7 Tips for Cleaning Your Washing Machine
Have you, like the majority of people, assumed that your washing machine cleans itself every time it does a load of laundry? After all, when the clothes are cleaned and the water rinses out the machine, all the dirt and grime should also get rinsed away. But the fact is a washing machine can get surprisingly dirty, and it gets dirtier every time you do a load of laundry. Fortunately, techniques for how to clean your washing machine are easy, and keeping it clean avoids problems in the future. This is true for both front and top loading machines.
1 - Remove Mildew
The rubber seal around the door of both top and front loading machines is a breeding ground for mildew, especially if your home is in a warm and humid area of the country and you prefer to wash with cold water. Stop mildew from growing by using a solution of one-part white vinegar to two cups of warm water. Soak a clean cloth in the solution, and wipe down the lower door seal, then wipe the rest of the seal. Then, fill the machine’s bleach dispenser with vinegar, and run the longest hot water cycle. Do this at the beginning of each season.
You can also use the cloth and vinegar solution to clean the glass in a front loading machine as well as the console and dials.
2 - Wipe Up Spills Right Away
Wipe up any spills on the outside of the washing machine right away. Even though bleach, detergents and solvents can go inside the machine, they may corrode the outside over time. A spill and stain-free washing machine is also just more aesthetically pleasing.
3 - Protect the Top of the Machine
Whether the machine is top or front loading, protect it by placing a folded towel on top if you use the top of the washer to hold the clothes. Some people put a front loading washer and dryer side by side in the laundry space, and put a plain wooden plank across them to serve as a shelf or a work surface.
4 - Clean the Inside of the Washer
Never forget to clean inner drum. Use a cloth dampened with soapy water to clean the inside of the washing machine once a week. Rinse thoroughly with clear water, then wipe the drum dry. Make sure to remove lint, soap scum and other debris from the inside of the machine with a dampened cloth.
5 - Deep Clean the Machine
If clothes are not coming out of the wash as clean as they should be, it might be because the machine is dirty. To deep clean it, run a short hot water cycle with laundry detergent. If the machine is really filthy, add about a tablespoon of Borax laundry detergent and 3/4 cup of vinegar, and put the machine on soak cycle. Let it sit for a few minutes, drain then rinse with clear water until all traces of dirt and soap are gone.
6 - Make Use of That Old Toothbrush
Save old toothbrushes to clean the otherwise hard to reach parts of the washing machine such as the spirals in the agitator in a top loading machine and the door rims and handles in both types of machines.
7 - Be Careful with Removable Parts
Some removable parts such as the fabric softener dispenser can be taken out and cleaned, but you should read the manual before doing so.