Laundry Tips: How To Clean Your Washing Machine

When you wash your dirty clothes, shoes, and other fabrics in your washing machine, all the dirt and debris are deposited at the bottom of your washing machine. When used for long, the dirt and debris that does not wash through the drain buildup. Your regular laundry detergents and cleaning solutions have residue that also builds but over time.

You can tell it is time for your washing machine to be washed when you see the garments you washed are not as clean as they used to, or you smell some foul odor.

No specific duration is recommended for you to clean your washing machine because how often you wash it will depend on how often you use it. When you use your machine regularly, you can wash it at least once after every three months.

  • To improve the efficiency of your washing machine. When you are in areas with hard water, it can cause lime accumulation which gets into the pipes and slows them down
  • The design of your washing machine may hold water in some locations which can provide a breeding place for mildew and molds
  • Bad odor can also be caused by moisture in the air and stagnant water inside the washing machine; it can cause clean clothes to have the odor when washed
  • During the wash, water and soap usually splash above the water line which leaves grim on upper parts such as the agitator

How to Clean Your Washing Machine

You can use two methods to clean your washing machine i.e. natural way and use of chemicals. Most people will recommend cleaning the natural way because the use of chemicals has a negative impact on bacteria found in septic tanks.

Before you wash your washer, read the manufacturers guide and know the recommended way to wash it. Some manufacturers caution against using certain products or descaling; when you do it, you invalidate your warranty.

I. Natural way


You need vinegar and baking soda to clean your washing machine.

The vinegar contains acidity that is used to dissolve lime in the pipe system when you are in regions with hard water and grim. It is also used as a disinfectant in case you have mold and mildew.

The baking soda deodorizes your washing machine and also dissolves soap scum.

  • 1. Fill the drum with clean water and set your machine to run on hot water and long wash
  • 2. Add 3 to 4 cups of distilled white vinegar (the ratio varies depending on the size of the drum)
  • 3. Lock the lid and let your washer agitate for about a minute to mix the vinegar and hot water
  • 4. Open the lid and add a half cup of baking soda and let it stay for 30 minutes to an hour (do not run the washer at this point)
  • 5. While you are waiting for the solution to dissolve the dirt, take a clean piece of cloth and dip it in the solution and use it to clean the other parts of the washing machine (you can use an old toothbrush to scrub)
  • 6. Clean the removable parts of your washer and the front part such as the knobs
  • 7. After the dirt in the drum has dissolved, lock the lead and let the cycle complete and water to drain
  • 8. After the water is completely drained fill the drum with hot water and vinegar and let it wash away any residue that might have been left from the previous cycle
  • 9. Take a piece of cloth and dip it in a vinegar solution and wipe your washer once it has drained all the water

II. Use of chemicals


The chemical method is easier and fast, but it is not recommended for regular cleaning of your washer because the chemicals in the products used to kill the bacteria in the septic tanks. You need bleach only to perform a chemical cleaning process for your machine.

  • 1. Fill your washer with hot water and pour in one cup of bleach
  • 2. Set your machine to agitate for about 10 minutes and then drain the water
  • 3. Run another cycle with hot water to wash off any bleach residue
  • 4. When all the water is drained take a white piece of cloth and wipe your washer

Make sure that all the bleach residue is washed away because when it remains in your washer, it may damage your fabrics during a wash. Hydrogen peroxide is the most preferred chemical when cleaning your washer using chemicals because it disinfects, removes limescale, and it also deodorizes. Chlorine bleach, on the other hand, does not have to remove lime scale and also it leaves bleach smell.


Washing your washer regularly will help you prevent dirt, mildew, and mold buildup. It also helps you maintain your machine’s efficiency and prevent odor.

Vera Watson

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