Your washing machine works hard for you, so the least you can do is return the favor. For your clothes and linens to be fresh and clean with every wash, you need to make sure that your machine is thoroughly cleaned once in a while. You may not realize that the dirt from your clothes, sheets, and towels goes somewhere. It means that grime could build up in the machine over time.
Mold and mildew may appear, especially around the lid; the area can also harbor hard-water deposits and leftover detergent. You will be left wondering where the funky smell comes from with your freshly washed items. Whether you have a top load washing machine or front loading one, you can follow easy cleaning steps to show it some love.
Where to start?
Well, most washing machines have a self-cleaning function that you can follow. However, if you still have your manual, it should be easy to follow your manufacturer’s guidelines for the cleaning. If you have no self-cleaning function or manual for the same, the following simple steps will eliminate buildup in your machine pipes and hoses, so you enjoy clean and fresh laundry each time.
Step 1 – Add white vinegar and run the hot cycle
Two cups of white vinegar should be added as detergent followed by a regular empty hot cycle run. White vinegar does not cause any harm to clothes, and there is, therefore, no reason for you to worry. This combo helps in removing bacteria and hinders the growth of the same. The vinegar also works great as a deodorizer; hence the odors will be no more.
Step 2 – Scrub in and out
You can do the scrubbing with the help of a toothbrush and sponge. You will need to mix a quart of warm water with a quarter cup of vinegar in a bucket or sink if nearby. Use the mixture to scrub your washing machine’s inside and outside parts thoroughly. The parts that require the most attention are around the door opening, inside parts of the door, and the detergent and fabric softener dispenser. Most dispensers are removable. If yours is, remove and soak in vinegar water for a few minutes and scrub. Do not forget to wipe down your machine’s exterior.
Step 3 – Run the hot cycle again
After you are done with the scrubbing, run another empty hot cycle, but this time without adding the vinegar or detergent. You can, however, consider adding half a cup of baking soda inside the drum. The soda will help clear any loosened buildup from the first hot cycle. After the cycle, use a microfiber cloth to wipe out the drum. It will help in removing any residue that could be present.
Tips for top-load machine cleaning
When running the first hot cycle on the machine, pause the machine. Do this by allowing your tub to fill and agitate the water for a minute, then pause and let the vinegar soak. You can pause for up to an hour for the best results.
Since top loaders have a way of collecting more detergent splatters and dust compared to front loaders, you can use white vinegar and microfiber cloth to wipe the top and the dials. Your toothbrush dedicated to cleaning should help in spots that are hard to reach.
Tips for front-load machine cleaning
When cleaning your front load washing machine, pay close attention to the rubber seal around the door, also known as the gasket. It creates the perfect environment for mildew and mold, especially because of leftover detergent and moisture common here.
Consider cleaning the gasket after you are done with your washing. It also helps to leave the door open for several minutes to allow the water to evaporate completely. In addition, it is a simple way of keeping mildew at bay. You can then wipe using a microfiber cloth before closing it up.
For that deep cleaning, you can wipe using a diluted bleach solution. But, first, check whether your manufacturer recommends using bleach on the machine.
Additional tips for cleaning your washing machine
- Vinegar tends to be more affordable and works just fine, but you can go with your preferences. The market has plenty of cleaning tablets for the washing machines. You will also find liquid cleaners that might make the process easier and more thorough.
- When cleaning out your machine, consider adding essential oil drops. It will leave that fresh smell everyone yearns for in the machine. The good thing about essential oils like mint, lemon, cinnamon, and tea tree is their antimicrobial and antifungal properties. They will therefore work great in eliminating the chances of bad odors.
- Besides white vinegar and baking soda, you can also go for hydrogen peroxide. It will remove all mildew and grime. It can be added directly to the drum when running the hot cycle.
- Avoid mixing the vinegar with other cleaning solutions like ammonia, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide. When mixed, some could end up emitting dangerous fumes. Choose your cleaning solution and stick to it.
If you have sensitive skin, then consider wearing rubber gloves when using the solutions to minimize irritations,
You should do this kind of deep cleaning of the washing machine monthly to keep it smelling fresh and well maintained.
Cleaning your washing machine is not that hard and should be done regularly. It is a machine that does much for you and eases laundry chores around your home. It would be best if you kept it running perfectly.
But considering how busy life can get, you might find that you have no time for this deep cleaning. There are so many things to do in a day and very little time. So if you have a tight schedule and seem to have no time to spare to clean everything that needs cleaning, you can consider hiring cleaning professionals to keep your home in top shape. With deep house cleaning services, you will not only have your washing machine cleaned, but your entire house will be sparkling.