Washing Machine

How to clean a Washing Machine – Complete Guide to Washing Machine Cleaning

It’s been wisely said, “Cleanliness leads to Godliness.”

Well, we don’t know about Godliness however, being neat and tidy is great. It helps you stay hygienic and healthy. One of modern technology’s blessings to humans to maintain personal hygiene is the Washing Machine. It makes our life a hundred times easier.

This article covers all aspects of Washing Machine cleaning

However, for maintaining the efficiency and performance of this machine, you need to clean it in regular intervals. So, let’s go ahead and see how.

washing machine cleaning guide explained

Why do you need to clean Washing Machines

The thought that you have to clean your Washing Machine is a little counter intuitive. The only job of the machine is to clean, then why does it need cleaning itself?

Well, let’s see-

We tend to think that because it’s always filled with water and detergent, Washing Machines are always clean. It’s not true. Well, actually detergents are one of the reasons why Washing Machines need thorough cleaning every now and then.

The residue from detergent and soap can get stuck inside the Washing Machine creating a layer that traps bacteria and other microbes. These bacteria can clog pipes and inner mechanisms reducing the machine’s efficiency.

Owing to this bacteria growth, some functions of the machine such as heating up the water etc. will take more time than usual. More time means more power consumption and more electricity bill.

Also, the bacteria growth can lead to the development of a stinky odour. If this growth increases a lot, the laundry starts giving a funny smell as well. Sometimes, water gets trapped near certain parts (such as near the door), creating moulds.

How to Clean the Washing Machine

clean the washing machine

Usually, bleach is used to clean Washing Machines. However, this can be harmful, not only for the environment but also for the machine as well.

The bleach can clog the sewage system. Additionally, the bleach is very toxic and leads to the development of a funky smell.

So, what’s the alternative?

White Vinegar.

It’s effective and is natural.

For cleaning you’d need-

  • White Vinegar- 2-3cups
  • Baking Soda- ¼-½ cup
  • Water- ¼-½ cup (optional)
  • Sponge
  • Now let’s see how to clean different types of machines.

How to clean Top Loading Washing Machine

washing machine cleaning - top load

The Top Loading machine is one which has a door on the top through which you put the laundry. The Top Loaders have lower risk of moulding than the Front Loaders as water is usually not trapped near the door.

This however, doesn’t mean that Top Loaders don’t need cleaning.

Washing Machine descaler is used in the areas where you have hard water. It is useful to eliminate the salt deposits.

Here’s how you clean one.

Steps-

Following are the steps for cleaning a Top Loading Washing Machine-

  • Set the Washer on the highest load, the hottest water, and the longest wash cycle.
  • Add 2-3 cups of White Vinegar to the washer and start the machine. Allow the water to mix with Vinegar.
  • Once the machine is full, let it run for 1-2minutes and then stop it.
  • Add a quarter cup- half cup Baking Soda in the detergent dispenser.
  • Optionally, you can add exact same amount of water to the soda and mix it well beforehand
  • After adding the soda (or soda-water mixture) run the washer again for about 1-2 minutes and stop it.
  • Now, let the Vinegar-Water-Soda Mixture to sit for a couple of hours.
  • Do NOT run the machine during this time.
  • After this time frame start the machine again. Let the cycle finish and drain the contents.
  • Now, make a mixture of Water and Vinegar in a separate container. Dip the sponge in it and wipe the area near the door.
  • The water doesn’t fill all the way up to the rim so, there’s strong possibility of dirt residue in that area that needs urgent manual attention.
  • Now, allow the washer to be filled with hot water and start the cycle. DO NOT add vinegar or Baking Soda.
  • The water will wash up all the germs that were left and will clean everything in it’s way thoroughly.
  • Drain the water after the cycle is over.
  • Finally, wipe it all off with a clean cloth.

How to clean Front Loading Washing Machine

washing machine cleaning - front load

The Front Loaders have their door in the front through which you put the laundry. Front Loaders have a higher risk of moulding than Top Loaders do.  So, it’s imperative that Front Loaders be cleaned thoroughly and completely.

The Front-Loading Machine can be cleaned in the same ways as the Top Loading one.

Steps-

Following are the steps for cleaning a Front Loading Washing Machine-

  • Start by cleaning the rubber padding around the front door.
    For this, spray Water-Vinegar mixture on the padding and rub it with a sponge soaked in Soda-Water mixture.
  • Now put some Soda/Soda-Water mixture in the detergent dispenser.
  • Pour around 2-3 cups of Vinegar in the Drum.
  • Start the Machine after setting it on the hottest water, highest load, and the longest wash cycle.
  • Complete the first cycle and drain the contents.
  • Start the next cycle with ONLY hot water to kill off any other germs and bacteria that’s left.
  • Finally, wipe the insides of the washer with a clean and dry cloth piece.

Here’s how you can take some special care of your Washing Machine’s different parts.

Drum

For cleaning the drum, make a soap solution or you can use diluted Washing Machine Cleaner as well. Then, dip a rag or a sponge in the solution and wipe the drum.

Take a clean and dry rag and wipe the drum again to make it dry. After this, keep the door open and the machine, unused for some time.

Dryer

For keeping the dryer clean, put some special focus on the Lint Filter. The lint filter can be cleaned with a Vacuum Cleaner.

Yes, you read it right. Use the narrow nuzzle of the Vacuum Cleaner to collect any lint that’s still trapped inside. You can also use a duster to clean it off.

For cleaning the dryer duct, you can remove it and clean it thoroughly.

How to Clean the Exteriors of the Washing Machine

Washing machine cleaning guide

Why is the exterior of the Washing Machine important, you ask?

People usually keep their washed clothes, stacked in neat piles, right atop the Washing Machine. Because of exterior dirt, the metal parts may begin to corrode.

So, bottom line- the exterior is pretty important as well.

To clean the exterior make a solution with 2:1 ratio of Water and Vinegar respectively. Which translates to 1Cup Vinegar for 2Cup Water. The ratio given is important cause if the vinegar amount would be more, its acidity can corrode the metal.

Dip a rag or a sponge in the solution and wipe the exterior with it. Every nook and cranny should be cleaned.

What are some of the Tips and Tricks on keeping the Washing Machine Clean?

Here are some tips and tricks on keeping your Washing Machine clean.

Don’t let the clothes sit after the Wash Cycle is over.-  This is a very common mistake that most of us make without even realising that it’s a mistake.

If you let your laundry sit long after the Wash cycle is over, the humid environment becomes the breeding ground for bacteria and are not exactly clean.  If the wait is longer, the clothes start giving a funky smell.

So, next time you leave your laundry sit, you might want to run a clue cycles more.

Leave the lid of the Washer open after removing the laundry.- If your close the Washer door as soon as you take the laundry out, the humidity and moisture causes bacteria to grow along with moulds.

So, keep the Washer door open in order for it to dry completely.

Do NOT overfill.- When you overfill the drum, it just seems like a power issue, not a cleaning one. Well, no.

When you overfill the drum, it obviously overworks to clean and in the process, causes the pipes to clog with lot of soap and detergent solutions.

Clean your machine regularly- This is a no brainer. You should clean your Washing Machine, exterior and interior included, in an interval of 3-5 weeks maximum.

Conclusion

Washing Machines are one of the most important and wonderful home appliances. Keeping this, the machine which helps us clean, clean is necessary.

We have tried to cover all aspects of washing machine cleaning.

Hope these tips helped you.

Stay happy and stay clean.

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