How to Clean Your Washing Machine

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Last week I shared about doing a thorough cleaning of our dryer. Now it is time to give attention to its work partner – the Washing Machine.

How to Clean Your Washing Machine | Cosmopolitan Cornbread

Cleaning your washing machine is pretty straight forward, and you don’t need to buy any fancy cleaners to do it.

Let’s get started!

  1. Disconnect your water hoses and check the filters/screens inside them. Make sure there are no blockages. Debris can at times get in there, and decrease water flow, making your washing machine work inefficiently. Something that many people don’t know about their washing machine, is that it could very well have another filter in the machine itself that has to be cleaned. Here is a great video that shows you how to check and clean it:  Wash Machine Filter Cleaning
  2. Clean the outside of the washer with a sponge or rag and gentle cleaner. Clean the lid/door, top, front and sides.

For a front loading washer:

  1.  Add 1/4 cup each of white vinegar and baking soda to the washer. Start a hot wash cycle. Once the wash starts running, pause the cycle and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Restart the cycle and let it finish.
  2. Clean the door gasket with a rag and gentle cleaner.
  3. Allow the door to stand open and let everything dry inside.

For a top loading washing machine:

  1. Add 3-4 cups of white vinegar and 1/2 cup baking soda to the washing machine, and start a hot water wash cycle. Once the washing begins, stop the cycle and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. At this point, I will take advantage of that hot cleaning water inside the tub, and take a sponge or rag, and clean the track above the tub where the bleach flows. That area always seems to get very dirty and is often neglected.
  3. If your washer has an agitator in the center, use a long handled scrub brush to scrub it clean.
  4. Restart the cycle and let it finish.
  5. Leave the door open for it to air dry.

To keep your washing machine running better and staying cleaner longer, there are a few things you can do on a regular basis:

  • When a wash cycle is finished, remove it right away. If you need to, set a timer on your phone so you know when it should be done. That’s handy if your washer doesn’t have a buzzer or if you can’t hear it from the laundry room. This will help prevent a musty smell in the washer..and on your clothes.
  • When the wash cycle finishes and you have removed the clothing and linens, leave the door open for the tub to dry. Again, this helps prevent musty odors.
  • Many newer washers have a cleaning cycle. Run that on a monthly basis to help keep your washer clean.
  • If you have pets, and have a particularly hairy load of laundry, when the load finishes, let the washer dry out completely. Take your vacuum hose and vacuum out the tub to remove the remaining hair. This will help prevent blockages.

With a little routine cleaning and maintenance, your washing machine should last you years. Take care of that investment.


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