Do I Really Have to Clean My Washing Machine? YES. Here’s How.

How to Clean Your Washing Machine

Cleaning your washing machine is probably something you never think to do, but doing this every three months actually makes a huge difference for your laundry. To get your clothes super clean and avoid yucky, build up, follow these easy steps.

SAFETY FIRST: Make sure to unplug your machine before doing any cleaning. This is a very important safety ite, as failing to do so could result in electrocution! 

EXTERIOR WASHING: Wash the exterior of the machine; simply using warm water and a cloth should do the trick. If you need a little more cleaning power, use a spray cleaner. 

INTERIOR WASHING: There are several methods for cleaning the basin of the washing machine, so choose the one that is right for you.

For issues with rust: Put the washer on the largest load setting, fill the basin with hot water (use the hottest setting), add two cups of lemon or lime juice, and do a full cycle. To rinse the machine, do an additional cycle without adding anything to the water.

For issues with odor: Smelly washers are a common concern. Put the washer on the largest load setting, fill the basin with hot water (use the hottest setting) , add two cups of distilled white vinegar, and two cups of bleach. Do a full cycle. To rinse the machine, do an additional cycle without adding anything to the water.

If you have pets: If your household includes lovable, furry friends, your washing machine basin will very likely become coated with fur and/or hair.  To combat this problem, after finishing a load, keep the lid open to let the basin air out and completely dry. Then use your vacuum's soft brush attachment to  clean out the hair.

Tips and Tricks: To keep your washer as clean as possible in between cleans, make sure that you take laundry out of the washing machine as soon as possible—leaving it in can promote mildew and bacteria growth.  When no loads are in the washing machine, prop the door or lid open to promote air flow, and stave off the moist environment that mold and mildew love so much. 

Clean up detergent spills immediately, the longer you wait, the harder they are to clean.

If this seems too labor-intensive, there are ready-made washing machine cleaners, which can be store-bought and used following packaging instructions.