Buying a brand new washer and dryer is easy, but costly. Especially for first-time homebuyers who are already spending a ton of money just on the house itself! There are other options out there when it comes to buying a washer and dryer, it just may take some time and research. I’m going to share with you where the best places are to find them and how to do a general cleaning of them.
BUYING A USED WASHER & DRYER
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY USED APPLIANCES & HOW YOU CAN FIND THEM
Buying new appliances can cost you a pretty penny. However, there are other options out there that will save you $1000 or more. For one, you can buy appliances from a refurbishing store. They are used but depending on the store you choose to buy from they should be in good working condition. You can also find some great items at yard sales and estate sales. Lastly, a great option is looking at websites such as craigslist and Facebook Market. This way you can find people in your area that are selling their used appliances.
I personally like Facebook Market because it holds more credibility for the seller. You can see who the seller is, their selling history on Facebook, and if you have mutual Facebook friends. You can also direct message them on the website which keeps you from having to give out your personal phone number or email. This is the option I chose when looking for my used washer and dryer and it worked out great. You will find that many people will be selling all different kinds of appliances. If you have done your research on what you are looking for it is easier to narrow down the ones worth taking the time to look at.
A FEW THINGS I RECOMMEND BEFORE PURCHASING A USED WASHER & DRYER:
- Google reviews on different brands and models to see which ones have the best reviews. You should also read reviews on whether you want a top or front loading washing machine.
- Compare the price between different sellers of similar products to make sure you are getting the best deal. You should consider how old the appliance is and if it needs any repairing.
- If they did not mention it in their description, I would ask the seller their reason for selling the appliance. If it is because the appliance is not working properly, then I would choose not to buy that specific one unless you are willing to fix the problem.
- Make sure you identify what type of dryer hook up you have in your house because a dryer can either be electric or gas. That is also something to ask the seller if they did not put that in their description.
CLEANING A USED WASHER & DRYER
CLEANING PRODUCTS TO USE
- Clorox Wipes
- Dawn Dish Soap
- All-Purpose Spray
- Scrub Brush
- Vinegar/Water Spray Mix (optional)
AREAS OF THE DRYER to clean
Lint Filter & Lint Compartment
One thing that the seller said to me when I bought my washer and dryer, is that I might want to look into getting a new lint filter for the dryer. At the time I didn’t really think about why she said that I just figured I would deal with it later. Well, when I got home and saw that the lint filter did not fit properly in the lint compartment, I realized why she mentioned that. It felt like the filter was catching on something inside of the compartment because it wouldn’t close completely. So I took a flashlight to the inside of the compartment and the amount of lint buildup was appalling. There was so much lint and dirt stacked at the bottom and sides of the compartment, the filter did not have space to close.
That brings me to discuss the first area of cleaning your dryer. Not only should you remove the lint from the filter after every use, but you should also vacuum the compartment regularly to remove excess lint that falls in there. I am kicking myself for not taking before pictures. However, here are the after pictures so you can see exactly what I am talking about. Below is the amount of lint that I vacuumed out of that compartment. I kid you not, I cleaned my vacuum out before vacuuming the dryer and this is how much lint was in it. Guess what? The filter fits perfectly now!
Another area to vacuum would be where the large foil tube connects at the back of the dryer. I removed the foil tube and shook it over a trash can. Then, I vacuumed the inside of the hole where the tube connects. I maneuvered the hose of my vacuum as far in as possible to get out all of the lint that was sitting at the bottom of the dryer.
After all the lint vacuuming was done, I soaked and scrubbed the lint filter with hot water and dawn dish soap. If you want to use a brush to scrub your lint filter like I did, I suggest scrubbing softly because you do not want to tear any holes in the filter.
The last thing I did to clean this area of the dryer was use Clorox wipes to wipe down the inside of the lint compartment. It had quite a bit of dirt buildup on the plastic, so I squeezed my hand in the compartment while holding a Clorox wipe and cleaned as much of the area as I could. I also used a screwdriver to push the wipes around to get in the corners and small crevices that I could not reach with my hand. A small brush with water and soap could help with that area too!
- Clean your lint filter and lint compartment regularly
- Vacuum out lint compartment
- Vacuum inside the hole of the back of your dryer where the large foil tube leads out of
- If there is dirt buildup on the lining of the lint compartment, use cleaning wipes or a thin brush to help remove the dirt
- Soak and gently scrub the lint filter with hot water and soap
On the inside of the door you will find a rubber piece that wraps around the dryer window. You can remove this rubber piece by gently pulling it out of the grooves that it fits in. Before removing it, I would look for a seam like mine has. Or you can make your own small mark on it somewhere that you can identify where to start putting it back in after it has been cleaned. Once removed, I wiped it down with a Clorox wipe and then let it soak in hot water with dawn dish soap. I also used Clorox wipes to clean the door itself and where the rubber piece. After the rubber piece was clean, I pushed it back into the grooves beginning with where the seam or mark was and worked my way around.
Next, I cleaned the space between the plastic of the door’s window and the metal of the door where they meet (pictures below). Normally you probably shouldn’t have to do this. However, in my situation this small crevice was filled with dirt and lint packed together. To remove the dirt I used a razor blade from a box cutter and gently scraped it out. If you don’t have a razor blade, you can use a flat head screwdriver or a tough bristle brush. As I scraped and loosened the dirt, I would use my vacuum to suck up the dirt along the area. Please use caution if you use a razor blade because they are very sharp. Wearing protective gloves while holding and using the blade is highly recommended.
- Remove rubber piece around the dryer door and clean with hot water and soap
- Clean area of where the rubber piece was with an all-purpose spray or Clorox wipes
- Scrape out dirt from the space between the door’s window and the metal of the door where they meet
Drum of Dryer
The inside of my dryer looked very clean. However, because it is a used appliance I still wanted to at least wipe it down. So I just sprayed it with an all-purpose cleaner and wiped it down. A lot of times a film can appear on the inside of the machine from using fabric softener and dryer sheets. To help remove the film, you can spray the drum with a mixture of half water and half white vinegar. Wipe it clean and then keep the door open to let it air out for a while.
CLEANING AREAS OF THE WASHING MACHINE
Detergent, Fabric Softener, & Bleach Containers
These are fairly simple to clean. I removed the containers from the washing machine. Then, soaked them in hot water with dawn dish soap. After soaking, I scrubbed them with a brush and let them air dry. I sprayed the compartments of where the containers go with an all-purpose spray and wiped them clean. You can use the water and vinegar mix to clean these areas as well.
Drum of Washing Machine
Same as the dryer, you can spray the washer’s drum with an all-purpose cleaner or the water and vinegar mix, then wipe it down. Just make sure if you use the vinegar mix you keep the door open to let it air out. If you pull the drum to one side, you can see the top of the drum has a plastic lip on it that can collect dirt and grime. To clean this area just pull the drum from side to side while wiping around the plastic with the all-purpose cleaner or soap and water. It is hard to reach in some areas so just use your hand with a wipe or towel to clean in there as best as you can. A flat brush might be helpful to reach that area as well.
Lastly, don’t forget that once you hook up your new washing machine, to do a cleaning cycle before washing your clothes. Do this regularly to help keep it clean and to keep bacteria from growing. I hope you enjoyed reading about the ways you can clean your washer and dryer! Please remember that this is a general cleaning of a used washer and dryer. I am not an appliance expert, however the areas I mentioned are what I found to need the most attention in my own situation. All of my recommendations are based on my experience and are not professional advice. Hopefully you found this information to be helpful and I appreciate any feedback. Also, if you have more tips for cleaning these appliances please share in the comments below!
P.S. If you enjoyed reading this blog, you should check out Tips for First-Time Homebuyers!