How to Clean a Washing Machine - Step by Step Guide

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Your washing machine is meant to keep your clothes and linens fresh and clean, but have you ever thought about cleaning your washing machine as well? It’s something that many people tend to forget about, but it’s absolutely important to do so, especially if you want to avoid bacteria, mold, and mildew from finding a home inside your machine. Here are different ways you can clean your washing machine!

How to Clean Washing Machine with White Vinegar and Baking Soda

  1. Set your empty washing machine to the highest level, as well as the hottest possible water temperature,
  2. Add two to four cups of white vinegar, depending on the size of your machine.
  3. Let your machine run through a complete cycle.
  4. Once the white vinegar cycle has finished, empty the washing machine once again and repeat the process with half a cup of baking soda (instead of white vinegar).
  5. Dampen a clean microfiber cloth with some white vinegar and use this to wipe down the entire machine, along with its parts such as the gasket, the dispensers, the drawers, and the controls.
  6. Use either a soft brush or an old toothbrush to brush away any grime that you may come across.

How to Clean Washing Machine with Bleach

  1. Add a cup of chlorine bleach to your emptied washing machine.
  2. Set the washing machine to the hottest water temperature setting and let it run a full cycle, preferably with a hot water rinse.
  3. After the cycle, drain the bleach. Then, make a cleaning solution by mixing a quarter cup of chlorine bleach and a cup of water. Use a soft cloth or a soft-bristle brush to apply the cleaning solution and scrub away any dirt or grime.
  4. Check the detergent or fabric softener compartments and wipe them down.
  5. Let the washing machine go through a rinse/spin cycle to wash away the grime and the cleaning solution.
  6. Dilute a small amount of bleach in some water as recommended by the product. Dampen a clean cloth with this solution before wiping down the exterior of your washing machine, as well as the different compartments and controls.

How to Clean a Top Loading Washing Machine with Bleach and White Vinegar

  1. Make sure that your top-loading washing machine is empty before setting it to the hottest water temperature and choosing the longest wash cycle. Let the machine run until it's filled with hot water, then stop it.
  2. Add a cup of chlorine bleach and let the washing machine go through its longest cycle. When it’s done, let everything drain away.
  3. Let the machine fill with hot water before stopping it once again. This time, add two cups of white vinegar and let the machine run through its longest cycle before letting it drain at the end.
  4. Create a soapy water solution by adding a few drops of dish soap to a bucket of water. Dampen a microfiber cloth with this solution and start wiping down the outside of your washing machine, making sure to get the knobs and switches as well. For any tight corners and spaces, feel free to use an old toothbrush.

How to Clean Top Loading Washing Machine with Baking Soda and White Vinegar

  1. Set your emptied top-loading washing machine to its hottest water temperature setting and longest wash cycle. Then, add four cups of white vinegar. Let the washer drum fill up with hot water.
  2. After your washing machine has gone through the entire cycle, leave it to sit for at least an hour to let the white vinegar work. Once the hour has passed, run another wash cycle.
  3. When the washing machine is about to enter its rinse cycle, pour a cup of baking soda in and let it finish.
  4. Create a soapy water solution by adding a few drops of mild detergent into some water. Dampen a cloth with this before wiping down the exterior of your washing machine.

How Often Should You Clean Your Washing Machine?

You should clean your washing machine at least once a month to prevent the buildup of bacteria, odors, and other impurities. This will also keep grime from detergents and other particles from forming.

Additional Cleaning Tips

There are also other things that you can do to better care for and maintain your washing machine:

  • Empty Washing Machine Immediately: Don’t let wet laundry sit inside your washing machine for too long to prevent the formation of bacteria, odors, mold, and mildew.
  • Leave the Cover Open: After finishing your laundry, leave the cover or door open to expel any lingering moisture, and help prevent the formation of mold and mildew.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Safe to Use Vinegar in a Washing Machine?

Yes, white vinegar is safe to use in your washing machine, as long as you properly measure the amount you’re using. White vinegar is great for cleaning your washing machine because of its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.

How Do I Clean a Smelly Washing Machine?

To clean a smelly washing machine, you can use the white vinegar and baking soda method. Aside from thoroughly cleaning your machine, this cleaning method will also eliminate all smells and odors.

How Do I Clean Washing Machine Dispensers?

Here’s how you can clean the dispensers of your washing machine:

  • Removable Dispensers: After detaching the dispensers from the washing machine, fill a sink or bucket with some hot water and add a cup of white vinegar. Submerge the dispensers in the solution for 15 minutes before using an old toothbrush to remove any remaining dirt and grime. Let them dry before putting them back.
  • Not Removable Dispensers: Heat up a cup of white vinegar in your microwave or stove, making sure that it’s only hot and not boiling, before pouring this into the dispensers. Leave it for 15 minutes before draining it and letting it dry.

Most people tend to overlook this simple cleaning task, but it’s something that you should regularly do. By following these cleaning methods and tips, your washing machine will stay clean and completely free of any odors or bacteria!

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