than-fresh.

If your machine is smellier after the maintenance wash, do another - it will because the gunge has been dislodged but not completely removed.

MrsBosh Sat 12-Sep-15 19:12:56

Thanks for that advice, wowfudge.

I am guilty of doing most of my washes on the time saver mode, purely to obviously save time. I read that doing this is OK on occasion but not regularly, as it doesn't give the machine enough time to remove all the stuff in the pipes etc.

My resolution is to only use the time saver when I'm in a massive rush!

wowfudge Sat 12-Sep-15 22:14:56

I know what it's like to be short of time - I do things like put the washing on in the morning before I go to work or at night before bed. I tend to use the tumble dryer to dry most things too - far quicker than hanging stuff out and it rains so frequently I only hang things out if I am around. Plus very little to iron when you use a tumble dryer.

Someone will now say it's a fire risk leaving appliances on when you're not in the house, but my mum always did and we've never had an issue.

MrsBosh Sun 13-Sep-15 13:02:17

Haha, wowfudge! I actually had that exact same conversation with DH in bed last night.

DH: What's that noise?
Me: It's the washing machine, it's just finishing its cycle. I put it on a normal wash rather than quick mode
DH: [worriedly] But my mum always said you shouldn't leave appliances on whilst you're in bed or out of the house
Me: My mum always did - I'm sure it'll be fine, it's spinning now, it's nearly done
DH: Your fault then if it burns the house down

In all seriousness though, it is probably worth trying to avoid it isn't it. But you could send yourself mad worrying about all those kinds of 'should I, shouldn't I' things...

rabbit123 Sun 13-Sep-15 16:31:10

I put both our washer and dishwasher on over night. The only thing I won't put on overnight or leave on if we go out is the tumble dryer.

As for maintenance washes, if you use a decent powder detergent and not a liquid, avoid using quick wash and do regular hot washes at 60 or 90 degrees (bedding, towels, white cottons should all be washed on hotter cycles anyway), you'll never need to do it anyway.

TheOddity Sun 13-Sep-15 23:17:34

I just do a 90 wash every six weeks, cup of soda crystals in the drum, chuck in a couple of white hand towels to clean them too (they don't shrink). Done!

LucasNorthsTwiglets Sun 13-Sep-15 23:23:42

You're definitely not supposed to add any sort of detergent to a maintenance wash. Just run it empty on its hottest cycle, once a month - I always add soda crystals to both the drawer and the drum though.

MrsBosh Mon 14-Sep-15 20:04:44

Thank you, everyone for your help. Tomorrow is maintenance wash day!

didireallysaythat Mon 14-Sep-15 23:13:23

I've never done a maintenance wash. I only use the 30 minute cycle at 30C. I use liquid not powder. My machine is a non brand model, 17 years old, the only one Comet could deliver the next day. I live in a very hard water area (for 15 years with a water softener but we moved and the softener didn't).

I should be amazed my clothes are clean. Can't do a service wash now as I may jinx it all (and I've 10 white school shirts to wash every week because boys like to bring home lunch on their uniforms).

Davros Tue 15-Sep-15 15:55:17

I've never done one either and don't have a smelly machine or maintenance problems and I live in a hard water area. I opened this thread with excitement, thinking I will finally do it and here's where to find out how. I don't think I'll bother tbh, sounds like a waste of a proper washing opportunity and uses up energy for not much benefit. I could change my mind though if I could see real benefit

chumbler Tue 15-Sep-15 16:31:56

Hi! So thanks to all your wonderful advice a while back my washing is soooo much nicer! But... Is white wine vinegar the same as white vinegar?! blush

wowfudge Tue 15-Sep-15 22:38:46

They probably have the same effect - it's all acetic acid. White vinegar is distilled malt vinegar and clear. Cheaper than white wine vinegar.

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