By making sure the appliance stays in good condition, consumers will see its performance keeping to a high standard and their clothes feeling - and smelling - nice and fresh.

It is important people remember that although it is the job of the washing machine to clean garments, it is up to them to ensure the appliance is regularly looked after.

One of the easiest ways to do this is by putting the machine through a maintenance or service wash - an approach that is recommended by most manufacturers and also serves to clean parts of the equipment that people cannot get to by hand.

This should be performed around once a month, although this can vary depending on how often a household uses the washer. These washes are carried out using the hottest cycles - usually between 60 and 95 degrees.

General maintenance done by hand may sound like common sense, but owners should ensure they use a cloth to wipe the door seal and glass down after use, while allowing air to circulate and dry the drum by leaving the door slightly ajar.

Regularly wiping the exterior of the machine can get rid of any marks left by stain removers or other cleaning products kept on top of the appliance.

By inspecting the hoses and fittings, people can make sure there are no cracks or corrosion, while it is also a good idea to replace these items every three years or so.

A part of washing machines that could prove the most troubling is the drawer. These can become clogged up - which can mean the conditioner is unable to leave the compartment - or they may be the source of a leak when a wash is taking place.

To prevent problems with the drawer, owners should fully remove it - consulting the manual will enable them to do this properly - and give it a good clean. A toothbrush can be a useful tool for this job, while it could also be used to clean the dispenser compartment where the jets are found.

© Axonn 2015