We clean our kitchens, our floors, and even our windows, but a lot of us forget about cleaning our appliances. It may seem odd to clean your washing machine, but even the appliances that clean for us need a routine cleaning every now and then. Here are some helpful tips to teach you the best way to clean your washing machine to keep it running smoothly for as long as possible.
First Things First
First of all, you’ll need to empty your washing machine and make sure there are no leftover socks or shirts left inside. Take a washcloth (white preferably, so you can bleach it clean later) and wipe down the inside of your washing machine with white vinegar to remove any set in stains or scummy build up. Don’t forget to get into the nooks and crannies of the lid, seals, and underneath ridges. If there are any removable parts, such as a bleach intake valve, remove those and wash them by hand, or let them soak in a mixture of distilled white vinegar.
Keep It Hot
Once you’ve wiped down the inside with vinegar and washed the various removable parts, fill your washing machine with hot water on the hottest setting. Add an entire quart of bleach and let your washing machine agitate (on the “wash” setting) for about 5 minutes. Then pause the washing cycle and let the machine sit for about an hour with the bleach water inside. When the hour is up, resume the cycle and run your washing machine through its longest and most thorough wash and drain cycle.
You’re not finished yet! Once again, select the hottest setting and longest cycle and allow your washing machine to fill up with hot water a second time. Pour in an entire quart of distilled white vinegar and repeat the process above, letting it agitate for about 5 minutes before allowing it to sit for an hour on pause, then running the rest of the laundry cycle.
Once the inside is completely spic and span, take a washcloth soaked in distilled white vinegar and wipe down the outside of your washing machine. Don’t forget to detail the knobs as well!
Don’t combine the bleach and vinegar or you will end up making a toxic gas inside your home. Make sure each cycle is complete before adding any other ingredients. Once the last cycle is finished, it’s usually a good idea to run a plain hot water cycle to remove any lasting odors, chemicals, or soap. Now your washing machine is ready to use again.