Are you looking for easy ways to learn how to clean your washing machine at home? Have you been suffering from musty smell or harbor mold of your washing machine? If yes, then this is the right time to clean your washer thoroughly. You might never think of this cleaning appliance needs cleaning. But it is true that, if you take care of your washing machine rightly, it will take care of your favorite clothes as well. The washing machine can be breeding ground for germs and mold due to moisture areas. With regular cleaning of a washing machine, you can keep your washer fresher and your clothes cleaner.
If you fail to clean it regularly, this leads to bacteria, mold, soap scums build up in your washer over the time. So, here we are going to share the in-depth guide with some easy tips on how to clean a washing machine that would hopefully help you out to get rid of your cleaning problem.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Do You Need To Clean Your Washing Machine?
- 2 How Often Should You Clean Washing Machine?
- 3 How To Clean Washing Machine Components?
- 4 Washing Machine Drum
- 5 How To Clean Front Loader Washing Machine Rubber Seal?
- 6 How To Clean Drain Pump Filter Of Washing Machine?
- 7 How To Clean Washing Machine Drain Hose? / How To Unclog Washing Machine Drain?
- 8 How To Clean Washing Machine Dispenser Drawer?
- 9 How To Clean Washing Machine Inlet Valve?
- 10 How To Clean Exterior Of Washing Machine?
- 11 Why Does Your Washing Machine Smell and how To Clean It?
- 12 How To Remove Rust From Washing Machine?
- 13 Additional Maintenance Tips To Keep Your Washing Machine Clean
- 14 How To Clean HE Washing Machine?(Video)
- 15 How To Clean A front Load Washing Machine?(Video)
- 16 How To Clean A Top Load Washing Machine?(Video)
Why Do You Need To Clean Your Washing Machine?
We use our washer so often but we never think of the washer also need to clean itself. Due to the damp area within the washer and in the laundry room this is the perfect place for growing mold fast. Detergent, lint, laundry soil and hard water minerals build up in a washing machine after washing loads of dirty laundry and it gets sticky as well. It is essential to clean your washer regularly to get rid of off that yucky stuff. It may contaminate your favorite clothes too. So, Regular cleaning keeps your washing machine hygienic, dirt-free and prevent from rusting as well.
How Often Should You Clean Washing Machine?
The washing machine can be breeding ground for bacteria so as our clothes too. When you clean your clothes with hot water in your washer, the machine is being cleaned automatically. I clean my washing machine once in every two months. If bi-monthly cleaning you may not find sufficient, clean it more often or when needed. If you wash heavily soiled or greasy clothes, wipe your washer more often like once in every fortnight. It is also advisable to clean your washer and dryer whenever you wash certain whites.
How To Clean Washing Machine Components?
Washing Machine Drum
How To Clean Washing Machine With Vinegar?
There are different types of vinegar available out there in the market like wine, white, cider, rice, sugar cane and malt. We recommend cleaning your washing machine with the most natural way by using white vinegar. You can clean many things around your home with white vinegar. It is a cheap and environmentally friendly way to clean your stuff as it acts as disinfectants and odor neutralizer. The white vinegar is also known as ‘spirit vinegar’ or ‘virgin vinegar’ produced by fermentation of distilled alcohol (does not include alcohol content in the finished product). The alcohol turns into acetic acid and then it is diluted with distilled water that includes 4% to 7% acidity.
You can clean front load and top load washer with white vinegar but the quantity of vinegar and process have a little difference.
Front Load Washing Machine
1.Fill the detergent dispenser with ¾ cup (177.44 ml) of white vinegar or fill the dispenser completely.
2.Select hot water setting with normal wash program. If your washer does not have hot water setting, choose ‘white’ or ‘stain’ setting. You can also select ‘extra rinse’ option if available. Let the cycle run till it finishes.
3.Again select additional rinse cycle (if your washer doesn’t have an option of 2nd rinse cycle) to ensure no any vinegar left in your washer. And now your washer is good to use it yet again.
Top Load Washing Machine
1.You can start the cleaning process by setting your washer at hottest temperature. Select the longest cycle with highest load size.
2.Add four cups(946.35ml) of white vinegar to your washer. Close the washer door and allow it agitate for some minutes.
3.Open the washer door so as the machine stops. Let it sit for an hour. Now, vinegar will remove the bacteria and mineral build-up present on your machine.
4.Then run the complete cycle with vinegar. Repeat the process again if your washer has extra dirt.
5.Lastly, wipe down the interior of the washer with a dry rag.
Tip– We do not recommend to mix vinegar with bleach. When you mix weak acid to bleach, it will release toxic chlorine and chloramine vapors.
How To Clean a Washing Machine With Bleach?
Bleach is outstanding and power packed cleaning tool to clean your washing machine. It assists in disinfecting, brightening and removing odor. This also helps a lot to remove dirt, mold, and mildew from the washer. When you clean your washer with bleach, make sure that your washer is free of laundry and vacant.
Front Load Washing Machine
Front load washing machine is quiet, energy and water efficient and requires less detergent. But it develops mold and bad odor due to unremoved water trapped in the bottom of washing machine over the time. Don’t mix bleach with other cleaning agents.
You can make your front loader dirt free with bleach by below-mentioned steps:
1.Primarily you have to make the bleach solution with a proportion of ½ cup bleach with 1 gallon of water. The inside of the door likely to grow the mildew fast in front load washer. Wipe down the inside of the door with the bleach solution.
2.For internal cleaning of washer fill up the bleach compartment of your washer. For the bleach quantity, consider a washer’s instructions.
3.Set the water temperature to hot. Hot water helps to remove the gunks easily. If your washer is featured with extra rinse function, you can use it. It will remove all the bleach at the end of the cleaning session.
4.Now you can run the washer. You can select long cycle if you haven’t cleaned your washer since a long time. If you clean it at a regular interval, a regular cycle is appropriate. Run the cycle until completion. If your machine is having a special feature of clean out cycle, you can use it for cleaning.
5.After completion of the regular wash cycle with bleach run the washer once again with using only water. It assures that no any bleach residue is left. So as it doesn’t damage your clothes in next cleaning cycle.
6.When wash cycle finishes, open the door of washer and allow it to dry overnight.
Top Load Washing machine
1.Fill the drawer of the top loader with bleach. If your washer doesn’t have a separate compartment for bleach add up to 1 cup of bleach directly into the tub.
2.Set your washer at long wash cycle and select the high temperature of water.
3.Allow the washer to run long wash cycle until completion. If you have maintenance cycle or clean out cycle you can use it.
4.Pause the cycle once and let the bleach soak in washer’s drum. Allow it to soak for an hour and turn on the cycle.
5.Once again run the rinse cycle to remove bleach residue if any.
How To Clean Washing Machine With Baking Soda?
Do you know baking soda can be effective cleaning tool than just sit back in your refrigerator? Baking soda is mildly abrasive, oil absorbent and having smell fighting properties. It is non-toxic, safe, edible, neutral and biodegradable cleaning tool which found as a key ingredient in cleaning products.
Baking soda aka Sodium Bicarbonate is a neutral compound produced from positively charged ion i.e. cation and negatively charged ion i.e. anion. Actually, it is an acid salt.
You can clean your front or top load washer with baking soda.
Front load washing machine
- Two tablespoons of baking soda
- Lemon juice
1.Mix two tablespoon of baking soda and water in a bowl. Now, your cleaning detergent for the washer is ready.
2.Pour this mixture into detergent compartment of your washer.
3.Set your machine to normal load at hottest water temperature. Close the door of the washer. Start the washing cycle and allow it to finish. The baking soda cleans your washer thoroughly by removing mold and mineral deposits.
4.Clean the opening of the washer by using cleaning scrubber. Remove mold and residue if any. Wipe it with clean water.
5.Apply this process once in two weeks.
6.Apply lemon juice only if you notice rust stains on the tank. Set highest temperature with short wash cycle. Let lemon juice do their job. It will remove rust stains and unpleasant odor easily.
Top load washing machine
- 4 ounces of baking soda
- 2 cups of lemon juice
1.Set your top load washer with largest load setting with hottest water temperature.
2.When it gets full, add two cups of lemon juice with 4 ounces of baking soda. This mixture works to clean grime and hard water deposits.
3.Allow the washer to spin. When the baking soda dissolves in a basket after spinning, pause the machine and allow it sit for half an hour.
4.Restart the washer and allow it to finish the cycle.
5.If you have spin and drain cycle on your washer choose it to remove grime.
6.When washer gets empty, wipe down all surfaces with a solution of hot water and lemon juice.
How To Clean Front Loader Washing Machine Rubber Seal?
The front load washing machine is specifically prone to mold, mildew and detergent residue. They use less water and detergent than top loader machine. The doors of the front loader lock and seal tightly. The rubber seal of front load washer gets constantly exposed to moisture. So, there is a high risk of emerging mold. If it is not eliminated, the washer gets stinky and the bad odor transfers to clothes during washes. But you can easily clean the rubber seal of your front loader with the following process.
Regular Cleaning of the gasket
1.Take out all the clothes from a drum of the front loader. Open the door of the washer.
2.Remove the stuff caught in gasket if any. Check out for dust or hair in a gasket. Make sure nothing is left behind the gasket.
3.If you notice the black spots around the seal, the mildew developed in that area. Due to the detergent residue or a lot of moisture causes the mildew. To eliminate mildew with hot soapy water or mildew cleaner.
For Deep cleaning of gasket
1.Take out all the foreign objects from your washer.
2.If you want to give deep cleaning to the washer gasket you can use chlorine bleach. Open the window of laundry room for proper ventilation as you are going to use bleach. Wear hand gloves for protection from bleach.
3.Take 1 gallon of warm water in a bucket. Transfer ¾ cup of chlorine bleach in a bucket.
4.Stir the bleach solution with a white towel. Don’t use colored clothes as it will damage the fabric. You can also use a toothbrush as a cleaning tool.
5.Wipe down the whole rubber seal with the bleach-soaked towel. Gently fold the rubber seal to reach hard nooks and crannies. Don’t wipe it harshly as it could damage the seal.
6.Leave the door open for at least 5 minutes. Let the bleach kill the mold, mildew and remove musty smell.
7.Wipe the whole seal with a dry rag.
8.Keep the washer door open for few hours and allow the drum area to make it air dry. Keep away from pets and children.
You can also use inexpensive ingredient Hydrogen Peroxide to remove the mold from a gasket. It is most common disinfectant for a household as it has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. You can also use it as sanitizer and deodorizer.
1.Soak the paper towel in hydrogen peroxide. You can add some vinegar to hydrogen peroxide if there is a high amount of mold.
2.Pack the rubber fold with a paper towel that is soaked in hydrogen peroxide
3.Allow it to soak for few hours.
4.Use a soft brush and scrub it to remove mold, if needed.
5.Wipe down gasket thoroughly and make it dry completely.
How To Replace washing machine rubber seal?
How To Clean Drain Pump Filter Of Washing Machine?
The filter of washer primarily designed for protecting the drain pump from damage due to foreign objects and to catch lint. They should be removed before they start to block the washer’s drainage system. If you forget to clean your washing machine filter, it may cause poor wash result or leakage issue or it may not work at all. So, you should check and clean your filter once in a 3 month. You can clean the filter with below easy-to-follow guide.
Front Loader filter
1.Turn off the washing machine and unplug it from the socket.
2.Locate your drain pump filter of the washer. Open the filter cover using a flat screwdriver or coin.
3.Prepare to drain access water from the washing machine. For this, keep the bowl near the filter to collect the water.
4. Let the water drain out to the bowl. Each washer has a slightly different process to drain excess water.
If your washer has capped hose to drain the water unclip the hose and turn it toward the bowl. Remove the plastic cap on the hose and allow the water pour into the bowl.
5.Replace the hose cap and clipped it in original position again.
6.Turn the filter counter clockwise and remove it off.
7.Clean out hair, lint, and gunk in the filter. Pull the foreign objects out of the filter if any.
8.Clean the filter with hot water under the sink. Wipe down the filter with a clean rag.
9.Reinstall the filter by screwing it clockwise to lock it precisely.
10.Close the small filter door rightly. And now your washer is ready to use again!
Top Loader Lint Filter
Is your laundry coming out of your washer with a lot of lint coating? Then, your lint trap likely to be clogged. Lint filter is a small pore mesh filter that catches lint and hard dirt of your clothes during the wash. It is located on the washing tube inside the washer. It should be cleaned once or twice in a week otherwise it adversely affects on washing performance. The lint trap may locate inside the agitator or along the top rim of washing drum of the top loader (Refer Manufacturer’s manual).
1.Open the lid of top load washer.
2.If the lint filter is removable, remove the lint filter out. soak in hot water for at least 10 minutes to remove lint. Wash the lint filter from both sides thoroughly. Replace back in its original location.
3.If lint filter fixed in its place, use soft brush or paper towel to remove lint.
4.If the lint filter is disposable, replace it if clogged.
How To Clean Washing Machine Drain Hose? / How To Unclog Washing Machine Drain?
If you are facing slow draining or clogging issue with your washer, you need to clean drain hose of the washer. It is clogged often due to lint, soap residue, or grease come from your clothing. So, you can tackle this problem with little time and effort.
1. Unplug the washing machine. Take out the wet clothes from the washer drum. Remove the water from the drum with the bucket. The washer is difficult to move if its full of water and wet clothes.
2.Pull the washer out from the wall and make sufficient space to get you behind.
3.Take out back plate of the washer by removing the screw.
4.There are three hoses at the back of the washer. Locate the drain hose. The drain hose is largest in diameter and connected to drain pipe.
5.Check out the drain hose for kinks. Most likely they are causes clogging or slow draining.
6.Take out the drain hose from washing machine by separating it from the drain pump. You may need a screwdriver to open the clasp where drain hose connected to the pump.
7.When you remove the hose, place a bucket near to collect the water that comes from the drain pump.
8.Take away another end of hose the pipe.
9.Use a cloth hanger and bend it. Poke inside the hose to clear the blockage.
10.Replace the hose at its original position. Run the washer and check it out.
How To Clean Washing Machine Dispenser Drawer?
If you see your washer dispenser drawer gets dirty or moldy, then you need to clean it regularly. The build of fabric conditioner and powder combining with a damp environment, it is a perfect area where can grow bacteria. If it is not cleaned properly, it leads to an unpleasant smell, mold or leakage from drawer of your washer.
1.Remove the dispenser drawer of your washer. Refer user manual, if you are not sure about how to remove the drawer.
2.Clean it with hot water using a soft brush.
3.If you notice the a lot of calcium deposits or scum marks on dispenser use bleach. For this, you need to soak the drawer in hot water with some bleach at least for 5 minutes. It also helps to remove limescale build-up completely. We recommend using the protective gloves to protect your hands from bleach.
4.Use small soft brush and cloth rag to wipe down inside and outside of drawer entirely. Dry out the dispenser drawer thoroughly.
5.Rinse the dispenser drawer and housing with warm water.
6.Transfer 1 cup of liquid chlorine bleach into the dispenser. Set washer at hot water temperature and start an empty wash cycle. Make sure your all clothing is removed from the washer. This will help to flush the chlorine down the hose between the dispenser drawer and the drum. Allow the cycle to complete.
7.Reinstall the dispenser drawer at its original place.
How To Clean Washing Machine Inlet Valve?
The washing machine has inlet valve from where it pulls in water into the tub and control the water flow. These inlet valves may have clogged due to dirt, sand or mineral deposits. Due to clogging issue washer will not fill properly or not fill whatsoever. We recommend cleaning washer inlet valve once in a year to prevent it from clogging.
Things you need:
- Slip Joint Plier
- Needle-nose plier
- Soft brush
1.Turn off the washing machine and unplug it from a socket.
2.Turn off the hot and cold water supply valves on the wall behind the washer.
3.Place a bucket to catch water from supply hoses.
4.Unscrew the water supply hoses of the washer with pliers.
5.Take out the water inlet screen with needle nose plier. Clean the dirt with the brush. If inlet screen has calcium deposits, soak it in vinegar and water solution and clean it thoroughly.
6.Replace the inlet screen into inlet valves. Connect water supply hoses and screwed it tightly.
7.Plug the washer back into the socket.
How To Clean Exterior Of Washing Machine?
You can use vinegar or all-purpose cleaner to clean the exterior of your washer. Vinegar is a natural and easy method to clean out exterior and remove fingerprints as well. You can replace the vinegar with lemon juice also. Pour the lemon juice or vinegar into a spray bottle and wipe off the dirt. Wipe down the knobs of the washer. Make sure all the exterior area is wiped off.
Why Does Your Washing Machine Smell and how To Clean It?
Causes Of Washing Machine Smell:
If unpleasant smell comes out from your washer, its mostly due to residual detergent, lint and mold. Mold present in the humid environment. Lint and detergent particles get accumulated after several washes. There are several other causes leads to bad odor such as the use of bleach-free liquid detergents, persistent washing clothes at low temperature etc.
All these factors result in the bacterial build up in your washer. Over the period of time, the residue of detergent, limescale, dirt, and lint cause bad odor.
How to Clean Smelly Washing Machine?
You can get rid of your smelly washing machine by following ways either it is front load or top load:
1.To get rid of the musty smell of the washer you have to make a solution of 59ml of water with 59ml of baking soda. Pour the mixture into the detergent drawer of the machine. Don’t mix it directly into the drum of the washer.
2.Transfer 470 ml of vinegar to the drum of the washer. The drum should be empty when you put vinegar in it.
3.Set the machine at warm or hot temperature. Select regular cycle.
4.When cycle finishes, wipe down the interior of the washer with the sponge to remove vinegar smell.
5.Repeat this process in every month or as needed to keep it fresher.
You can also clean your stinky washer with the purely natural remedy which is effective for front and top load washer. It is as follows:
Clove oil is fully loaded anti-fungal, antiseptic, anti-microbial properties. Actually, it kills the bacteria rather than hiding them only. Clove oil is an essential oil amazingly works to remove odor as well as mold.
Though clove oil is natural, it is skin irritant or some people have an allergy. So, keep in mind safety first. Wear rubber gloves and goggles while using in the house.
You can clean your stinky washing machine by simply using clove oil. For this, you have to keep your washer empty. Pour 10 drops of clove oil in a washer drum. Set the hottest water temperature and run the washing machine.
How To Remove Rust From Washing Machine?
Most of the parts of your washer made up of metal. It likely to be rust due to the damp environment in your laundry room. When washer rusts from inside, the rust stains may pass on your clothing too. When it rusts from the outer side, lead to damage the washer. So, it is important to remove rust from your washer.
1.Interior Rust Removal
Lemon juice is effective and natural remedy to remove rust. The acidic condiment helps for rust removal. You simply need to pour two cups of lemon juice in your washer. Run the wash cycle at hottest setting and allow it to finish.
2.Exterior Rust Removal
Things you need:
- Appliance enamel
- Auto body filler
- Rust proof primer
1.Wipe off the rust of surface with 1:1 vinegar to water solution. Wait for 5 minutes to dissolve the rust and then wipe off with the rag.
2.Use sandpaper to wipe off surface rust and enamel off corroded parts of the washer. Clean all the loose material till its completely gone. Use the rust dissolver to clean out remaining rust. Apply it according to instruction is given on product. Rinse the rust place with water.
3.Apply auto body filler to fill the gaps. Mix the filler and hardener according to the instructions given. Apply it with the tool like the plastic putty knife and make it smooth and flat with sandpaper.
4.Apply rust preventing primer on rusted areas.
5.Take appliance enamel matches to your washing machine color and coat that area once or twice as needed. Make sure all nooks and crannies are covered. Allow it to dry completely. Now, your washer is completely rust-free and ready to use.
Additional Maintenance Tips To Keep Your Washing Machine Clean
1.If you want to avoid bad odor from your washer use quality powder detergent.
2.Use the right amount of detergent for each wash. Don’t use more than you needed.
3.Wipe down the fabric softener and soap container once in two weeks.
4.Regularly use hot water setting (above 60 degrees) as hot water helps to kill the bacteria and remove the grease. Wash towels and bedding at least at 60 degrees.
5.Don’t keep your washer drum damp for a longer time. remove your laundry immediately after the cycle finishes. Keep the door open when a washer is not in use, so that moisture will remove.
6.Clean the gasket when needed. You can wipe it down with one part of white vinegar with one part of water.
7.Don’t overload your washing machine than its capacity.
How To Clean HE Washing Machine?(Video)
How To Clean A front Load Washing Machine?(Video)
How To Clean A Top Load Washing Machine?(Video)
We do hope that this post helps you to maintain and clean your washing machine and can add years to their life. It also helps you to keep your clothes fresher and cleaner always. If you have any tips regarding this, please share them in comments.