It might seem strange to have to clean a machine that does the cleaning, but over time, soap scum and detergent buildup can start causing problems. Your washing machine--and your clothing--will benefit from a periodic cleaning. From the inside out, here is what you need to know to keep your washing machine in top shape.
Collect Your Materials
There's no need for harsh cleaning agents here; all you need is some white vinegar, baking soda, and glass cleaner to give it a good polish when you're done. You'll also want a cleaning cloth, microfiber cloth, and an old toothbrush. Now, let's get to work!
Cleaning the Inside
First, use hot water and a rag or toothbrush to remove soap scum and detergent buildup. Make sure to scrub all the nooks and crannies, and take out and soak any removable parts such as soap and fabric softener dispensers. If you have a front-loading washing machine, be sure to wipe down the rubber gasket at the front of the washer as it tends to accumulate soap residue, mildew, and hair.
Next, start a wash cycle using the largest load size and hottest water. Add two cups of white vinegar and let the cycle run. For an extra-clean washing machine, repeat the cycle with a half-cup of baking soda. If you have a top-loading machine, you can start the cycle and use the running water to clean up the inside. You'll also need to hand-wash the top portion of the agitator and basin above the water line.
ProTip: Some washing machines have a lint trap that needs to be cleaned. Who knew? Check here to see if yours needs this particular attention.
Detail the Outside
Start at the top of the machine and work your way down. Using a damp towel and your trusty toothbrush, wipe down the control panel and knobs, and then the top, front, and sides of the machine. This is also a good time to inspect the hoses connected to your machine. If you see any cracks or other damage, replace the hoses. Lastly, wipe down the entire outside with glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth to make it shine.
If this is the first you've heard of cleaning your washing machine, don't worry! Now that it's sparkling clean, you simply need to repeat the process every six months to keep your washer working well for the long haul. Plus, once it's done, you might be inspired to give your whole laundry room a spring cleaning!
To learn more about keeping your appliances in great shape, find a Mr. Appliance location near you!