Washer and dryer careAs a homeowner, your fingers are crossed that you get the most value from your appliances, especially ones you use regularly, like your washer and dryer. You want them to live a good, long life before you have to replace them.

But how long can you really expect your washer and dryer to last? The answer isn’t always clear cut, nor is it the same for both appliances.

A few factors decide how long any appliance will last — such as how often you use it — and washers and dryers are no exception.

How Long Does a Washing Machine Last?

Because they use water, washing machines have the same life expectancy as dishwashers–about 10 to 12 years. Washer pumps, water seals, bearings, spin baskets and other components exposed to water are susceptible to corrosion that significantly limits washer life.

Also, washer drive components agitate and spin heavy loads of wet laundry, wearing out drive system parts such as the motor, belt and bearings over time.

These tips can help you keep your washer working beyond the average. Your owner’s manual has more suggestions.

  • Don’t overload the washer. Overloading strains bearings, struts and seals, shortening the life of the washing machine.  Your owner’s manual has instructions for how much clothing to add to the washer.
  • Use the right amount and type of laundry detergent. Using too much detergent leaves soap residue and encourages corrosion that shortens washer life. Using regular detergent in a high-efficiency (HE) washer creates excessive suds — use HE detergent in an HE washer. Again, check the owner’s manual to learn more.
  • Use a washer cleaner such as Glisten® Washer Magic® Machine Cleaner & Deodorizer or affresh® Washing Machine Cleaner to remove detergent residue and hard water deposits from the washer.
  • Wipe up bleach spills immediately. Bleach eats through paint and corrode metal surfaces.
  • Wipe the washer body yearly to preserve painted surfaces and prevent rust.

How Long Does a Clothes Dryer Last?

Clothes dryers often outlive their washing machine partner, typically lasting 12 to 15 years. The two things that shorten a dryer’s life are overloading the dryer and not keeping the exhaust path clear.

The dryer owner’s manual has information about how large a load your dryer can handle.

It also explains how to clean the path the hot air follows from the drum to outside your home. A clog in that path makes your dryer run longer to dry each load, can make the dryer overheat and shut down, and creates a fire hazard.

The most important step you can take is to clean the lint screen after every load. And once a year, detach the vent hose from the back of the dryer and the wall and then use a lint brush and vacuum to remove accumulated lint from the hose. Also make sure the vent opening to the outside is clear.

Schedule Professional Preventive Maintenance

As with other appliances, scheduling a trained appliance repair technician to do annual maintenance can lengthen the life of your washer and dryer. In addition to making sure that critical components are in good working order, the technician can remove dryer lint from places you can’t reach.


Correct use and regular care, combined with annual professional maintenance, help ensure that your laundry appliances will keep working.