Cleaning your washing machine might seem redundant at times. But guess what, washing machines need cleaning too! Here’s why, bacteria, soap scum and grime tend to build up in your washing machine over time. As a result, you might feel unpleasant smells every time you open your washing machine. Your washed clothes might smell stinky too!
In this article, you will learn how to clean your machine using bicarbonate of soda and vinegar solution. However, you can use different ingredients such as citric acid and hydrogen peroxide for dirty washing machines.
The following tips will guide you on how to clean your washing machine. First of all, let’s commence with:
How to Clean Your Front-loading Machine
Step 1: Using Bicarbonate of Soda
- Pour 2 cups of bicarbonate of soda into your detergent drawer. The bicarbonate of soda acts as a natural detergent or scrubber. It also eliminates unpleasant smells.
- Close the machine and run on the hottest setting and full cycle.
Step 2: Add vinegar
• Once that cycle is complete, pour 2 cups of white vinegar into the detergent drawer. Optionally, you can add 5-10 drops of lavender essential oils into the cup of white vinegar. Pour the mixture into the detergent drawer (if you choose).
Note: Ensure the machine is empty before you pour the vinegar or the mixture! You do not want your clothes smelling of vinegar!
The vinegar disinfects the washer by killing mildew and dissolving soap residue and lime deposits.
• Once again, run on the full cycle and hottest setting. Avoid spin or rinse cycles.
How to Clean Your Top Loading Machine
Step 1: Using Bicarbonate of Soda
• Fill your washing machine with hot water and add bicarbonate of soda.
• Let it agitate and sit for about an hour to allow the mixture disinfect the top loader.
• Run through the hottest setting and full cycle.
Step 2: Add vinegar
• Once that cycle is complete, fill the loader with hot water.
• Add a cup of white vinegar. The vinegar cleans bacteria, soap scum, hard water deposits, dirt and grime that builds up.
• Again, let it agitate and sit for about an hour.
• Before running through the cycle, use a damp cloth or a sponge dipped in a vinegar solution to clean the knobs, lids and the outside of the top loader. Remember to use a toothbrush to scrub off the tough dirt.
• Now let it run through the hottest setting and full cycle.
How to Clean Your Machine’s Exterior
Why it’s Necessary
Accumulation of mould and mildew on your washing machine’s elements is the leading cause of unpleasant smells.
• Unplug your machine from the socket for safety reasons.
• Wear rubber gloves when handling the vinegar or any other solution that you are using.
• Check the rubber seals and door seals. A lot of dirt builds up there, and it might feel a bit embarrassing. Use a damp cloth to clean the rubber seals and door seals. You can also dip a sponge in hot water or vinegar solution and use it to clean them. Squeeze out excess water from the cloth/fabric or sponge before wiping. Regular cleaning of dirty rubber seals helps prevent unpleasant odours.
• For front loading machines, remove your detergent drawer or dispenser tray. Take out all the parts piece by piece. Using a cloth, wash them in hot soapy water. It’s easy to clean depending on how much gunge might have built up in there. Put it back together when done. Don’t forget to use a toothbrush to scrub off the dirt that is difficult to come off or the hard to reach areas.
• Ensure you clean the compartment. It gets incredibly mouldy and disgusting.
How to Clean the Filter
• Cleaning the filter gets rid of the unpleasant smell. It also improves your experience with your washer.
• You can find the filter at the bottom of your front loader or inside the fabric softener of your top loader.
• Use a screwdriver to open the access door of your filter for front loaders. As for top loaders, the fabric softener is located on top of the agitator. Use your screwdriver to open the filter cap slowly.
• To clean your front loaders filter, place a duster or a towel underneath the door of your washer. Let the water drain into the dish. Remove the filter altogether to check for dirt such as dog hair, coins or keys. Soak the filter in hot soapy water. Scrub it thoroughly even with a toothbrush to remove all the clogged materials.
Your washing machine is now smelling fresh!
Tips to prevent your washing machine from always getting dirty
- Dry your washer’s door seal after every wash. The door seal accumulates a lot of water in it, which promotes mould growth.
- Never leave your water laundry inside the washer. Ensure that you leave the door open at all times. Accumulation of moisture can be a huge problem!
- Do not overuse your detergents. Excessive use causes a buildup of mould. Use your dose according to your load size. Use specialized HE detergents for HE machines.
- Try out a hot wash monthly to combat bacteria that build up in your machine.
- For those using hard water, limescale usually builds up on pipes and hoses. You can use water softeners in each wash to prevent excess limescale, and soap scum builds up. Remember to follow the instructions on the water softener label.
Make sure you do this regularly to prevent unpleasant odours and also for persistent dirt problems, once or twice every three months. You’ll notice your washing machine does better-washing cycles!