How To Clean A Washing Machine The Right Way

How to clean a washing machine


A dirty washing machine is never a good thing. You want to keep your washing machine clean and working properly so your laundry always comes out nice and fresh.


Many people assume that since washing machines are used to clean that they should regularly get cleaned just by running through normal laundry cycles. However, washing machines can collect lots of dirt, debris, and even mold with regular use.


In this post, we’ll explain various tips and techniques for cleaning all different types of washing machines using everyday cleaning products.


Signs of a dirty washing machine include visible grime on the inside drum, a musty smell, and laundry that smells off. Washing machines can collect leftover detergent residue, hard-water deposits, and mold if they’re not cleaned regularly.


You should plan on cleaning your washing machine every month to six months depending on how often you use it and what type of laundry detergent you use. Plant-based detergents tend to keep your washing machine cleaner for longer, while petroleum-based products tend to leave a residue, according to an article in Reader’s Digest.


Some washing machines come with a “sanitize” or self-cleaning function. If your washing machine has this setting, feel free to use it and follow the manufacturer’s instructions while cleaning.


How to clean a front-loading washing machine


Front-loading washing machines tend to collect dirt and grime around the door area. While you’re cleaning your front-loading washing machine, take time to spray the door and rubber seal around the door with distilled white vinegar. You can use a soft cleaning cloth to wipe down the area and remove any built-up gunk.


If your washing machine needs a deep clean, spray the door area and inside of the washing machine with your preferred cleaning solution. Allow the door to sit open for at least a minute, then use a cloth to wipe the door and rubber seal clean. You can use either vinegar or diluted bleach to clean the door.


You can prevent mold and mildew from forming by regularly allowing your washing machine to air out after using it. Simply keep the door open after you’re done with your laundry until the machine is dry on the inside.


How to clean a top-loading washing machine


As you’re cleaning your top-loading washing machine, you can pause the hot-water cycle and let the drum fill up with water and agitate for a minute.


You can also pause the cycle to allow the water and cleaning products to soak in the drum for an hour.


To keep your washing machine clean for longer, don’t let damp clothes sit on the bottom of the washing machine. Always try to transfer your laundry to the dryer immediately after washing.


What cleaning products to use for your washing machine


Cleaning your washing machine doesn’t require any special cleaning products or tools. All you need for a good clean is white vinegar, baking soda, and perhaps some bleach. You can also grab a cleaning cloth, sponge, and toothbrush to scrub the machine’s grooves and gaskets.


Most washing machines can be cleaned just with vinegar and baking soda, but if you think your washing machine has developed mold or mildew, using bleach can help kill it.


How to clean your washing machine with vinegar and baking soda


Vinegar and baking soda will dissolve any built-up gunk in your washing machine and wash it away.


  1. Make sure your washing machine is empty and pour two cups of white vinegar into the detergent dispenser.
  2. Run a hot cycle to let the washing machine mix around the vinegar and hot water.
  3. While the machine is running, you can also use about a 1/4 cup of white vinegar mixed with a quart of warm water to clean the outside of the machine. Be sure to use a soft rag or sponge to prevent scratching the surface.
  4. Once the machine is done running, use a rough sponge or cleaning brush to scrub down the inside of the machine. Pay special attention to soap dispensers and the area near the door.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the empty washing machine drum.
  6. Run a hot cycle to let the baking soda clean away any debris that was loosened up by the vinegar.
  7. Use a clean, microfiber cloth to wipe down the inside of the drum and remove any residue.


Note: Be sure not to mix the baking soda and vinegar in one cleaning cycle. If your washing machine isn’t too dirty, you can alternate using vinegar one month and baking soda the next month to keep it clean without needing to run two cycles each time.


How to clean your washing machine with bleach


Bleach will kill germs and give your washing machine a deep clean. Some people hesitate to use bleach because they worry it will ruin their laundry, but when used correctly the bleach will be rinsed away so none of it is left in your washing machine after it’s clean.


  1. Fill the washing machine with hot water
  2. Add a quart of bleach and let the machine run for one minute to mix up the cleaning solution
  3. Open the top of the washing machine and let the mixture sit undisturbed for an hour
  4. Shut the cover and let the machine run a complete cleaning cycle
  5. After the washing machine drains, fill it with hot water and add a quart of white vinegar to the water
  6. Let the machine run for a minute to mix the water and vinegar
  7. Open the top of the washing machine and let the mixture sit undisturbed for an hour
  8. Shut the cover and let the machine run another hot cleaning cycle
  9. Wipe down the basin and dispensers with a clean cloth


Note: Do not mix bleach with anything besides water while cleaning your washing machine.