Sooner or later, everything needs a clean and the washing machine is no exception. After washing a lot of dirty clothes, the inside of the washing machine also gets stained, and odors could take hold of the drum and transfer to the clothes. So here are some tips to make your washing machine clean and preventing from build-ups.
Cleaning a Front Load Washing Machine
1. Fill the washing machine with hot water. New front-loading models often come with cleaning cycles; if so, use this setting to fill the drum with hot water. If your template doesn’t have this feature, fill it in as normal.
2. Add a quart of bleach to remove stains. If the inside of the washing machine is stained, bleach will solve the problem. Pour it through the detergent drawer so that it mixes with the hot water, then let the washing machine complete the wash cycle.
3. Clean the rubber door seal. Mold tends to accumulate here because water gets trapped in the seal. Use a detergent and a sponge (or washcloth) to clean it.
4. Clean the detergent drawer. Make sure there is no hair or other residue accumulated. Use a detergent or a solution of water and vinegar to clean the drawer, then rinse with a sponge to remove residual detergent, dirt, and anything else that may clog it.
Cleaning a Top Load Washing Machine
1. Fill the top-loading washing machines with hot water. Just start a washing cycle at high temperatures and stop it when the water has filled the washing machine. Alternatively, you could heat the water on a stove and pour it into the basket.
2. Add a quart of bleach. Run the wash cycle for a few seconds to mix the water and bleach, then stop it and leave the liquid in the drum for an hour. It will begin to act on dirt, mold, and any other substances inside the washing machine. If you don’t want to use bleach, use a washing machine-specific product sold at the grocery store. For a more natural alternative, add a quart of white vinegar instead of bleach.
3. Finish the wash cycle. After an hour, restart the wash and let it finish. At that point, the inside of the washing machine will be disinfected. If your washing machine smells like bleach at the end of the wash, fill the drum again with boiling water and a quart of vinegar. Leave the liquid inside for an hour, then let the wash complete again.
4. Clean the detergent drawer. Use a vinegar-based solution to scrub the drawer where you pour the powder or liquid detergent. This is where dirt, hair, and other debris accumulate, so it’s important to clean that part of the washing machine as well.
Keep the washing machine clean
1. Remove wet clothing immediately after washing is finished. If you leave them in the drum, even for several hours, mold could form which will ruin the washing machine as well as leave a bad smell on your clothes. Tumble your clothes right away or hang them out to dry.
2. Leave the door open after washing. If you close it, moisture is trapped inside creating the perfect environment for mold to develop. To prevent this from happening, leave the door open so that the remaining water evaporates freely.
3. Make sure the washing machine is completely dry. For example, if the detergent drawer gets wet, take it out to dry after washing and only put it back when it is dry.
4. Thoroughly clean it once a month. Daily cleaning is useful to avoid mold growth, but once a month it needs to be cleaned more thoroughly. Use one of the methods described in this guide to keep your washing machine clean and in top condition so that it will continue to run for many years to come.
What are the do’s and don’t of cleaning a washing machine?
- Clean the exterior of the washing machine at least once per month with hot water and a mixture of dishwashing liquid and vinegar.
- Clean the inside of the washing machine by running a load on a hot cycle using dishwashing liquid and 1 cup of ammonia.
- Make sure that the door gasket, rubber seal around the door is clean and free of debris.
- Clean the detergent tray and dispenser every month.
- Clean the water valve by removing and using a toothbrush to remove any buildup.
- Do not use bleach to clean the door seal. Bleach will shorten its life considerably.
- Don’t leave detergent build-up on the door seal as this will attract dirt and grime, which makes it harder to clean next time.
- If you have a front-loading washing machine, do not leave wet clothes in the drum. Hang them up to dry. Do not over-fill your washing machine either as this has the same effect.
- Don’t put your washing machine through an entire hot cycle when there is no laundry in it. This can warp the drum and shorten its life considerably. A cold rinse is sufficient.
- Never use a scouring pad to clean your washing machine. It will scratch the surface. If you get scratches in the door, this will allow moisture into the drum.
- Never use harsh household cleaning products on your washing machine either. It can remove the paint from the door and cause rust.
- Do not use a steam cleaner to clean your washing machine as this can warp any plastic parts.
- Do not use a high-pressure hose to clean your washing machine as this can damage any seals or gaskets and cause leaks.
- Never use bleach to clean the inside of your washing machine as it will damage the rubber parts.
- Finally, don’t be tempted to use a plunger to unblock your washing machine drain. This can cause more damage than good.
If you follow these tips your washing machine will last much longer, saving you money in the long term.