Free and clear (warning- laundry tips ahead)

Here at the Highlander Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast, we try to keep all of the rooms, even the 2 pet friendly ones, free of allergens.  That’s one reason we have individual mini-splits (wall mounted Air conditioner/heaters that have a personal remote control) in each room and we ask that guests do not open the windows, which lets in pollen from outside that can attach itself to drapes and upholstery.  Our pillows and duvet inserts are all hypoallergenic as well and we use ECO-friendly, hypoallergenic laundry detergent in our washes.  We don’t add fabric softener to our high thread count sheets because of the damage that is done by softeners.

While on the subject of laundry, I have been asked in the past why I like the front load washers and how I keep them running when other people have had so much trouble with them.  The trick, I think, is to keep them clean and dry and to do some easy maintenance on them regularly.  See the following if you are interested in some tips:

Front of washer

First thing that you should be doing is leaving the door OPEN when not in use.  This is the easiest way to keep from getting those stale smells from mold and mildew.

Use an absorbent rag to dry out ring

You should also be cleaning and drying the rubber gasket after each use. Go all the way around the gasket.

Drain holes catch whatever is too big to drain.

Also before or after use, make sure the drain holes are clean.  (I cannot begin to tell you all of the things I have had to dig out of these while using laundromats when we travel in our camper! UGH!!)   Just use a paper towel or your fingers to pull whatever is in there, out.

Speaking of the drain, on a regular basis, you should be cleaning out the drain filter.  It would be advisable to do this if your machine starts having trouble draining all the water, at least.

Here are the steps to this:

Where the filter hides on this machine

First find out where your filter is at.  On this machine, it’s behind this little door.  If you didn’t know what it was, you might not know you can get in there and do this stuff, but it’s easy.

This one opens with that little latchy thing on top:

Opened hatch

Next, find something to accumulate the water that will inevitably come rushing out all over your floor.  I used a Cookie sheet so that I can get it under the machine somewhat.  It might be easier to control the water if you can take off the cover and/or you might want to put a towel under the cookie sheet or instead of it.

Cookie sheet with door off

Now you have to get the filter basket out.  This one looks a bit like some refrigerator water filters and it’s a black dial that you turn. Lefty-loosy, righty-tighty.

Filter cover

Filter basket

Once you get the knob turned until it comes out, pull out the filter and check it for debris.  I have found cellophane wrappers in this thing that was keeping the water from draining.  Cellophane, plastic and rubber are big water blockers but enough hair in here will screw up your wash too.

After you clean out the filter basket, just reverse what you have done.  Put the filter back in and tighten it. Tighten it GOOD or you could have leaks when you use the washer.  Put the cover back on and close it.  Get that water out of the cookie sheet and pick up your towels.  That’s it!!

You should also be running your cleaning cycle on a regular basis.  If you don’t have a cleaning cycle, then you can do the same thing with cleaner and your hot cycle.  If you don’t want to use Bleach (which most manufacturers recommend for cleaning cycles), you can use a combination of vinegar and baking soda.  Just mix up about 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/4 cup of water and put this in where the detergent goes. Then pour a couple cups of white vinegar into the tub.  Now run your cleaning cycle or hot cycle.  If you already have some mildew built up in there, this should help (I also use vinegar and baking soda for clearing drains!).  After the cleaning cycle, remember to dry out the door Gasket and LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN!

Have a good day!