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A Simple Explanation of Important Washing Machine Parts & Functions

Washing machines aren’t built like they used to be (thank goodness!), and today they’re truly very reliable kitchen appliances that rarely go wrong. This is great news for busy mums who don’t have the time to sit down and read the user manual from start to finish, learning about all the different washing machine parts.

However, for us matic moms, understanding a little about some of the more important functions could save a lot of hassles should we ever encounter a bit of difficulty using the machine.

As you probably already know, there are lots of different types of washing machine in India, and each washing machine is different to the next. The layout and functionality of a Samsung model may be quite different to that of an Electrolux, for example. This isn’t something to worry about. While there may be small differences, the basic washing machine parts and function buttons are pretty much the same across the board.  

The Most Important Washer Parts

Let’s forget about all the complex, internal parts of a washing machine – we’re not interested in the mechanics or the inner workings of the machine. All we really need to know is how the main parts and mechanisms work, so that should something go wrong, we have quite a solid idea about how to fix it without having to call a repairman.

Detergent Dispenser

On a front-loading machine, your detergent dispenser will usually be a pull out drawer, or (usually with a top-loading machine) it may be a part of the agitator. This drawer is pretty straightforward – it’s where you put your liquid or powdered detergent, whichever you choose to use, and your fabric softener.

It’s well worth giving your detergent drawer a clean every once in a while. Sometimes, not all of the detergent is pulled into the machine during a wash, and the remnants can start to clog up the drawer. Luckily, a quick wash with hot water is all you need to keep this part of your washing machine running smoothly.

Controls, Dials & Buttons

The range of buttons and dials on different washing machine models can be the stuff of nightmares for many mums, particularly if your new machine in no way resembles your old one. What button do you press? Which way should you point this dial?

Don’t worry! In many cases, you’ll have a temperature setting (e.g. 30 degrees celsius), a cycle setting (e.g. pre-wash cycle, rinse cycle and so on) and a fabric setting (e.g. a wool setting and a synthetics setting) – you’ll usually only need to focus on these three control panels, and they’re pretty self explanatory.

For special washes, such as if you need to use a hand wash setting or a sanitisation setting, you may need to delve a little deeper into the manual, but it’s not difficult to understand. If you notice your buttons and dials are beginning to stick, give the outside of your washing machine a wipe with a damp cloth and your favourite kitchen cleaner to remove any grime.

Safety Lock

If you’ve got a top-loading machine, then you can slip this part. The safety lock applies only to front-loading machines – the kind that small hands may attempt to force open when you’ve got your back turned for just a second! Your kids pay more attention to your everyday chores than you may think, and they know very well what button to press to open the machine, which can be disastrous if it’s mid-cycle. The Bosch Serie 2 Classixx includes a child lock, which can render the open button useless whilst the machine is running to prevent your kitchen or utility room from being flooded.

The Drum

The drum is the large, open area you load your dirty laundry into. It’s a relatively simple part to look after, as it’s essentially self-cleaning, but it doesn’t hurt to run a cloth around the inside of the drum every so often to remove any pieces of lint. Unfortunately, if your drum isn’t spinning it’s quite difficult to know why, as there are many reasons for a non-working drum, including worn brushes or a faulty motor. You may have to call a repairman if this is the case.

The Agitator

If you’ve got a front-loading washing machine, you don’t need to worry about this at all, as the drum alone agitates the clothes. If, however, you have a top-loading machine, the agitator is one of the most important washing machine parts. The agitator is the pole-like attachment that rises up in the middle of the drum, and its job is to move the clothes around the drum, using small blades to ensure every item of laundry is saturated and washed thoroughly. The agitator sits on a rotating ‘coupler’, which slots into the base and makes it spin. In time, the teeth that slot together can begin to wear down, and they don’t fit together as well any more. If you find your agitator stops spinning, it’s likely you will need to install a new coupler.

Water Hose

Semi automatic washing machine parts are slightly different to the parts in fully automated machines. This type of machine requires more manual input than its fully automated counterparts, including the need for water to be added and drained by hand. While all machines contain a water hose for draining water, you’ll become much more familiar with this hose if you’re using a semi automated machine. It’s very simple to use: it just involves angling the hose into the bucket to remove the water. If you experience any problems with your water hose, a blockage is the most likely option. Remove the hose, push through any lint or hair that’s become caught, and you should see a big difference. For more advice on using a semi automatic washing machine, check out this handy guide.  

Tips from Our Matic Moms about Different Washing Machine Parts

Our Matic Moms have a lot of helpful tips about using a washing machine and looking after different parts. Here’s what they had to say:

“Don’t leave your clothes in your washer for more than 24 hours – they will get musty and moldy.”

“To prevent colour stains, before washing clothes put half bucket water in a bucket with one spoon salt and soak clothes for five minutes.”

“Always use clean water for every wash; it will help you to clean your washing machine.”

“Always go for maintenance and checking of machine in every three months. This will help for longer stay.”

“Clean the drum of your washing machine once in every 15 days.”

“Always remove the filter and clean it once in while, to use washing machine cleaning to its fullest.”

“Understand why manuals are written and read them carefully.”

“I always remove finished loads immediately and do not let damp clothes sit in the machine. Also use right amount of detergent. I also keep the machine clean.”

“Nowadays, even top loading machines come with child lock. Filters are another very important part of washing machines.”

Do you have any advice on washing machine parts? How do you maintain your machine?