A washing machine makes laundry so much easier, efficient, and quicker. However, these machines can cost a pretty penny, so many apartment residents typically take their laundry to a laundromat or a wash shop to get their clothes cleaned.
Laundromats have a ton of responsibility when it comes to the cleanliness, as who would want to spend to have their clothes cleaned in a shop that doesn't disinfect the machines that other people have used? You have no idea whether the person before you used the machine to wash their germ-filled clothes, or even furniture covers from a bed bug infestation!
As part of the laundromat crew, you will need to ensure your machines are well sanitized to attract more customers, and to maintain sanitary operations as well. We'll guide you through disinfecting the washing machine, from the washing drum to the machine door!
What You’ll Need
- Distilled white vinegar
- Baking soda
- Disinfectant cleaning solution (Rubbing alcohol or chlorine bleach)
- Scrubber brush
- Soft towel or cloth
How to Disinfect and Sanitize a Washing Machine
Step 1: Remove the Soap Scum and Hard Water Stains
The first step in disinfecting your washing machine is to remove the soap scum, mold, and other stains. You can do this by spraying a solution of white vinegar and baking soda all around the empty washer drum, and letting the solution sit for at least 30 minutes. Spray the solution on the rubber seal as well.
Let the cleaning solution dissolve the stains. Use a scrubber brush to loosen up the remaining dirt and stains, and apply more of the vinegar solution for especially stubborn marks. Make sure the washing machine is switched off and unplugged before you do this.
Step 2: Rinse, and Fill for Disinfecting
Rinse out the washing machine by hosing it down with some water, or letting the machine run a rinse cycle. Your goal is to rinse off as much of the vinegar solution as possible to prevent the mixing of white vinegar and your chosen disinfectant, which may cause harmful gas to form. Once rinsed, fill up the machine with hot water and your chosen disinfectant.
If you have a front loading washing machine, hose down the interior, then add the disinfectant to the spot where you apply the fabric softener. Run the machine on a hot wash cycle to fill up the machine with the disinfectant solution. Add four cups of disinfectant for every full load.
We recommend using alcohol at a 70% concentration for disinfecting commercial laundry machines as chlorine bleach may leave residue that would bleach the clothes of the next person who uses the machine. However, if your machine was made solely for white clothes, and regularly uses chlorine bleach, then you may use bleach as your disinfectant.
Also read: How to Disinfect Your House After Covid
Step 3: Rinse Away the Disinfectant
Let the disinfectant sit for an hour - the longer the better, and allow the machine to cycle to get the disinfectant solution moving. Drain out the water, and rinse away any residue from the disinfectant solution. For front loader washing machine types, you may need to use a hose, or let the machine cycle with a new batch of water.
Step 4: Sanitize the Exterior
Sanitize the exterior of the machine: use alcohol on a soft cloth to wipe the disinfectant on the machine door, the control panel, and throughout the body of the machine to give it a complete clean! Let the disinfectant dry completely. Most germs will die after 10 minutes of applying disinfectant on the surface, so apply as needed.
Step 5: Dry the Machine
Leave the washing machine door open, and use a dry cloth to wipe the interior clean. Face a fan into the interior of the machine, and allow it to dry before closing the door. Remember to wipe dry the door seal, as well as between the nooks and crannies of your machine to ensure these won't harbor any mold or mildew colonies!
If you have a business or know someone that needs disinfection, then feel free to contact us or learn about our disinfection service in Singapore.