How to Clean a Samsung Washer

Fred's Appliance
September 30, 2021
Washer Repair

Depending on how often you use your Samsung washer, Samsung recommends cleaning the washer bi-weekly or monthly. While you may have seen articles promoting the use of distilled white vinegar as a cleaning product for your washer, Samsung warns against using vinegar because it can damage the machine and its components. Instead, Samsung recommends using the self-cleaning cycle or liquid chlorine bleach to get the best results without damaging the washing machine.

This guide applies to the following models:






















Self-Clean Function

Most Samsung washers have a self-clean function, which allows you to easily clean the washer’s drum without the use of chemicals or having to contact a technician. The self-clean function, also called Pure Cycle or Self Clean+, specifically targets mold and areas of the tub where moisture and detergent residue tend to accumulate. The self-clean function takes around 1 hour with a top-loader washer and 4 hours with a front-loader washer. If your washer does not have a self-clean function, Samsung recommends using either a washing machine cleaning product or bleach; these options are discussed below.

Why Use the Self-Clean Function?

The self-clean function is designed specifically to clean Samsung washers as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Using the self-clean function means that cleaning products or DIY maintenance that could damage the washer are avoided. The self-cleaning function also uses the minimal amount of water needed, and it guarantees you stay within the guidelines of the manufacturer’s warranty policy. Although, perhaps the best benefit is not needing to get your hands dirty or spend a lot of time cleaning the washer.

How Often Should You Run the Self-Clean Cycle?

Samsung washers with self-clean cycles usually feature a light that will flash when the washer requires a self-clean cycle. The light will activate after the machine has run 20 loads. If you ignore the light, it will continue blinking for five more loads before stopping. Once another 20 loads have been run, it will blink again to remind you to run a self-clean cycle.

If your washer does not have a self-clean light, Samsung recommends running the self-clean function every 20 loads with top-loader models and every 40 loads with front-loader washers.

How to Use the Self-Clean Function

If not using bleach (discussed below), the self-clean cycle function does not require any cleaner to be added. If you notice suds or residue in the washer tub during the self-clean cycle, running the self-clean cycle again should resolve the issue.

To run a self-clean cycle:

  1. Make sure the washer is empty and plugged in.
  2. Press Power.
  3. Press Self Clean.
  4. Press Start.

When the self-clean cycle has finished (1 hour for top-loaders, 4 hours for front-loaders), you can run a normal load of laundry.

Cleaning with Bleach

If the washer has an odor or visible mold or mildew, Samsung recommends running a self-clean cycle with bleach.

To clean the washer with bleach:

  1. Make sure the washer is empty and turned on.
  2. Press Power.
  3. Pour liquid bleach into the washer’s detergent container (not the bleach container) to the max fill line.
  4. Press Self Clean.
  5. Wait until the washer has finished the self-clean cycle (1 hour for top-loaders, 4 hours for front-loaders).
  6. Wipe down the washer’s tub.
  7. Run a rinse and spin cycle.
  8. Open the lid and the detergent container so that it can air dry.

If you have a front-loader, the washer’s pump filter should also be cleaned.

Clean the Washer’s Pump Filter (Front-Loader Washers)

Most Samsung washers have a pump filter or debris filter on the front of them that helps prevent lint and other debris from entering the washer’s drain system. Samsung recommends cleaning the pump filter at least once a month or after 40 laundry loads. Making sure the pump filter is clean will prevent odors, mold, and mildew, and it will ensure the washer drains correctly.

To clean the pump filter:

  1. Open the pump filter access panel by pressing on the cover.
  2. Locate the black rubber drain hose.
  3. Remove the white drain plug from the hose, and drain the water into a large container. Be prepared for a little water to spill. Removing the plug may require some elbow grease, as it forms an airtight seal. Twisting the plug while holding the hose should remove it.
  4. Depending on the model, either remove the pump filter by turning it counterclockwise and pulling it out or by pushing it in and turning it like a medicine bottle.
  5. Clean the filter with soap and water. Use a small toothbrush or soft bristle brush to help clean dirt and debris off.
  6. Return the filter to the washer.
  7. Replace the hose plug and return the hose to its mounting clip.
  8. Close the access panel.

Clean the Detergent Drawer

Over time, the detergent drawer can become covered in detergent residue, which affects the washer’s ability to clean properly. Samsung recommends keeping the detergent drawer clean to avoid sub-standard cleaning and to prevent drainage and leaking issues from occurring in the future.

To clean the detergent drawer:

  1. Remove the detergent drawer from the washer. With front-loader washers, the drawer can be removed by pushing on the ends of each side of the drawer. With top-loader washers, pull the drawer out and tip it upwards to remove the drawer.
  2. Rinse and scrub the detergent drawer until the detergent residue is removed.
  3. Return the drawer to the washer.

Routine Cleaning

To keep the washer performing optimally, Samsung offers the following tips:

  • If you usually wash with cold water, occasionally run a cycle with warm or hot water to slow down detergent or dirt buildup.
  • Leave the washer’s door or lid and detergent drawer open to allow air to dry out the washer to prevent moisture from causing mold or mildew.
  • Surface blemishes on the washer’s door can be removed by using a mild detergent and a damp cloth. If the problem persists, try using a cleaning product like Cerma Bryte cooktop cleaner.

Samsung provides maintenance tips for its washers in this Samsung washer maintenance video.

What if the Self-Clean Function Doesn’t Work?

If it seems like the self-clean function is not working 100%, try running the self-clean cycle again, try adding bleach to the self-clean cycle, and make sure to run a rinse and spin cycle after the self-clean cycle. If the problem persists, the self-clean function may be defective, which will require contacting Samsung support and getting a technician to check the washer.

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