Understanding how to clean a washing machine will help keep your washer functioning at its best. The method you use is equally important when cleaning your washer. Some modern front-load washers may require a different cleaning method than the older models. DIY deep-cleaning a few times a year using the cleaning cycle can help extend the life of your machine. Indeed, many manufacturers suggest cleaning your machine at least once every 6 months.
This guide will show you how to deep clean a washing machine. Learn about different cleaning techniques for front-load and top-load washers. These methods include using baking soda, vinegar, washing soda, bleach, or washer cleaner. With just a bit of effort, it is possible to make your washing machine sparkle inside and out.
How to Deep Clean a Washing Machine
Cleaning your washing machine will ensure that your clothes get cleaned more effectively. Although your washer uses detergent every time you run a load, it’s not really cleaning itself. You’ll need to give it a deep clean.
There are a few ways to deep clean your washing machine. They depend on the type of washer you have and whether you’re using a DIY cleaner or a ready-made washer cleaner. The good news is that none of these methods require a lot of effort. Read on to learn more about which method of washer cleaning is most suitable for your needs.
DIY Washing Machine Cleaner
If you’re considering the DIY washer cleaner option, you have a few options to consider. There are a few items that are compatible with each other, so stick to one method throughout. Depending on the materials you have in your hand, you could use bleach, peroxide, baking soda, vinegar, or borax.
If you’re looking for another option, then you can also try a ready-made washer cleaner instead. These are commercial cleaning tablets specifically for washing machines. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you are using a washer cleaner.
How to Clean a Front Load Washer
Knowing how to clean front-load washers is vital. Due to their setup, they are more susceptible to bad smells than top-load washers. It is easy for water to accumulate in tight spaces and begin to develop mildew or mold. Cleaning your washer will help eliminate all that unwanted growth and odor. Here’s an overview of the best way you can clean your front-load or side-load washer:
- Clean the washing machine tub.
- While the tub is soaking, make sure you clean and soak your detergent trays, drawers, and other removable parts.
- Clean the outside of the washer.
- Once the cleaner load finishes, clean the door gasket using an old toothbrush. Clean it using your preferred bleach or vinegar (but don’t mix them).
- Clean the filter.
- Finish cleaning off your soaking detergent trays and parts.
- Wipe the inside of the tub and the door with a microfiber towel.
- Make sure to give the entire washer another once-over with the cloth.
- If possible, prop the door open to ensure everything dries thoroughly.
How to Clean a Top Load Washer
Cleaning a top-load machine is generally easier than a front or side-load one. It’s simpler to let a cleaning solution soak in this kind of washer. Here are the basic steps to clean a top-load washing machine:
- Clean the washer tub.
- While the tub is soaking, wash and soak your drawers, detergent trays, and other removable parts.
- Wipe down the outside of the washing machine.
- Once the cleaner load finishes, clean the parts beneath the tub surround. Wipe it clean with bleach or vinegar (but not both!).
- Clean the filter and agitator.
- Finish cleaning off the detergent parts you’ve been soaking.
- Clean the inside of the tub and the lid using a microfiber towel.
- The entire washing machine should be wiped again with the cloth.
- Open the lid to ensure that everything dries thoroughly.
Clean the Washing Machine Tub
For a spotless washer, begin by cleaning the washtub. This is the easiest area to clean as it’s designed to hold the water. Most washers have a wash cycle that is made to help you clean the machine itself.
Learn how to clean a washing machine with the help of items you may already have at home:
Cleaning a Washing Machine using bleach:
- Start with a dry, empty washer.
- Set your washer to a normal setting with a warm wash and rinse.
- Fill the detergent container with 1/2 cup bleach.
- Make sure you fill the bleach compartment all the way up.
- Run the washer.
Cleaning a washing Machine using Peroxide:
- Start with an empty and dry washer.
- Make sure your washer is set to the cleaning setting or the largest setting you have.
- Add two cups of hydrogen peroxide to the tub and run the washer.
Cleansing a Washing Machine with washer cleaner tablets:
- Start with a dry and empty washing machine.
- Drop a tablet of washing machine cleaner into the washer tub.
- Run a normal cycle on the hottest water setting.
Clean the Washing Machine Door or Lid
If you have a front-load washing machine, you know that the door gets dirty. The rubber gasket around the door is an excellent magnet for lint, hair, and dirt.
In the same way, your top-load washer also gets hair and lint stuck in it. It’s just harder to spot. The indentations around the top of the washtub can catch debris. The lid may also get grimy.
Luckily, the door or lid is simple to clean:
- Use a clean, damp cloth to scrub the sides and front of the washer.
- Also, clean the underside and top of the lid.
- Clean under the inside lip of the lid, as there is a lot of old soap, and lint can get stuck there.
- If you’re worried about mildew or mold, use a mixture of bleach and water. If you’d like, you can use vinegar and water instead.
- Scrub thoroughly with a microfiber cloth or paper towel, then wash with water.
- Wipe it dry.
Clean the Filter and Agitator
To fully clean a washing machine, the agitator and filter must be cleaned. The procedure differs from one washing machine to the other. Front-load washers usually lack agitators. Unplug the machine before taking out these parts:
- Refer to your owner’s manual for instructions on how to remove the washing machine filter.
- If you have agitator models, you can use the socket wrench to pull out the bolt that holds the agitator. After removing the bolt, reach beneath to lift the agitator from the machine.
- Put the agitator and the filter into a bucket of hot, soapy water. You can also make a DIY cleaning solution from 2 cups of vinegar, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 1/4 cup of water.
- Use a soft bristle scrub brush to scrub the removed parts.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry them with a microfiber cloth.
- Replace the filter and agitator in the washing machine.
Now that you know how to clean a washing machine, it’s much easier to keep it sparkling. Are you ready to take on that washer grime for good?