A washing machine is a valued possession every home needs to simplify the laundry process, whether it’s a classic top-loading washer or a modern front-loading washer.
Washing machines have long lifespans. How long it lasts depends on the manufacture date, the manufacturing purpose, the number of wash cycles, and the maintenance of the washing machine.
Average Lifespan of a Washing Machine
It’s hard to determine the actual lifespan of a washing machine because you can’t precisely quantify human laundry behavior.
The data from Consumer Reports states that the lifespan of a washer is ten years.
This figure is not entirely accurate.
Some washing models, especially the newer models, have an average life span of five to six years. Other models average 11 to 14 years; some can last two to three decades.
Another Way to Calculate the Lifespan of a Washing Machine
A more accurate way of calculating the lifespan of a washing machine is by using the specified number of wash cycles it can run before the machine breaks. The manufacturers usually provide this number, although it is getting harder to find it as the communication of this feature is buried underneath fancy technological advancements in washing machines.
Low-end washing machines can run up to 4000 wash cycles, average washing machines can run 5,100 wash cycles, while high-end washing machines can run over 8,000 wash cycles.
This wash cycle figure translates to the number of years by calculating the number of times you run a wash cycle in your machine per day or week.
An example of a family of four that washes once every day will translate to 365 wash cycles in a year. So, to calculate the average number of years a washer with 4,000 wash cycles would last, divide 4,000 by 365, which is almost 11 years.
This number will be lower or higher depending on the user’s laundry culture and the washing machine’s wash cycle capacity.
Factors that Affect the Lifespan of a Washing Machine
As difficult as it is to determine the average lifespan of a washing machine, we can identify some factors that affect it.
Price of the Washing Machine
Just like everything in life, low prices translate to quality. In the case of washing machines, they tend to have lessened wash cycles. This relationship between price and quality does not include special niche washing machines with reduced features.
If you want a fully functional washing machine with all the bells and whistles, you will have to invest in ones with longer wash cycles.
The Washing Machine Manufacturer’s Intent
As weird as it may be, manufacturers don’t build washing machines to last as long as they did in the past. Some can only run hundreds of wash cycles before they break down and need repair.
There are many reasons for this:
- Prioritizing profitability: Some manufacturers cut costs by using cheaper parts to make the machines, reducing the quality and thus the life span.
- Fast-moving consumer goods: In recent years, washing machines have become staples in most homes, increasing the number the manufacturers have to produce. This demand has led to a reduced focus on quality.
- More features: in the past, you couldn’t do some laundry in your washing machine without damaging the fabric, softness, absorbency, etc. These days, washing machines have more features like low heat and slow spin cycles to cater to specialized situations. This increased number of components can affect the durability of the washing machine.
However, some new washing machines can last for decades like in the past, with the added benefit of having modern features.
Use of the Washing Machine
It is logical to infer that using a washing machine more frequently lowers the wash cycle number. This metric is why measuring the lifespan of a washing machine based on the wash cycle and not the number of years is vital.
Additionally, washing machines used for commercial purposes like the ones in a Laundromat or dry cleaners last longer than those used for residential purposes.
Check if the features you require are available on a washing machine before purchasing it for your home.
How to Extend the Lifespan of a Washing Machine
As time goes on, your washing machine will start to suffer from good old-fashioned wear and tear. Your washing machine can still break down or slow down regardless of the price and number of wash cycles.
The easiest way to extend the lifespan of a washing machine is to take proper care of it. The washing machine comes with a detailed instruction manual telling you how to protect and preserve it even as you get the best use.
Some of the Ways to Take Care of Your Washing Machine
- Load the Washing Machine Appropriately
Putting the right amount of wash load in the washing machine is one of the most crucial things to consider when doing your laundry. Washing machines clearly show the capacity in weight to avoid unforeseen accidents.
Ignoring the capacity warning and loading more weight than the washing machine can carry will add more stress to the machine’s parts, causing a breakdown. Use a Laundromat or dry cleaner if you have heavy laundry, like comforters, that weigh more than the washing machine’s capacity.
Conversely, severely underloading the washing machine is not just a waste of resources and the wash cycle; it can mess with the balance of the washer, especially during the spin cycle.
- Make Sure You’re Using the Correct Amount of Detergent.
People have this innate need to believe that the more detergent used during laundry, the cleaner the clothes will be. This belief is inaccurate. When using a washing machine, use less amount of detergent.
The washing machine might be unable to rinse the detergent, leaving residue that will require more washing. Some of the extra detergents will remain in the washer, causing clogging or musty smells.
Check your instruction manual to ensure you’re using the correct detergent and the right amount of detergent for your washing machine.
High-efficiency washing machines require high-efficiency detergents to function. Using a different kind of detergent will overwork the washing machine because high-efficiency washers use less water.
- Clean the Washing Machine
Regular cleaning of the washing machine will prevent and remove the build-up of dirt, detergent residue, and hard water minerals that can cause more strain on the machine’s interior.
Most washing machines come with a tub cleaning cycle for this reason. Every week, run this tub cleaning cycle when the washing machine is empty; use bleach or a disinfectant with detergent while cleaning the washer.
Don’t forget to clean the door of the washing machine.
- Regular Washing Machine Maintenance
Practicing proper maintenance will leave your washing machine in the best care, which will extend its life span. Fortunately, washing machines come with instruction manuals to aid this process.
Get professional help the instant you notice something wrong to prevent a bigger problem.
Some maintenance practices are:
- Leaving the door open to keep the washing machine smelling fresh.
- Remove the clothes immediately after the wash cycle to prevent mold formation.
- Emptying the pockets of the clothes to ensure sharp objects don’t get into the washer.
- Check the hoses to see if they still fit well.
How to know it’s Time for a New Washing Machine?
All things being equal and with proper care of the washing machine, you would not need to schedule repair until after a couple of years.
Most times, the repair is rudimentary, but there are times when your washing machine is so bad that a repair might cost as much as a new purchase.
But how can you know it’s time for a new washing machine?
- Your Washing Machine Makes a Lot of Noise
When using a washing machine, you get accustomed to the noise during the spin or dry cycle.
However, there is an unusual noise the machine will make that signals trouble.
The noise could be mild, indicating overloading, the wrong setting, or an imbalance. These instances are manageable; you could reduce the load, change the wash setting, or balance the washing machine.
In severe cases, the noise is because of a problem with the tub. As the cost of this kind of repair runs high, it might make more sense to get a new washing machine.
- The Efficiency of the Washing Machine
Older washing machines are less efficient than newer ones but have more energy costs in the long run.
Nowadays, most washing machines are high-efficiency washing machines. They use less water, energy, and less detergent.
It might be time to upgrade your washing machine to take advantage of these benefits.
- Your Washing Machine is Leaking
Your washing machine starts leaking when the tub cracks. This crack is an exhaustive, expensive, and sometimes irreparable problem. The only solution will be to get a new one.
Although, the leakage problem can be undemanding with a loose hose or excess load that is easily repairable.
- Frequent Repair
If your washing machine requires a fix every other day, it’s time to say goodbye.