How to make your washing machine last longer

We hope our guide on how to make your washing machine last longer will help you to keep your washing machine in the best position to stand the test of time. This article will cover tips and tricks on how to avoid common mistakes that can decrease the longevity of your machine such as; overloading, using hard water and using too much detergent.

How long do washing machines last?

Of course, the lifespan of a washing machine varies with every unit and household, and various other factors will affect the number of years your washing machine may be active for.

A 2018 survey conducted by Consumer Reports found that around 30% of all newly purchased washing machines are likely to develop problems or break within the first five years, despite the same survey finding that Consumer Reports members expect a washing machine to last 10 years, on average.

a pregnant lady and her husband looking at the washing machine

Common culprits for shortening the life of your washing machine

We all know that if you treat your appliances well, they’ll last much longer, but many of us probably don’t even realise we’re doing things that could shorten the lifespan of our washing machines. Keep the following pointers in mind to help your unit run like new for longer and save you money on repairs and energy costs.


Sometimes you just want to get as much washing done as possible. You may be under the impression that putting lots of clothes into the washing machine will save money on energy because you aren’t having to do multiple washes. However, be mindful that you are not overstuffing the washing machine, because that means clothes are not able to move around freely and get clean, as they can’t get properly soaked in water and laundry detergent.

So not only are your clothes not being suitably cleaned, but applying this extra stress on the machine could throw the spinning drum out of alignment. Washing machine drums have a weight limit and overloading them too frequently can inflict damage on the motor, which can lead to expensive repairs.

Using too much detergent

Using too much washing detergent can leave stains and residue on your clothes, which you may then need to replace.

In addition to this, using too much detergent takes its toll on your washing machine too – doing so makes the pump and motor work extra hard to remove excess suds, meaning malfunctions are more likely. These suds can also block the draining system, inhibiting the machines ability to pump out water, leaving more suds behind.

Other problems caused by excess detergent use include an unpleasant lingering odour which is caused by trapped excess residue.

Not checking your pockets

Be sure to check all your pockets before putting your clothes in the washing machine. Remove all items, especially coins or other metal objects which can get spun around your machine, hitting the drum and glass door with vigorous force. Damage to the inner drum can tear and pull your clothes, whilst damage to the outer drum can lead to leaks.

Hard water in your appliances

Hard water causes limescale, and limescale build-up reduces the performance of your machine as it first has to heat the limescale before it can effectively heat the water. This causes problems for the heating element of the machine and over time, this limescale could stop the machine from working altogether. British Water report that a 1.6mm coating of limescale on a heating element can make your washing machine up to 12% less effective and more likely to burn out.

How to make your washing machine last longer and save money

If you are serious about saving money on your washing machine in the long term, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and follow our tips above to help elongate its lifespan. Consider investing in a water softener, which will not only run softer, appliance-friendly water through your washing machine, helping it to last longer, but other household appliances that use water such as toilets, showers and dishwashers and even your pipes can also benefit.

water softener works by removing the magnesium and calcium present in your water supply through a process of ion exchange and is installed by one of our fully qualified plumbers. You can have a water softener installed under the sink, in the loft, in the garage or outside – whichever suits you best.