Newsflash: A washing machine doesn’t wash itself. Although we rely on it to clean clothing and towels, it also requires a good scrub down from time to time. If not, you’ll be left with musky and stale pieces of clothing that will stink up the place. It’s not only odour; lint, grim, and dirt get stuck in the drum or/and the washing machine filter. For these reasons alone, it’s important to know how to clean your washing machine. And thankfully, it’s a walk in the park.
How Often Should You Clean A Washing Machine?
There’s a myriad of methods to give your machine a hose down. But it’s important to remember that when learning how to clean a washing machine, always start with the owner’s manual. It should contain thorough cleaning instructions, dos and don’ts, plus how often you should run a maintenance cycle.
If no advice is given, it’s recommended to deep clean your washing machine at least once a month depending on how often you use it. The methods we’re sharing below can be used for both top and front load machines.
How To Clean Washing Machines: Things To Remember
Run A Cycle
Most modern washing machines come with a dedicated washer cycle for the sole purpose of cleaning. All you need to do is set the time, temperature, chunk in a small dose of bleach, and let it go to work. But if your model doesn’t have this cycle, run a normal cycle at high temperatures with chlorine or baking soda in the dispenser. To get rid of stubborn dirt and scum, you can use effervescent tablets or similar washing machine cleaners. They contain active ingredients that remove greasy build-up.
When thinking about how to clean a washing machine, you must not skip this step. Running an empty load on high heat allows your machine to break down residue in unseen areas, and flush out any traces of lint and other particle remnants.
Clean The Washing Machine Drawer
If your washing machine has a filter or detergent drawer, remove it, take it apart, then soak it in a hot water-detergent solution for 30 minutes. Use a toothbrush to extract gunk in difficult to reach places. Before reinserting the drawer, ensure it’s thoroughly air-dried.
Wipe And Dry The Rubber Sealer And Drum
Wipe the rubber sealer using a dry cleaning cloth. Do the same for the drum and lid or door too. And leave them open to air dry.
Wipe Down The Exterior
It’s easy to neglect the exterior when thinking about how to clean a washing machine. Although the machine’s appearance doesn’t impact its performance, it certainly doesn’t hurt for it to look spankin’ new. Use a damp microfiber cloth to remove any visible dust clumps. Water should do the trick, but you can use a mild cleaning spray if needed.
How Do You Clean A Washing Machine That Smells?
As mentioned before, even the best washing machines get dirty over time—soap scum builds up, creating the ideal environment for musty and mildewy aromas to thrive. What should you do when your washer smells like a wet dog? Fortunately, there are ways to eliminate that stench forever.
Keep the door ajar after a wash
This way, you allow air to circulate the inside of your machine, drying it so the odour doesn’t develop. Remember that the less moisture you have sitting on your washing machine, the less likely you are to develop an issue with mould.
Take out clean clothes ASAP
A clean laundry load isn’t completely dry. Hence, remember to empty the machine as soon as a cycle ends. If you allow it to sit in the washer for too long, it mildews, causing unpleasant smells to form.
Use the recommended amount of detergent
The same way not using enough laundry detergent doesn’t get your clothing clean, dispersing too much detergent can do more harm than good. It causes soap buildup, which, as we know by now, is one of the leading causes of mildew. Plus, it’s also a waste of money and your clothes will turn up stiff and clumpy.
It’s Important To Know How To Clean Your Washing Machine So Your Clothes Don’t Stink
Unless you don’t mind hand-washing or sending your clothes to a laundromat forever, you’ll need a washing machine. Like death and taxes, laundry is a certainty of life. And having a washing machine just makes this chore so, so much easier. But like all home appliances, a consistent maintenance schedule is key to longevity and peak performance. Now that you know how to effectively clean your washing machine inside out, including the filter, your laundry will be smelling like a million bucks.