A washing machine is an essential appliance that simplifies our lives by keeping our clothes fresh and clean.
As a cleaning expert, I have seen a lot of dirty washing machines. Many people assume that their washing machine is always clean because it’s constantly filled with water and soap, but that’s simply not true.
However, over time, detergent residue, dirt, and grime can accumulate inside the machine, leading to unpleasant odors and even affecting the cleanliness of your laundry.
Regularly cleaning your washing machine is crucial to maintain its efficiency and ensure your clothes come out spotless.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through step-by-step instructions to clean every part of your washing machine, from the drum to the detergent drawer and everything in between.
How to Deep Clean Your Washing Machine
Before getting started, gather the following supplies:
- Distilled White Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Microfiber Cloth
- Hot Water
- Mild Dish Soap
- Rubber Gloves
Time needed: 40 minutes.
Give your machine a little TLC; your clothes (and your nose!) will thank you for it. Here are a few steps that you can follow to clean your washing machine:
- Cleaning the Drum
a. Empty the drum: Remove any clothes or laundry items from the machine.
b. Wipe down the drum: Use a microfiber cloth dampened with a mixture of hot water and mild dish soap to wipe the interior of the drum, paying attention to any stains or residue.
For stubborn stains, use a toothbrush for gentle scrubbing.
c. Deodorize the drum: Sprinkle one cup of baking soda into the drum. Pour two cups of distilled white vinegar into the detergent dispenser or directly into the drum.
Run a hot water cycle (without any clothes) to allow the mixture to clean and deodorize the drum effectively.
- Cleaning the Detergent Drawer
a. Remove the drawer: Check your washing machine’s user manual for specific instructions on how to remove the detergent drawer. Soak the drawer in a mixture of hot water and mild dish soap for a few minutes.
b. Scrub the drawer: Use a toothbrush or a small brush to scrub away any residue or mold. Pay attention to the compartments where detergent, fabric softener, or bleach are added.
c. Rinse and dry: Rinse the drawer thoroughly with hot water to remove any soap residue. Let it air dry completely before reinserting it into the washing machine.
- Cleaning the Rubber Door Seal/Gasket
a. Inspect for mold or mildew: Check the rubber seal around the door for any signs of mold or mildew. If present, create a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar, and use a cloth or sponge to wipe away the mold.
b. Scrub the seal: For stubborn stains or mold, dip a toothbrush into the vinegar solution and gently scrub the affected areas. Be thorough but gentle to avoid damaging the rubber.
c. Wipe and dry: Once the seal is clean, wipe it with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue. Leave the door ajar to allow the seal to air dry completely.
- Cleaning the Exterior and Control Panel
a. Unplug the machine: Before cleaning the exterior and control panel, unplug the washing machine to ensure safety.
b. Wipe the exterior: Use a microfiber cloth dampened with mild dish soap and water to wipe down the exterior of the machine, including the control panel.
Avoid using abrasive cleaners that may damage the finish.
c. Dry thoroughly: After cleaning, dry the exterior with a clean, dry cloth.
Regularly cleaning your washing machine not only prolongs its lifespan but also helps maintain clean and fresh-smelling laundry.
By following the step-by-step instructions in this guide, you can ensure that every part of your washing machine, from the drum to the detergent drawer and rubber seal, is kept clean and free from residue or mold.
With a clean washing machine, you can enjoy sparkling clean clothes and a more efficient laundry routine!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the frequently asked questions related to cleaning your washing machine:
Yes, Bleach is an excellent disinfectant that destroys bacteria and germs. At the same time, it can also be abrasive and could potentially harm some materials of your washing machine.
However, be sure to check your machine’s manual to ensure that it’s safe to use bleach, as some machines may be sensitive to bleach or other harsh chemicals.
It’s crucial to follow a routine to keep your washing machine fresh, clean, and functioning effectively because failing to clean a washing machine is a typical mistake made by most people.
I recommend cleaning your washing machine at least once a month. Cleaning the washing machine on a regular basis will prevent the growth of mold and mildew, which causes unpleasant odors.
To prevent mold and bacteria buildup, it’s important to leave the door of your washing machine open when it’s not in use, as this allows air to circulate and prevent moisture buildup.
You can also run a cleaning cycle with a commercial washing machine cleaner at least once a week to kill bacteria and mold.
Additionally, avoid leaving wet clothes in the machine for long periods of time, as this can promote mold growth.
Running a washing machine with an empty load and a hot water cycle cleans the machine itself. The hot water and mechanical action of the wash cycle remove any dirt, stains, or residue that may have accumulated inside the machine.
However, this is only a general cleaning, and it may not remove all dirt and grime.