Have you caught a musty smell in your clothing while transferring your laundry to the dryer? If yes, it may be time to clean your washing machine. Be it a top-load or a front-load washer, a washing machine is one of the most hard-working appliances. Though you use your washing machine to clean your clothes, linens, or towels, it is crucial to keep it clean so that it can work properly.
Even with a lot of water running through a washer with laundry, you need to clean the washing machine. Here is our comprehensive guide on how to clean a washing machine the right way. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Why Should You Clean Your Top-Loading or Front-Loading Washing Machine?
First and foremost, an unclean washing machine may result in an unpleasant smell in your clothes. The grime, dirt, residues of laundry detergents, or fabric softeners can form a layer around the gasket or in the wash drum. Sometimes, moisture leads to mold growth and may become a spot for bacteria too.
If the washing machine isn’t kept clean, it will not only trigger an unpleasant odor but may also hamper the machine’s performance. Thus, it is necessary to clean your washing machine at least once a month.
How Often Should You Consider Washing Machine Cleaning?
Experts advise washing machine cleaning or deep cleaning your washing machine once every two months, if not monthly. If there are automatic dispensers that are used for each load, consider cleaning them monthly in order to prevent any clogs. If you live in a hard water area, the washers should be cleaned once every three months. Furthermore, if the laundry is heavily soiled and you live in a hot/humid area, cleaning a washing machine monthly is required.
What Should You Use To Clean A Washing Machine?
It is best to use natural cleaning agents to clean your washing machine. The reason is chemical cleaning agents may have adverse effects on the functioning, mechanisms, or basins of the washing machine.
White vinegar is a wonderful natural cleaning agent that not only cleans the washing machine but also sanitizes it and removes bad odor. You can add baking soda to the white vinegar and use this mixture for washing machine cleaning.
How To Clean A Washing Machine?
Nowadays, most washing machines have a self-clean function. Select a self-cleaning cycle, and read the manufacturer’s instructions to clean the machine. Or, you can take the following simple steps to cut the buildup in your washing machine hoses, pipes and ensure fresh clothes.
Start A Hot Cycle With Vinegar
Take two cups of vinegar, and add it to the detergent dispenser. Hot water vinegar is a wonderful combination that helps prevent bacterial growth and works well to cut through the unpleasant odor.
Scrub The Washing Machine Inside Out
- Take a bucket, fill it with a quart of warm water, and mix about ¼ cup of vinegar in it.
- Use this mixture along with a toothbrush or a sponge to scrub the inside of the machine.
- Scrub thoroughly at the inside of the door, around the door opening, and all the nooks and corners of the machine.
- If it is a removable dispenser, soak it in the vinegar water and then scrub.
- Similarly, clean the outside of the washing machine too.
Run Another Hot Cycle
Now that you have run a hot cycle and scrubbed the machine thoroughly, the next step is to run another hot cycle. However, you don’t need to use vinegar or detergent now. You can use ½ cup baking soda with hot water in order to remove the loosened buildup.
After that, wipe out the inside and outside of the washing machine using a microfiber cloth. These are the basic steps that apply to cleaning a washing machine. Now, let’s put light on some important tips on cleaning a front-load and top-load washing machine.
Tips To Clean A Top-Loading Washing Machine
- While cleaning a top-loading washing machine, set it to the hottest level. Make sure that there are no clothes or detergent in it.
- Pause the washing machine while running the first hot cycle. Once the tub is filled, agitate it for about a minute. Pause it again for an hour again.
- Top-load washers tend to collect more grime or dust compared to front-load washers. So, scrub thoroughly at the hard-to-reach spots using a toothbrush.
Tips To Clean A Front-Loading Washing Machine
- In front-loading washing machines, the musty smell in the laundry is due to the gasket, a rubber ring around the door that tends to collect a lot of dirt. Take water and white vinegar in equal parts in a spray bottle, and douse the ring using it.
- Wipe away the dirt with a clean cloth.
- Sprinkle ½ cup of baking soda and three cups of white vinegar inside the drum.
- Next, turn the washing machine to the hottest level and run the hot cycle. Once the cycle is complete, run the machine with hot water to rinse all the residue.
- Wipe the interior using a microfiber cloth. Leave the door open to the air.
How To Clean The Outside Of The Washing Machine?
Now that you have cleaned the inside of the washing machine, it is important to clean its exteriors too. Failing to clean the outside of the washing machine may result in corrosion on the surface. Also, the detergent dispenser gets hardened with the detergent leftover and needs to be scrubbed down with a toothbrush.
Also, it is crucial to sanitize the surface of the washing machine. Simply wipe the exterior of the washing machine with a cloth and a mixture of baking soda, white vinegar, and water. It will remove dirt, grime, and all stains. Clean the knobs with a toothbrush.
What Can You Do To Keep Your Washing Machine Clean Longer?
In addition to the deep cleaning steps mentioned above, you can keep your washing machine in good condition with the following simple tips-
- After doing the laundry, empty the washer immediately. If you don’t, it may result in mold, bacteria buildup, or foul odor.
- Leave the dryer and doors of the washer open to dry the washing machine completely.
- Avoid loading the washer to the maximum capacity as it causes the machine to overwork.
- Wipe away dust sitting on the washing machine daily.