The first step to maintaining your washing machine is removing mineral deposits and soap build-up from your appliance’s tub. To accomplish this, purchase pure citric acid crystals from your grocery store and run them in an empty load. Next, examine the tub, checking for any rust stains caused by nicks in the porcelain. There are several at-home options to repair this damage: cover the spot with a bit of enamel paint or clear nail polish, or purchase a porcelain repair kit from your hardware store. For more extreme cases of rust, you may want to consider a professionally installed plastic tub liner, which will extend the life of your machine.

Next, examine the washer’s hoses. Ensure that they are all in good shape and connected snugly at both ends. If your washer has rubber hoses, you may want to consider replacing them with braided stainless steel hoses, which last significantly longer. Begin your hose examination by turning off the water inlet valves and removing the hoses. At one end or the other, you should find a small screen filter made of fine mesh. These can become clogged with mineral build-up or other small debris. Simply scrub these clean and replace them in the hoses.

About the author: A resident of Ohio, Daniel Schemer has served as an appliance service technician for more than 25 years. Before joining this industry, Daniel Schemer worked in kitchen supply delivery and as a mason.


While properly functioning dishwashers may not qualify as necessary household appliances, many families would be lost without them. Dishwashers have a number of intricate parts, including hoses, filters, and valves, each of which play a critical role in the functioning of your appliance. Begin your maintenance routine by checking all the dishwasher’s hoses and gaskets, which can become loose, brittle, or worn over time, causing water to leak out. Next, check your air gap valve to make sure it is not clogged. After identifying the air gap, which typically has a chrome cover and is located between your sink and dishwasher, use a screwdriver and tweezers to remove any build-up.

Your dishwasher’s spray arm can also become clogged. Carefully remove the arm and use a wire to clear out any build-up in the arm’s holes. At this point, you should also clean your strainer and filter, which are often removable. Finally, scrub the strainer and filter with a brush before placing them back into their original positions.

About the author: A longtime appliance service technician, Daniel Schemer has worked for Sears, Maytag, and Whirlpool. In his free time, Mr. Schemer enjoys playing sports, especially hockey, and spending time with his children.

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