The thought of cleaning an item that is designed for cleaning other things might seem ludicrous, but the reality is that the regular cleaning of a washing machine is vital for continued operations. Whether you have a front loader or a top loader washing machine, here are a few cleaning tips to consider.
Why Should You Clean a Washing Machine?
Over time, the build up of grime and residue can impact the proper functioning of a washing machine, forcing you to replace parts early. By cleaning this household appliance from time to time, you’re enhancing the product’s longevity while also ensuring your laundry is cleaned effectively.
Steps for Cleaning Your Washing Machine
When you get into a routine of cleaning your washing machine, it really doesn’t take long. By following these simple steps you’re able to maintain the item for years to come.
Step 1: Clean the Detergent Drawer
Whether you use liquid or powder detergent, your machine will end up with residue over time that can create mould if not attended to quickly. Modern detergent drawers can be easily removed and rinsed under running water. However, if there is quite substantial build up you might need to use a sponge or old toothbrush to clean it out effectively.
Step 2: Clean the Filter
Your washing machine will have a filter that collects all the excess lint, fluff and dirt for better cleaning. Because the filter is a damp, warm space, germs and odours will accumulate if it’s not cleaned out often. You should lay down a towel before opening the filter so that trapped water can be released. Remove any debris and give the filter a rinse. Then make sure you wipe inside the cavity as well, before replacing the filter and cover.
Step 3: Clean the Door Seal
While this is necessary with a top loader washing machine, it’s even more essential with a front loader washing machine. Because the door prevents the water and suds from escaping, it uses an air-tight seal that can collect water and mould. Using a damp cloth, wipe the seal carefully, removing debris and detergent build up, as well as giving the glass a wipe down as well.
Step 4: Clean the Drum
Firstly: The washing machine should come with some form of ‘clean drum’ setting, but either way, you can place two cups of white vinegar in the detergent drawer and then run the machine, either on the automated setting, or on a hot water wash. The vinegar will prevent bacteria growth as well as removing any unpleasant odours in the machine.
Secondly: Don’t put the vinegar away just yet! Mix a quarter of a cup with warm water and then use a cloth to wipe the inside of the drum and the door.
Finally: Run a second ‘clean drum’ or hot water cycle without detergent or vinegar. If you’re looking for a really deep clean, you can add a half a cup of baking soda in the detergent drawer to clean any tough dirt. Once the cycle is finished, give the drum a final wipe with a cloth.
If you’re cleaning a top loader, you can actually pause the machine during the first cycle to allow the vinegar to soak through for about an hour, before restarting.
Step 5: Clean the Exterior
You can’t forget about the outside of the machine, so mix some white vinegar with warm water and wipe it down with a soaked cloth. Pay attention to the buttons and dials where dust might build up and impact the functionality. You can use an old toothbrush to clean these and other hard-to-reach places.
Step 6: Repeat Regularly
Depending on how often you use your washing machine, you will probably have to give it a clean on a weekly basis. If you make this part of your cleaning routine, it will take no time at all.
How to Prevent Bad Odours
- When you’re not using your washing machine, it’s best to leave the door open to allow the interior to aerate. This will prevent mould from growing, and ensure laundry is kept fresh.
- Make sure the outside drain is kept clear of debris as this build up can cause odours to feed back into the washing machine, affecting the laundry.