Washing machines need to be regularly cleaned. The main reasons for this is that they are a breeding ground for bacteria and mold can develop due to the mix of water and cleaning detergents that you use to clean your clothes.
If you don’t clean your washing machine regularly, bad odors can start to occur, mold and grime will develop, and your clothes won’t come out clean after they have gone through a wash cycle.
Thankfully, cleaning your washing machine is easy to do and doesn’t take much time. Simply follow our step-by-step guide below, and you’ll have your washing machine spick and span in no time.
Clean Your Washing Machine in 7 Simple Steps
- Put on some protective gloves and a protective mask if you have one. This will stop you from touching or inhaling any dangerous chemicals and from touching mold and grime that might be in your washing machine.
- Make up a cleaning solution to use. You can either mix 2 cups of hot water with ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide and ¼ cup of lemon juice OR mix 2 cups of water with ½ cup of white vinegar and ¼ cup of lemon juice for a more natural solution. Regardless of which one you use, it will be powerful enough to remove mold and grime from your washing machine and remove any bad smells. If you decide to use bleach, you should wear gloves to protect yourself from touching it.
- Once you’ve made up your cleaning solution, you can put it into a spray bottle.
- If you have a front-loader washing machine, spray the cleaning solution onto the door gaskets/seals, and give them a good clean with a cleaning cloth. You can also use a brush, if need be, to get into all the hard-to-reach places. If you have a top-loader, give the door a good clean – paying special attention around the door hinge area.
- Give the rest of the outside of your washing machine a good clean with the cleaning solution. If you have the time, you can also pull your washing machine out from the wall and clean the floor underneath it.
- Run a full wash cycle. Place the bleach solution into the dedicated bleach compartment, and if using the vinegar solution, pour it into the detergent compartment. If your washer has a dedicated cleaning cycle function, turn your washer on to it, and let it run through the cycle to the end. If you don’t have a cleaning cycle function, turn your washing machine on to the hottest setting and a heavy-duty cycle, and let it run through.
- When the cycle is finished, open the washing machine door and dry out the washing machine – paying special attention to the gaskets if you have a front loader. You can then leave the door open for a few hours so that it can completely dry out. Your washing machine should be nice and clean and free of any bad smells!
How to Keep Your Washing Machine Clean
Now that you have hopefully successfully given your washing machine a good clean, here are a few tips for how to keep your washing machine clean so that you avoid any problems and make your washing machine last longer.
1. Wipe Your Washing Machine Out After Each Use
First, it’s a good idea to give your washing machine a quick wipe down (including the seals and detergent compartment) after every use. This helps to remove any moisture from your machine which will stop mold from building up.
2. Keep the Lid/Door Open
After you have finished using your washing machine, it is a good idea to keep the lid/door open when it’s not in use. This stops mold and grime from growing; they like to grow in dark spaces, so when the lid/door is open, light can get in and stop this from happening.
3. Don’t Let Wet Clothes Sit in the Washing Machine
Always try to remember to take your wet clothes out of the washing machine as soon as the cycle ends. Again, both mold and grime like moisture because it helps them grow/develop, so the less moisture in your washing machine, the better when it is not in use.
4. Clean the Seals and Gaskets
Try to give the door seals and gaskets on your washer a regular clean to avoid any build-up of mold or grime. It will also help to prevent the gaskets and seals from getting damaged, which can cause leaks on your front-loading washing machine.
5. Switch to Powder Detergents
If you currently use liquid detergents to wash your clothes, you should consider switching to powder detergents or pods, as these are less likely to help mold build up inside your washing machine.
6. Run It Through a Cleaning Cycle Regularly
Try to run your washing machine through a cleaning cycle regularly. This will help keep mold and grime from developing inside your washing machine and ensure your clothes wash properly.