How to Clean a Washing Machine? Step by Step Guide

To clean a washing machine, you need to run a hot cycle with vinegar and baking soda, wipe down the drum and dispenser, and clean the exterior and hoses. This will help remove dirt, mold, and odors from your machine and keep it in good condition. Cleaning your washing machine regularly can also improve its efficiency and performance, and prevent damage and costly repairs.

In this article, we will explain how to clean a washing machine step by step, and provide some tips and tricks to keep it fresh and clean. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about washing machine maintenance and care.

Why You Need to Clean Your Washing Machine

You might think that your washing machine is self-cleaning, since it uses water and detergent to wash your clothes. However, this is not the case. Over time, dirt, soap residue, hard water minerals, and bacteria can build up inside your machine, creating a breeding ground for mold and mildew. This can cause unpleasant smells, stains, and even damage to your machine and clothes.

According to Consumer Reports, you should clean your washing machine at least once a month, or more often if you notice any signs of dirt or odor. Cleaning your washing machine can help you:

  • Remove dirt, grime, and germs from your machine and clothes
  • Prevent mold and mildew growth and eliminate musty smells
  • Improve the efficiency and performance of your machine and save energy and water
  • Extend the lifespan of your machine and avoid costly repairs
  • Protect your health and the environment by using natural and eco-friendly cleaners
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How to Clean a Washing Machine Step by Step

Cleaning your washing machine is not a difficult task, but it does require some time and effort. Here are the steps you need to follow to clean your washing machine thoroughly:

Step 1: Run a Hot Cycle with Vinegar and Baking Soda

The first step to clean your washing machine is to run a hot cycle with vinegar and baking soda. This will help loosen and dissolve the dirt and soap scum inside your machine, and disinfect and deodorize it.

To do this, you need to:

  • Fill the washer with hot water and set it to the longest and highest setting
  • Add four cups of white vinegar to the water and let the machine agitate for a few minutes
  • Add one cup of baking soda to the water and let the machine run for another few minutes
  • Pause the cycle and let the solution soak for an hour
  • Resume the cycle and let it finish

Alternatively, you can use a commercial washing machine cleaner instead of vinegar and baking soda, and follow the instructions on the package.

Step 2: Wipe Down the Drum and Dispenser

The next step to clean your washing machine is to wipe down the drum and dispenser. This will help remove any remaining dirt, residue, or mold from your machine.

To do this, you need to:

  • Wipe the inside of the drum with a damp cloth or sponge
  • Remove the dispenser drawer and soak it in hot water and vinegar for 10 minutes
  • Scrub the dispenser with an old toothbrush or a soft brush to remove any buildup
  • Rinse the dispenser and put it back in place
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Step 3: Clean the Exterior and Hoses

The final step to clean your washing machine is to clean the exterior and hoses. This will help prevent dust, lint, and dirt from clogging your machine and affecting its performance.

To do this, you need to:

  • Wipe the outside of the machine with a damp cloth or a mild cleaner
  • Check the hoses for any cracks, leaks, or kinks, and replace them if needed
  • Clean the filter if your machine has one, and remove any lint or debris
  • Leave the door or lid open for a few hours to let the machine dry completely

Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Washing Machine Clean

Cleaning your washing machine once a month is a good practice, but there are some things you can do to keep your machine clean and fresh in between. Here are some tips and tricks to follow:

  • Use the right amount and type of detergent for your machine and load size
  • Avoid using too much fabric softener, bleach, or other additives, as they can leave residue and cause odors
  • Leave the door or lid open after each wash to let the machine air out and prevent mold and mildew
  • Wipe the door seal and dispenser regularly to remove any moisture or dirt
  • Run an empty hot cycle with vinegar and baking soda once a week to keep your machine sanitized and deodorized

Frequently Asked Questions About Washing Machine Cleaning and Maintenance

Here are some common questions and answers about washing machine cleaning and maintenance that you might find helpful:

  • Q: How often should I clean my washing machine?
  • A: You should clean your washing machine at least once a month, or more often if you notice any signs of dirt or odor. You should also run an empty hot cycle with vinegar and baking soda once a week to keep your machine sanitized and deodorized.
  • Q: What are the best cleaners to use for my washing machine?
  • A: The best cleaners to use for your washing machine are natural and eco-friendly ones, such as vinegar and baking soda. These cleaners are effective, safe, and cheap, and they won’t harm your machine or the environment. You can also use a commercial washing machine cleaner, but make sure to read the label and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Q: How can I prevent mold and mildew in my washing machine?
  • A: You can prevent mold and mildew in your washing machine by leaving the door or lid open after each wash to let the machine air out, wiping the door seal and dispenser regularly, and using the right amount and type of detergent and additives.
  • Q: How can I improve the efficiency and performance of my washing machine?
  • A: You can improve the efficiency and performance of your washing machine by cleaning it regularly, checking the hoses and filter for any damage or clogs, and using the appropriate settings and load size for your wash.
  • Q: How can I extend the lifespan of my washing machine?
  • A: You can extend the lifespan of your washing machine by cleaning and maintaining it properly, avoiding overloading or underloading it, and using gentle and eco-friendly cleaners and detergents.
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Conclusion

Cleaning your washing machine is an important task that you should do regularly to keep your machine and clothes clean and fresh. By following the steps and tips in this article, you can easily clean your washing machine with natural and eco-friendly cleaners, and enjoy its benefits for a long time. Happy washing!