It doesn’t have to be a pain to clean your washing machine. Below we tell you what you need to know to get the job done and ensure your clothes are washed in a nice and clean machine.
First, grab your materials:
Here are the materials you will need to clean your washing machine:
- White vinegar
- Warm soapy water
- Soft brush or cloth
- Clean, damp cloth
You may also want to wear gloves to protect your hands from the vinegar and bleach, especially if you have sensitive skin. Other than that, you should have everything you need to get your washing machine sparkling clean!
After you have your materials, follow the guide below.
How to Clean Your Washing Machine in 7 Steps
This method works for front load washers and top load washers.
- Check the manufacturer’s instructions: Before you start cleaning, check the owner’s manual for any specific instructions on how to clean your washing machine. This will help you avoid damaging the machine or voiding the warranty.
- Remove any debris: Check the machine drum for any debris, such as hair, lint, or loose items like coins or buttons. Remove any debris by hand or using a soft brush.
- Clean the dispensers: Remove the detergent, bleach, and fabric softener dispensers, and wash them in warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and dry them before putting them back.
- Run a hot cycle with vinegar: Fill the washing machine with hot water and add two cups of white vinegar to the water. Run a complete cycle without any clothes in the machine. This will help remove any buildup of soap scum or bacteria.
- Wipe down the machine: After the cycle has finished, wipe down the inside of the machine drum and the door seal with a clean, damp cloth. Pay special attention to any areas where dirt or debris may have accumulated.
- Run a hot cycle with bleach: Fill the washing machine with hot water again, but this time add a cup of bleach to the water. Run a complete cycle without any clothes in the machine. This will help disinfect the machine and remove any lingering odors.
- Wipe down the machine again: After the cycle has finished, wipe down the inside of the machine drum and the door seal with a clean, damp cloth.
- Air out the machine: Leave the door of the washing machine open to allow it to air out and dry completely. This will help prevent mold and mildew from forming.
That’s it! By following these simple steps, you can keep your washing machine clean and in good working order for years to come.
Bleach vs Vinegar
Both bleach and vinegar are effective for cleaning a washing machine, but they serve different purposes. That’s why we recommend both!
- White vinegar is a natural cleaner that can remove soap scum, mineral deposits, and bacteria. It also removes any odors that may have developed inside the machine. Vinegar is a safe, natural alternative to harsh chemicals, and it can be used in both high-efficiency and traditional washing machines.
- Bleach, on the other hand, is a powerful disinfectant that can kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It is effective for removing tough stains and disinfecting the machine. However, bleach can be harsh and should be used with caution, especially if you have a septic system. It is also not recommended for use in high-efficiency washing machines, as it can damage the machine.
Overall, both vinegar and bleach can be effective for cleaning a washing machine, but the choice depends on the specific cleaning needs of your machine. If you want a natural cleaner that is safe for the environment and gentle on the machine, vinegar is a good choice. If you need a strong disinfectant to remove tough stains and kill bacteria, bleach may be more appropriate.
How to Get Rid of Tough Stains
If the inside of your washing machine is filthy and stained, you may need extra cleaning to make it look new again. Here are some additional steps you can take:
- Use a paste of baking soda and water: Make a paste of baking soda and water and use it to scrub any stubborn stains inside the machine drum. Be sure to use a soft brush or cloth so you don’t scratch the surface of the drum.
- Clean the lint filter: If your washing machine has a lint filter, clean it thoroughly to remove any lint buildup or other debris.
- Use a commercial washing machine cleaner: If your machine is still dirty after using vinegar and bleach, you may want to try a commercial washing machine cleaner. These cleaners are designed to dissolve and remove tough stains and buildup.
- Repeat the cleaning process: If necessary, repeat the vinegar and bleach cleaning process to help remove any remaining stains or odors.
Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning your washing machine to avoid damaging it.
When Your Washing Machine Smells Like Mildew
f your washer smells like mildew, it is likely due to a buildup of bacteria, mold, and mildew inside the machine. If your washer smells like mildew, follow the steps above until the smell goes away.