How to Clean a Washing Machine?

Today, a washing machine has become a life savior for many. However, every rose has its thorn and similar is the case with washing machines too.

One of the most common “thorn” associated with a washing machine is its cleaning – something which many people overlook and then start looking for quick-fix solutions when things go out of hand. In this post, we will discuss some simple tips and tricks which will help you clean your washing machine – both front load and top load – and say bye-bye to that awful smell that your washing machine has been having for days!

Wash your detergent drawer and the fabric softener drawer

Most front loading washing machines have a removable detergent drawer, so take that out and give it a thorough scrub. If you are unable to remove the detergent drawer, then clean it with a sponge. Once, you have scrubbed the drawer, rinse it thoroughly and let it air dry. After drying, you can put back the drawer.

This step is going to be common for both fully automatic washing machines and the semi automatic ones. The other steps might differ a bit, but will more or less be the same.

Check the door gasket

In front loading washing machines, this area often accumulates water and allows for the growth of mold. So, clean this area properly. If you see any mold, use a sponge or dry cloth to wipe it off. For top loading washing machines, this area is relatively clean. However, just to be doubly sure, clean the door with a dry cloth or sponge.

Turn attention to the lint filter

This is a common problem for both front loading and top loading washing machines. Moist lint is a breeding ground for bacteria and also causes an unpleasant smell. So, clean the lint filter too. Clean the lint filter in a sink and pull out any residual lint trapped in the filter.

Time to clean the drums

For this, if you have a top loading washing machine, let the drum be filled with some water and then add 1 liter of vinegar and ½ cup of baking soda to the drum. Let the drum agitate for a minute and then stop the washing cycle for an hour. After an hour, let the washing cycle continue.

If you have a front loading washing machine, add the vinegar (1 liter) to the detergent dispenser and the baking soda (1/2 cup) to the softener dispenser and then run your washing machine on the hottest water setting at full load and at the longest washing cycle.

(Image credit: May van Millingen/Apartment Therapy)

While the cycle is running, both in top load and front load washing machine, you can start cleaning the exterior of the machine with a dry cloth or sponge. Once the cycle is over, run a second cycle – this time with plain water for top loading washing machine and hot water for front loading washing machine. When the second cycle is finished, leave the door open and let the interior of the washing machine air dry.

Repeat the above steps after every 2-3 months

Now that your washing machine is clean, keep repeating the above steps after every couple of months and have a clean washing machine at any time of the year


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