Contrary to what one would like to believe, a washing machine that cleans our dirty clothes and linens can use a little bit of help to clean itself.
No matter how much cleaning work it does every day, all that soap and water still falls short to clean the inner parts, which is necessary for the machinery to be functioning well.
Not to forget, your machine also has to deal with soap scum, bacteria, mildew, and other unwanted stuff.
Often, people seem to ignore this simple fact and continue to run their machines every day, ignoring the odor that comes out of it.
Chances are, if you continue to use a washing machine that smells bad, the stench can be transferred to your fabric when you put them inside. The easiest way to clean your machine is by using a washing machine cleaner.
No matter which washing machine you use, a front or top load, you can always keep it clean and free from odor.
In case you are a DIY type, there’s no stopping you from using your homemade cleaning solution to clean your machine naturally. Read on to find out how.
How to clean a top load washing machine
- Start by setting your washing machine for the longest time cycle.
- Set it to the largest load size and fill it all the way with water.
- If there’s a heavy-duty” mode on your machine, activate the same.
- Set the temperature to the hottest wash and start the process.
- You can see the drum starting to fill with water. Keep the lid open.
Modern-day energy efficient-washing machines usually have a “Drum Clean” option. If your machine has the same, select it to perform the cleaning process.
- Now, take some white vinegar and pour 4 cups of it into the drum. You can use any standard quality kitchen vinegar.
- Next, take 1 cup of baking soda and pour it into the drum, as it fills with water to give it a thorough mix.
- The baking soda reacts instantly with vinegar and works to clear off any residue from the insides of the washing machine.
- When the drum is filled with water, give it some time for the vinegar and baking soda to work. Close the lid for 1-2 minutes so that it can start washing on the inside.
- After 2 minutes, lift the lid to check on the insides. This should pause the cycle.
- Take a sponge or an old toothbrush to scrub through the walls of the machine, especially in areas that show mildews or mold.
- After you have cleaned the area, proceed to wipe away everything with a fresh dishcloth.
- The soap or detergent tray inside the washing machine can be removed in some models, and it would be wise to keep it soaked in water and scrub to clean.
- Now, close the lid and allow the cycle to complete for the drum to drain off the water completely.
- After the drum drains out all the water, use a clean dishcloth to wipe off any cleaning residue from the bottom and sides of the drum. If need be, soak the cloth in a mix of warm water and vinegar to wipe the insides thoroughly.
How to clean a front load washing machine
It’s quite reasonable for a front load washing machine to accumulate mildew on the seal. Use a sponge sipped in vinegar to clean it off.
Next, scrub right underneath the seal around the door of your front load.
If you are unable to remove the mildew in the first attempt, keep it soaked in vinegar for at least 20 minutes or so before starting to scrub it again.
Next, use a cloth to wipe the area dry. For any mildew or mold that’s resilient, try using a stiff toothbrush.
Now, add 2 cups of vinegar right into the drum, right at the bottom, and close the door to proceed.
In case you witness a substantial build-up of grime, add some more vinegar to loosen it.
Ensure to keep the door open for some time to prevent any odor.
This is because when we use vinegar to get rid of the mildew, it does the job right but lingers for a while before the smell gets away.
In case you choose the close the door, the unpleasant smell takes on the inside and can stay for about a week before it goes away completely.
Now, prepare a mixture of baking soda and warm water with a dash of detergent, in equal measures.
Once your solution is ready, pour the same into the same tray where you typically pour fabric softeners or bleach.
This way, when you set the washing machine to a cycle, it should clean itself on the inside walls, thoroughly.
If you plan on using powder detergent, add the same to the mix of water, vinegar, and baking soda, after you have poured it on to the detergent tray.
Start a regular cycle and set the temperature to the highest. The heat that gets generated reacts with vinegar to loosen any mildew that’s usually gets settled on the inside from dirty linens.
Similar to cleaning a top load, use the heavy-duty setting to give more time for the mixture to clean the drum.
After the cycle come to an end, drain the water completely and use a damp rag to wipe off any grime or mold from the inside of the machine.
Top it up using a stiff brush if there’s any residue left.
See more: Why You Should Clean Your House
Remember, your cleaning schedule is directly proportional to your washing frequency. If you take to washing your clothes for more than ten times in a week, it is advisable to clean your machine at least once a month.