But have you ever wondered whether the washing machine that cleans your clothes might also need cleaning once in a while? Well, your hunch is correct – it does. Keeping your washer clean will ensure that your laundry comes out fresh too.
Cleaning a top-loading washing machine might differ from cleaning a front loader. Similarly, you might have different preferences for which washing machine cleaner to use, be it commercial or homemade.
The guide below will teach you how to clean a washing machine — both a front load and a top load model.
What Will You Need?
First, let's gather some necessary supplies. Don't worry, you'll likely already have the following items in your home:
Distilled white vinegar
Cleaning rag / cloth
Here's a quick tip about cleaners. We'd recommend using natural alternatives like white vinegar and baking soda. You can always opt for commercial cleaners, but they might be harsh on your machine and the environment.
4 Best Ways To Clean A Washing Machine's Interior
When you look at the interior of your washer, know you are going to be tackling soap scum, lint, mildew, bacteria, and mold.
Before we guide you on getting rid of all the gunk, take a moment to check your user manual. Your manufacturer might have a specific way of cleaning your machine.
Also, let's talk about the frequency of cleaning. Ideally, you should do it once a month or you may start noticing your clothes coming out musty and dirty. If you don't do your laundry as often, plan a deep clean every three months.
Now, let's get into the ways of cleaning your washing machine.
Scrub the Washer's Interior
We'll start with the simplest method — a good, old-fashioned scrubbing. Wear gloves, and make a paste by mixing 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/4 cup of water.
Dip a toothbrush into the paste and use it to scrub away grime and dirt from the interior surfaces of your washing machine.
You can also use the paste on a cleaning cloth or sponge for larger surface areas. Scrub all over the tub, including the agitator and any other parts of your machine that come in contact with your clothes.
When you're done, run a rinse cycle to help remove any residue.
Run a Washing Machine Cycle With Vinegar
Part of the reason vinegar does such a stellar job cleaning the washer is because it's mildly acidic, with a pH of 2.0 to 3.0. Vinegar's acidity is perfect for dissolving mineral deposits (caused by hard water) and soap scum.
To clean your washer:
Add two cups of vinegar to the detergent dispenser of your washer.
Run a hot cycle with an empty washer drum.
White vinegar will not only remove unwanted residue but also prevent bacterial growth. It's also an excellent deodorizer, which means no more mildew smell.
Use Bleach To Deep Clean Your Washer
Make a diluted bleach solution by mixing 1/2 cup of bleach and a gallon of warm water.
Pour the bleach mixture into the empty washer drum, then run a regular cycle.
Bleach is fantastic for killing bacteria and mold spores, making it an ideal cleaning agent for your washing machine. However, be careful not to mix bleach with other chemicals, as this can release toxic fumes.
Also, open the windows and doors while using bleach to ensure proper ventilation.
Use a Washing Machine Cleaner
If you prefer a more straightforward method without mixing your own solution, opt for a store-bought washing machine cleaner – these products are specifically designed for cleaning washers.
Most of these solutions come as liquids but you may also find powder or tablet forms. Simply follow the instructions on the product label, and you're good to go.
How To Clean A Top-Loading Washing Machine
If you have a top-load washer, use the following steps to clean it.
Step 1: Add White Vinegar
Start by adding two cups of white vinegar to an empty washer drum, or you can put it in the detergent dispenser. Run the cycle as you normally would.
Step 2: Let Vinegar Soak
Pause the cycle, let the drum fill with water, and agitate for a minute or so. Then, let the mixture sit for an hour to allow the vinegar to dissolve mineral deposits and buildup inside the washer.
Step 3: Scrub the Nooks and Crannies
Use the toothbrush to get into the small areas and remove any grime or residue that may be hiding there. Some places to check are the corners of the drum, under the agitator, under the rim, and around the lid.
Step 4: Wipe Down the Interior
After an hour, resume the cycle and let it finish. Then, dampen the microfiber cloth with warm water and wipe down the interior of the washer to remove any leftover vinegar residue.
Step 5: Clean the Exterior
Don't forget to clean the exterior of your washer. Use the all-purpose cleaner (or white vinegar) and microfiber cloth to wipe down the top, front, and sides of the machine.
How To Clean A Front-Loading Washing Machine
There's one specific part in a front load washer that you need to pay attention to: the rubber seal or gasket around the door. This part is prone to collecting moisture and dirt, which can lead to mildew growth and unpleasant odors.
Step 1: Wipe Down the Rubber Seal
Spray the gasket with distilled white vinegar and let it sit for a minute. Then, wipe it using a microfiber cloth.
Step 2: Remove and Rinse the Detergent Dispenser
The detergent dispenser drawer is another spot where mold and mildew can grow. Simply remove it from the machine, soak it in hot water, and scrub it with a toothbrush to remove any buildup. Do the same with the fabric softener dispenser.
Step 3: Run a Cleaning Cycle
Similar to the top-loading washer, run a cleaning cycle with hot water and white vinegar.
Step 4: Wipe Down the Interior and Exterior
Finally, end your cleaning by wiping down the interior and exterior of the washer with a damp microfiber cloth. Don't forget to clean the door and any buttons or knobs.
Washing Machine Being Cleaned? No Problem
It takes time to clean and sanitize your washing machine. Let's say you've decided to clean your washer on a certain day. Now, it won't be available for your laundry.
That's not a problem, though. You can simply outsource your laundry to Rinse for the week, and we'll take it from there. Here's why we're the best choice for your laundry needs:
Convenience: You don't have to drop off your laundry anywhere. We'll come to you. Our pick-ups are scheduled between 8 pm and 10 pm, so we won't disturb you early in the morning. You can use our app, website, or a text message to request a pick-up.
Rush Options: Your washing machine is being cleaned, and a sudden event has come up that you need to go to the next day. Don't worry. We offer Next-Day Rush options, too. We'll deliver your clothes ready to wear.
Professional Cleaning: With Rinse at your service, you don't have to worry about the proper washing methods or cycle. Our professionals are trained to handle different types of fabrics and stains.
Apart from regular laundry, we also offer dry cleaning services for those special clothes that need extra care. You can even schedule recurring laundry to make your life easier.
Contact us at Rinse today to see our skill in action.