When you remove your laundry from the washer, have you ever noticed that it doesn’t smell as fresh as it should? Has your washing machine been cleaned in a while? If so, your laundry’s odor is most likely caused by this.
Do your clothes have a dingy, boring appearance? Does the smell of laundry bother you? Your top-load washer might be the only thing causing the issue and it will do you some good to know how to clean washing machine.
You would think that running so much soap and water through the machine would just do additional cleaning, but it traps bacteria and leaves behind residue.
Thankfully, all you need to clean the washing machine is a few common household items that you most likely already own.
Learn how to clean the washing machine to help both your washer and your clothes.
How to Clean Washing Machine at Home
To make things easier for you, we’ve looked into every cleaning supply you’ll need for the task and consulted professionals for their tried-and-true cleaning advice.
This means that besides guiding cleaning the filter, impellers, and drain, our step-by-step washing machine cleaning guide is jam-packed with helpful cleaning tips.
1. Read the Manufacturer’s Guidelines
You must familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s guidelines before beginning the cleaning process.
Certain machines may require different cleaning procedures depending on the manufacturer and model.
To prevent any damage and to guarantee that you maintain your appliance safely and correctly, make sure you have read these thoroughly.
2. Clean the Detergent Drawer
The laundry detergent drawer may serve as a refuge for bacteria, mold, and encrusted washing powder. Fortunately, cleaning is a breeze.
After removing the drawer completely, soak it in warm water for a few hours. After that, you can clean away any lingering residue.
Recall that you cannot proceed until the drawers have dried fully and been reinserted into the machine.
3. Clear Out the Filter
The purpose of the debris filter is to shield the pump in your washing machine from germs by trapping lint, loose tissues, coins, and general dirt in its path.
Additionally, it is warm and humid, which creates the perfect environment for smelly things to grow and seep into the machine and your laundry.
It’s crucial to remember that manufacturer-specific instructions vary, so before doing this one, make sure you’ve read your washing machine manual.
4. Rinse the Drum
Remember to clean the seemingly spotless drum of the washing machine when learning how to do it yourself—it’s another breeding ground for germs.
Fortunately, all you have to do is do a hot wash with the machine empty.
Include a cup of white vinegar and set the cycle to a high temperature. By doing this, any dirt accumulation will be eliminated, leaving the drum smelling clean and fresh.
A hot, empty clean (ideally at 60 degrees) should be performed on your washing machine every few months to “kill any germs and get rid of odors and scum build-up.”
5. Wipe Down the Door Seal
It’s simple to overlook the area between the door and the drum when you’re loading the washer and taking it out again wet.
After every wash, make sure to wipe down the door seal to prevent your brand-new clothes from absorbing grime and leftover detergent when you take them out of the drum.
You can still “get rid of this instantly” if there is already a build-up of mold and mildew on your washing machine seal. Just spray Astonish Mold & Mildew Blaster across the seal and wipe with a damp cloth.
6. Leave the Door Open Between Washes
Shutting the door after emptying and hanging your laundry to dry might be one of the worst things you can do. It’s crucial to keep it open in between washes because of this.
Because of the moisture that accumulates in warm, humid environments—exactly what occurs when you close the door—mold and mildew grow quickly in these conditions.
After the cycle ends, try to take off clean clothes as soon as possible. By doing this, moisture buildup that could lead to the festering of odors and germs will be avoided.
7. Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Preventing a washing machine from smelling is the most effective method of eliminating its odor. This entails expanding your list of household tasks to include cleaning the washing machine.
We implore you to attempt to do it at least once a month if you are unable to maintain that schedule. Just make an effort not to wait until it begins to smell awful.
How to Clean a Top-Loading Washing Machine
Top-loading washing machines come in two varieties: standard and high-efficiency models.
Conventional models feature a central agitator, while high-efficiency hybrid top loaders feature a bottom-mounted flat disc-shaped impeller.
1. Disassemble the agitator for conventional models and immerse it in a solution of hot water, vinegar, and baking soda in the sink.
2. Remove the impeller from hybrid models and immerse it in the mixture of vinegar, baking soda, and hot water.
3. Use a hot water cycle on both kinds of top loaders, add a washing machine cleaning tablet, and then follow the directions on the box.
4. Fill the machine with hot water and a mixture of vinegar and baking soda as a natural option. Always consult the brand’s instructions before attempting a do-it-yourself project.
5. Use of vinegar on washers with rubber parts or hoses is not advised as it may eventually lead to cracking and leaks.
How to Clean a Front-Loading Washing Machine
According to a Samsung representative, contaminants can build up in washing machines, including your front-loading one, from food particles, leftover detergent, dirt, and tap water.
To clean a front-loading washing machine, adhere to these professional cleaning instructions:
1. Verify that there are no clothes in the tub, and then run a spin-only cycle to get rid of any leftover water.
2. Fill the detergent compartment to the top with liquid chlorine bleach. Note: The bleach compartment should not be used.
3. Use the “self-clean” feature once the liquid chlorine bleach has been poured. (Your washer should not contain liquid chlorine bleach.) Press the power button while the front-loading washer’s door or lid is closed.
4. To begin, choose either pure cycle, self-clean, or self-clean, then hit the start or pause button. While self-cleaning times vary by model, front-load washers typically require four hours.
5. Use paper towels to wipe away any residue left in the tub after the self-clean cycle is finished.
6. To get rid of any last bits of residue, rinse and spin the cycle. If more cycles are required, run them until the mold residue is completely gone.
7. To allow the washing machine to dry, leave the door or lid open. To aid in drying, keep the detergent drawer open as well.
8. On the front-loading washing machines, the pump filter is usually located behind a panel, near the bottom, and on the front. Give it a clean.
In case the mold or smell persists even after multiple cleanings, it is advisable to contact an expert for assistance.
Tips to Keep Your Washing Machine Clean
Here’s what to do to keep your washer functioning at its best between cleanings:
1. When the washer is not in use, leave the lid open to allow it to dry properly.
2. To help slow down dirt and detergent buildup, consider doing an occasional warm or hot water cycle if you normally wash in cold water.
3. Don’t put too many or too few clothes in the washer. While a load that is too small may leave behind detergent residue, a load that is too full may keep too much moisture in the washer.
4. Use only HE detergent in your high-efficiency washer if you have one. Soap scum accumulation is a result of using non-HE detergent.
Maintaining a clean and odor-free wardrobe for your family can be achieved in part by cleaning your washing machine.
To keep soil and detergent from accumulating in your washer, repeat the procedure every thirty days or every thirty cycles of washing.