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How to Clean My Washing Machine

Your washing machine may appear spotless, but dirt and odors can accumulate inside. That is why it is so essential to conduct deep-cleaning sessions regularly.

Keep your washer looking and smelling its best with these easy steps. And if you’re worried about damaging the appliance, we have chemical and natural solutions that will leave it feeling refreshed and bright.

Clean the exterior

Your washer’s exterior can be a breeding ground for dirt and germs. Dust from the outside may seep inside during laundry day, so it’s essential to give it a good wipe-over occasionally.

Use a commercial cleaning product with either a microfiber cloth or sponge to give the exterior of your machine an effective wipe-down. Pay special attention to knobs, buttons, cracks, and crevices.

If your washer has a one-piece agitator, remove it from the tub and soak it in vinegar to get it as clean as possible. Be sure to dry it thoroughly before returning it to its place!

Clean the dispensers

Detergent dispensers on washing machines have long been a convenient way to add detergent during the wash cycle. Unfortunately, they can become clogged with soap and fabric softener over time, leading to white marks or streaks on clothing during rinsing.

To clean your washer’s detergent drawers, take them apart and soak them in a solution of equal parts vinegar and water.

Once your detergent dispensers have been degreased, fill the washer with hot water and run through a regular wash cycle to make cleaning more accessible.

Once the machine is complete, empty it and refill the detergent drawers with fresh soap and fabric softener. Repeat this until all drawers are clean. Finally, wipe down with a damp cloth, and let air dry thoroughly before reinstalling the washer.

Clean the filter

The filter in your washing machine is an integral component of its performance. It scoops out any lint, dirt, hair, or other particles stuck in the drain hose of the device, which can impede drying times and leave clothes smelling.

Clogged filters reduce efficiency and may shorten your machine’s lifespan, so cleaning them regularly (at least twice a month) is essential. Unfortunately, when your filter becomes so dirty that cleaning it is no longer an option, a replacement will be necessary.

How often you should clean your filter depends on how often you use the washing machine, what kind of laundry you do, and how much lint gets caught in it. Generally, those in large households or those who launder heavily soiled clothing should do so more frequently.

Clean the interior

When your washing machine isn’t regularly cleaned, it can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew. This buildup can cause odors to transfer onto your clothing, so it’s essential that you regularly deep clean the interior of your machine.

Carolyn Forte, Executive Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, suggests using vinegar and baking soda to clean your washing machine. Vinegar is a germ killer, while baking soda eliminates odors and freshens the tub.

To clean the inside of your machine, pour one quart of vinegar into the drum and half a cup of baking soda into each detergent dispenser. Pause the engine and let sit for an hour; then, wipe down the lid and agitator with a microfiber cloth that has been soaked in this solution.