Wednesday, April 10, 2013

More on the washing machine

A while ago, I put out a cry for help about our washing machine. After lots of research, I discovered ours doesn't have one : ( The manufacturer just assumes everyone will consume lots of energy by drying everything in the dryer. We don't do that—especially sweaters and other delicates.

Based on that information, I figured that lint was just building up on the liner and the outer basket. I decided to take the thing apart and clean it. I hadn't played with a washer for almost 30 years, but I figured not much had changed...wrong! Or, I must have just forgotten everything... Anyway, ours is direct drive; all the ones I had played with were belt-driven. Plus, I couldn't figure out how to get the thing apart! I took out all the screws on the back; tried all kinds of things. Finally, I did what I should have done in the first place: searched the Internet.

I found lots of information of varying degrees of usefulness, accuracy, and usability. The best one, which led me to the other great one, was My Plastic Free Life. The post is hilarious, but very helpful. Her post led me to YouTube and British James. Most helpful, indeed. The first 12 seconds are redundant in all the videos, so skip them after the first time. Another site that was helpful on taking apart the cabinet was Repair Ave, but I preferred the video.

Fortified with the information from British James, I attacked the washer again (after putting it back together again!). Simple. But, if you have a newer machine with the screws in the back of the console, be sure to remove them completely. If you don't the screws will still grab enough to keep the thing from coming apart. I used diagonal cutting pliers (dikes) to get them out.

I got it apart and took the agitator out. I attempted to loosen the spanner nut with a screwdriver and hammer. Not a chance! I was starting to mushroom the nut, so I dropped some 3-in-1 oil on it and waited a while. Nope. Not gonna happen! Now what? It was Saturday, so I put everything back together again and ordered the right tool—which I should have done in the first place! It cost me about $15.00 with shipping from And I waited for it to arrive. It arrived on Wednesday or Thursday, but I didn't get back to the washer until the weekend.

It's amazing how much better things work with the correct tools! By now I was an expert at taking the thing apart, so I got it apart and attacked the spanner nut. It took a good bit of banging, but it came loose. But, trying to get the basket out was something else. I banged on the spindle, yanked on the bucket, shook the thing. Nothing moved. So, I poured some white vinegar down the spindle and let it work for a bit. And I prayed.

This time, I yanked and twisted it a bit. It moved, but didn't release. So, I twisted it some more and then yanked. It released! But that spindle was a mess! I cleaned it up and then began the task of cleaning the liner.

The liner was a mess! The top 3-5 inches was lined with black gunk that probably was lint—once upon a time! I attacked it with a very wet rag and a putty knife. I also cleaned up the basket and the removable lid that was over the bucket and liner. Stinky, smelly mess!

Once everything was clean, I put it all back together again. Just to make sure everything was working right, I ran it through a cycle with a bit of detergent. Looked good.

Debbie has done a couple of loads since then, and no lint anywhere. That's nice : )

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