How To Clean Your Washing Machine

Cleaning the washing machine was something I hardly did, to be honest, I thought it somehow cleaned itself. But like other appliances, it does need a deep clean. If you have been starting to notice an odor or that your clothes don’t seem to be as clean that is why!  It’s time to clean your washing machine. 

After the build-up of soap residue and minerals, your washing machine will look and smell icky.  You will also start to see the mold that accumulates from a lot of washes. Not to mention all the food particles, dirt, and grime, that heat from the wash makes a pretty good bacteria growth. 

I’m sure you would like to keep all the harmful bacteria away and make sure your clothes are really clean and sanitized. In this article, I’m going to go over how you can quickly deep clean your washing machine.

Materials you will need

  1. white vinegar
  2. baking soda
  3. hydrogen peroxide (optional; use if you have mold)
  4. Microfiber Cloth
  5. Toothbrush

*If you want to use bleach instead of Vinegar, use. ⅓ cup of bleach only with the water. Never mix vinegar and bleach, you would need to use one or the other.

Related Articles to Cleaning your Washing Machine

How to clean a Top Load Washing Machine

Step 1: Start your machine with a hot water cycle, no clothes with the lid closed.

Step 2: Once the filling cycle stops open the lid and add 3 cups of vinegar and stir the mixture. Let the machine agitate the solution.

Step 3: Allow the lid to stay open and let it sit for one hour.

Step 4: As you are waiting for the hour to pass, clean all compartments and removable trays.  

*Use either a baking soda and water solution or vinegar and water solution.  Baking soda will be more of a paste, so you would need to rinse it more to get all the residue.

Step 5: Use a Microfiber Cloth and a Toothbrush to get all the nooks and crannies. Wipe down the outside. After you are done, close the lid and continue the wash cycle.

Clean Your Washing Machine: a cup of powdered bleach for laundry machine use.

Cleaning your Washing Machine with Bleach and Vinegar

(Second Option “Super Deep Clean”)

*Important: Do not mix the Bleach and Vinegar / Follow the Steps 

Materials you will need:

  1. 1 quart of bleach 
  2. 1 quart of white vinegar
  3. Microfiber Cloth and Toothbrush

Step 1: Let the empty washer fill itself with hot water (select the largest load)

Step 2: Add a quart of bleach and let the machine agitate for one minute to mix up the bleach and water

Step 3: Open the top of the machine and let the mixture sit for an hour 

Step 4: When the hour is up shut the cover and let the full machine cycle run

*The water will drain out all the bleach.

Now the second part of this option is running it again with just the vinegar.  Don’t be alarmed, the bleach has already been rinsed out from the first cycle. Therefore the vinegar and bleach will not mix. 

Step 5: Fill the empty washer with hot water

Step 6: Add a quart of Vinegar and let the machine run for a minute

Step 7: When the minute is up open the top of the machine and let the hot water sit for an hour

Step 8: Let the machine run the full cycle

After you are done cleaning the basin

Step 9: Spray the gaskets with just equal parts vinegar and water or baking soda and water solution.

Step 10: Use a microfiber cloth and a toothbrush to clean the dispensers and exterior of the machine

How to clean a Front Load Washing Machine

The Front load washing machine is known to get more mold and mildew than the top load machine when the water just runs to the basin. On the front loaders, the water just sits around the edges making it easier for mold to grow. Follow these steps below to deep clean your front load washing machine.

Step 1: Soak your microfiber cloths in equal parts vinegar and hot water, squeeze out the excess water from the cloth. Wipe down the nooks and crannies around the drum. Clean outside and visible parts.

Step 2: Take all the removable compartments out and wipe clean with a solution.

Step 3: Clean the door gasket with an old toothbrush either vinegar or bleach (Never mix the two, one or the other)

Step 4: Clean the filter

Step 5: Fill your detergent dispenser with 1 or 2 cups of Vinegar select the hottest cycle and large load setting. Run the washing machine with no clothes in it.

Step 6: After the vinegar wash load is done. Add 1/3 cup of baking soda to the drum, sprinkle it around. Then run the machine on another hot cycle again.

Step 7: Prop the door open and let it air dry

Remember not to mix the baking soda (a base) and the vinegar (an acid) in the same cycle as they will neutralize each other.

If you want to try a washing machine cleaner that’s very effective and also natural, I recommend the Laundry Machine Cleaner from MyGreenfills. As you can see below it’s a reusable sachet that is non-toxic and 100% natural.

Is bleach or vinegar better to clean the washing machine?

A: Both are bleach and vinegar are great at disinfecting and cleaning your machine. It just depends on if you are more sensitive to harsh chemicals such as bleach. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to use vinegar as it is a natural way to clean your washing machine.

How to clean your washing machine naturally?

A: You can use each of these separately diluted with water, baking soda, vinegar, and or hydrogen peroxide. Another alternative is to use a natural Laundry Machine Cleaner such as the one from MyGreenfills!

How often should you clean your washing machine?

A: You should clean your washing machine at least once a month so to prevent any mold or bacteria. Cleaning your washing machine once a month will ensure that your clothes will look their cleanest.

Summary

Cleaning your washing machine should be part of your regular deep cleaning routine. You would periodically clean your refrigerator, stove and other appliances add cleaning the washing machine to the list.  

Keeping your washing machine clean helps get rid of harmful bacteria, reduces the accumulation of mold. And the top benefit is that your clothes will be much cleaner, as what it’s meant to do in the first place. 

So if you notice mold or a mildew smell and that your clothes are not as clean as they should be, try out my tips above.  I’m sure you will see the difference immediately. 

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