6 Easy Steps to Clean Your Washer

Are you wondering how to clean your washing machine? Our washing machines help us a lot in the cleaning department. However, sometimes, these mean cleaning machines are what need some, well, cleaning!

Well, you need not worry when the day comes. Today, we will show you how to clean your machine in 6 easy steps! Without further ado, let us get cleaning!

Do You Need to Clean Your Machine?

Do You Need to Clean Your Machine

Yes. At first, it might seem absurd to clean a cleaning machine. It does the cleaning. How could it not be, well, clean? Well, that is because everything you put in the washing machine can soil it.

The most obvious culprit would be the dirty clothes you put in the washing machine. The dirt does not magically disappear. It has to go somewhere, and sometimes, somewhere is inside the washing machine.

However, dirty clothes are not the only culprit here. Even the detergents, softeners, and everything else you use in cleaning dirty clothes can dirty the machine too. These things can leave some residue, build up over time, and become a nest for bacteria and such!

Washing machines need some cleaning to avoid them doing the opposite of what they do. Instead of cleaning clothes, it could start further dirtying them. Also, if you do not clean your washing machine, it can even eventually be why it breaks down.

With all that, you want to clean your machine regularly. Additionally, deep cleaning quarterly is ideal.

Now, it might look like a daunting task to clean such a big machine. However, you need not worry. It is easy-peasy! With that, let us get right to it!

Choose Your Cleaning Partner for the Job

Choose Your Cleaning Partner for the Job

Before you start, you want to pick your cleaning partner and get your cleaning tools.

First, you want to decide on what cleaning agent to use. When cleaning washing machines, here are the most common choices:

Cleaning Agent Amount Needed
Vinegar Approx. 6 Cups
Bleach Approx. 3 Cups
Dishwashing Soap Approx. A Quarter Cup
Baking Soda Approx. 2 Cups
Detergent Approx. A Quarter Cup

Dishwashing soap (e.g., Dawn) and baking soda (e.g., Arm & Hammer) are optional. However, you have to at least pick between vinegar and bleach.

If you are dealing with an odor, vinegar might be for you. However, there is a debate about using this cleaning agent on washing machines. Some say it is a less harsh option than its counterpart (i.e., bleach). On the other hand, some do not recommend using it as it can ruin some parts (i.e., rubber parts) of the machine. You can go with this one, but it might be ideal not to use it often.

If you are dealing with gunk, stains, and such, it might be best to go with bleach. However, you want to make sure you do not overdo this one.

You can use both but in turns. We suggest only picking one, though. Mixing the two can be dangerous, and if you use both, you might accidentally mix them!

For the tools, you need the following:

  • Spray Bottle
  • Toothbrush
  • Cloth
  • Gloves

Do you have everything ready? Well, let us get cleaning then!

1. Wipe Everything You Can See

Wipe Everything You Can See

To start, ensure that the washing machine is off and unplugged for this step. Also, do not forget to wear your gloves before you start. You might not be dealing with really harsh chemicals, but they are still chemicals.

After that, you want to make your cleaning solution. Whether you are using vinegar or bleach, the ratio would be 1 part of the cleaning agent of your choice and 1 part water. If you want, you can add some dishwashing soap to the mix. Make the solution directly in the spray bottle to cut some time and work.

Next, spritz the insides of the washing machine with the solution you made, and leave no surface untouched!

Finally, wipe everything with a cloth.

2. Brush the Nooks and Crannies

Brush the Nooks and Crannies

For this step, get a toothbrush and the cleaning solution you made earlier. You can use the solution as it is. However, you can add some baking soda to the mix if you have some tough gunk and grimes on your hands.

First, you want to put a drop or two of the mix on the nooks and crannies of your washing machine. Then, you want to get your toothbrush and scrub away until you get every corner.

3. Soak the Washing Machine

Soak the Washing Machine

To start this step, you want to plug in and turn on the washing machine.

Here, you want to fill the washing machine with hot water. Then, add some vinegar or bleach to it. Again, do not use the two together. It makes chlorine gas which could be deadly.

If you use vinegar, add a quarter to four cups of it, depending on how bad the problem is and how big the machine is. On the other hand, if you use bleach, only add a quarter of it regardless of how big the problem or machine is.

After that, run a cycle until everything mixes together. This one should take around a minute or less. Once the cleaning agent mixes with the water, pause everything. Finally, let the solution soak the machine’s inside for an hour. Do not forget to leave the washing machine open during this step!

4. Run the Washing Machine

Run the Washing Machine

Close the washing machine and let the cycle continue.

Now, there are a few ways to go about next. You can:

  • Stop right here.
  • Run another cycle.
  • Run another cycle, but this time, with a cup of baking soda.
  • Run another cycle, but this time, with a quarter cup of the opposite cleaning agent. So, if you used vinegar first, you would use bleach next. On the other hand, if you used bleach first, you would use vinegar next.
  • Run another cycle, but this time, with a quarter cup of detergent. This one is best for when you want to get rid of the smell of the previous cycle.

Whichever one you choose, remember to rinse, spin, and drain after a cycle.

5. Air Dry the Washing Machine

Air Dry the Washing Machine

Once you are happy with what you see and smell, leave the machine to air dry for as long as needed. Do not forget to open the door or lid of the washing machine for this step! It is also ideal to have the windows and doors open for good ventilation.

6. Wipe Everything You Can See Again

Finally, get a clean cloth and give everything a good wipe. While you are at it, you might want to give the crooks and crannies a good inspection too!

Tips and Tricks to Keep the Washing Machine Clean

We have shown you how to clean a washing machine. Next, let us discuss ways to minimize the dirt you have to deal with next time you take on your washing machine.

  • Use green products. Eco-friendly detergents, bleaches, and softenershelp prevent the build-up caused by washing machine products.
  • Less is sometimes more.Do not load the washing machine with too many dirty clothes, and do not use too many cleaning products in one go.
  • Let the air inside your washing machine.Always leave the lid or door of your washing machine open to let it air dry.
  • Take the load out immediately.Do not put off taking out the clothes as it is the cause of many washing machine soiling problems.
  • Clean the washing machine after every use.If you see any debris in there, take it out immediately. Also, wipe the insides of your washing machine after every use.
  • Clean the outside of your washing machine too.In keeping your washing machine clean, you do not only want to concentrate on its insides. Make sure you also wipe the outside of your washing machine. Also, move it at times, and give it a good sweep when possible!

Things to Keep in Mind

Things to Keep in Mind 

Washing Machines and the Self-Clean Function

As you probably already know, not all washing machines are identical. Some have a self-clean function. If your washing machine has this function, you can go with this one instead.

Not all self-clean functions work the same, though. Make sure you check with the manual how to proceed with this method!

Check the Manual of Your Washing Machine

Even if your washing machine does not have a self-clean function, you still want to consult its manual. If we are being honest, most of us rarely check with the manual. However, it can hold some essential information you do not want to miss!

When Using a Washing Machine Cleaner

You can also use a commercial washing machine cleaner if you are hesitant about using the chemicals we listed earlier. However, they have different instructions on how to use them. You do not have to worry, though. Like most commercial products, they come with instructions.

Final Words

Are you still wondering how to clean your washing machine? Hopefully not!

Today, we showed you how to clean your machine in 6 easy steps. We hope we got to help you today and if you need more help with other concerns like this one, feel free to check out our other discussions!


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