Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How Cleaning Your Washing Machine Filter Can Be Fun and Profitable

Let me begin by saying there's not one fun thing about cleaning your washing machine filter (WMF).
I lied to lure you in. It can, however, be profitable.
Soon you will see how.

Before we get to that, let me explain how I ended up cleaning my WMF.
The morning chores began by cleaning the lint filter on the dryer. Then I remembered a post by Carson over at 7MSN regarding her dryer and lint buildup. I decided to pull the dryer out from the wall and get serious about cleaning the filter, and exhaust filter.

Here's what I found in the exhaust filter outlet.
It's the round thingy in the wall behind the dryer.

I decided since I was in the room anyway, and hadn't cleaned the WMF in over a year, I'd do that as well.

I learned several years ago, after a particularly bad run of luck with appliances, that these 3 tiny holes are NOT the only washing machine filter my machine has. That would be contrary to the "troubleshooting" guide the manufacturer provides. As far as they are concerned, this is the only way out for all the water and anything that might be left in a pocket.

Here is the real filter. The one a repairman comes out (at $95 just to walk in the door) and checks.
Where is it located, you ask? The owners manual doesn't even hint where it might be. In fact, they never hint that it exists at all.
Luckily, the repairman from Sears (ssshhh, he didn't really tell me) took pity on me and showed me. He'd been out to the house several times that summer. I guess he figured I was about to run out of money.
That filter is under the machine. The white panel is removable. The hole you see in the lower right area, is where real filter lives.

When I pulled it out, out came about a quart of terribly stinky water and miscellaneous stuff.
Ah, but what is that sitting so pretty in my "doesn't exist" filter?
A $10 bill!
That's where the profitability of this exercise come in. Since there was no one nearby to claim it, the Finders-Keepers rule comes into play.
In other words, I am now the proud owner of an icky $10 bill!

Technically, I'm the owner of $10, a nickel, a paper clip, a bobby pin, a bandaid, several gum wrappers and a pile of pocket lint.

All silliness aside.
I'm sure I will be saving money on the fact that my washing machine can now work at its best. The barrel cannot function properly if it's sloshing around a quart of extra water that it can't get rid of. Also, my clothes will be able to get clean again. Since that water has nowhere to go, it just sits and sloshes around with each new load of laundry.
Can you say "EEeewww"?

PS...If you do this, don't forget a large towel. A quart of stinky water on your laundry room floor takes all the fun out of finding ten bucks.


  1. I have this exact same washer - thanks for the info!

  2. Thanks for the info. I had a huge build up of "slime" on the inside of my washer that made my washer and the clothes stink. Had a repair man come out for another problem and had him help me scrape away the slime. Washer now smells good again

  3. EEeewww-----the detritus and debris humans create. But a very informative post. I'm almost afraid to check out my WMF but the lure of $10 is very tempting. I have long claimed the combination of detergent and denim in an automatic washer creates coins. And when it comes to the washing machine, the Finders-Keepers rule is in force at my house as well.

  4. Score! But it looks like funny money!

  5. Now you've set me thinking! I think you have to be up for this kind of activity, - in the mood for the towels and the filter search, and even the search for the manual. Exhausted just thinking about it! Seems like the dentist - you put it off but feel so much better after it's done.

  6. Wanna come clean mine, mine's different than yours and I have NO idea how to do it... can you just come already?!

  7. GOSH! I DID NOT KNOW THIS at all! Now I'm on the hunt for a filter!!!


  8. Wow - $10.05 - plus a paper clip and bobby pen! Not bad for a job you weren't even expecting to get paid for :) This is one of those jobs we put off forever around here, but your post has motivated me.