How To Clean Your Washing Machine? – 7 Easy Steps Explained!

Most of us may think we do not need to clean the washing machine, because the machine is always dealing with water and detergent but, often the detergent cannot be enough to remove the bad smell of sweat, mud and water-minerals.

Therefore, it is necessary that you know how to clean a washing machine properly.

How to Clean a Washing Machine

Not only bad smell but mold and mildew can also build up over time and you can experience a musty smell from it. So, never neglect the cleaning process of your washing machine. 

Here we will mention both the deep cleaning and quick cleaning tips. You will also know when you should implement both the methods.

How to clean your washing machine

Before we go into the detailed discussion about the cleaning process, first you should know when you need to clean your machine. Or what should be the interval of your cleaning.

How often should the washing machine be cleaned?

You should maintain a gap of some time between your cleanings. If you have not cleaned your machine for 2-3 months, apply the deep cleaning method.

How often should the washing machine be cleaned

And for light cleaning or quick cleaning, you can maintain the interval of seven to ten days. First we will discuss the deep cleaning method. 

And then we will proceed to the quick cleaning.

Cleaning the interior

Your washing machine faces most of the hardships in the inside portion. Your dirty clothes release dirt, pollen and other impurities here.

Also you keep the lid closed for most of the time which gives bed to the microbial organisms. Therefore, the inner part of your washing machine needs extra attention.

Cleaning the dispensers

Mainly, you will get two dispensers in your machine. One for pouring the detergent and another for the fabric softeners or bleach. 

Some machines have detachable dispensers and some have fixed dispensers.  If you have the detachable ones, then you have to follow these steps.

Components you need

  • Washing machine cleaner.
  • Old toothbrush.
  • Liquid soap or baking soda and vinegar paste.
  • Kitchen towel or soft cloth. 

Step one:

Check out the user manual and find out how to open the dispensers. Once you know the method, take them out accordingly.

Step two:

If there are extra compartments attached with the, separate carefully.

Step three:

After that rinse the components under running water.

Step four:

Now take a toothbrush and clean the dispensers inside out carefully. If there is any tough stain, apply liquid soap or baking soda and vinegar on them and scrub properly.

Step five:

After cleaning them properly, rinse them again under tap water. And after they dry up properly, replace them carefully. 

Refer to the user manual again, if you are facing any difficulty.

In case your washing machine dispensers are not detachable, then apply liquid soap on them and scrub it with a toothbrush. 

After that wipe it out with a kitchen towel or a soft rag. 

Cleaning the inlet filter

When you wash your clothes in the drum, the garments go through ample strains and frictions which causes them to release lint, pollen and fabric fibers.

Cleaning the inlet filter

These elements cannot get out with water and stuck in the lint filter.

Therefore, if you do not clean them properly, the water may clog up after the washing process. You can follow the steps given below to give a perfect cleaning to the lint filter.

Components you need

  • Warm water.
  • Mild liquid soap.
  • Kitchen towel.
  • Old toothbrush.

Step one:

First you have to know the position of your filter. Top load washing machines and front load washing machines both have different locations of the lint filter.

The best thing will be to refer to the user manual. 

Step two:

Now when you know the position of the filter, try to remove it carefully.

Step three:

After removing the filter, soak them in the warm water for a few minutes. This will help them release the pollen and fibers easily.

Step four:

Now using a brush, scrape out the additional adhered particles. Run the brush both inside and outside.

Step five:

 After using the brush on it, clean it again under running water.

Step six:

After washing for the final time, wipe the filter with the kitchen towel or soft rag. Let it dry completely. 

Step seven:

Finally insert the filter into its exact place. Make sure that you place it properly.

Cleaning the inlet filter

The inlet filter filters the water that comes into the washing machine through the tap. Locate the filter and remove it carefully.

Then follow the exact steps mentioned above. The only difference will be that you will scrape out the water impurities instead of the lint.

Cleaning the gasket

The gasket is situated at the opening portion of the front load washing machines. And mainly the front load washing machines need the gasket cleaning, as they are exposed to water and do not get any air.

Consequently, the gasket portion can help forming bacteria and microbes, which can lead to build mold and black scum. To get rid of this, you need a regular and effective cleaning.

Components you need

  • Sponge.
  • White vinegar.
  • Paper towel or soft rag.

Step one:

Soak the sponge into a bowl of vinegar and run it through the gasket area. Generally, the mold stucks in the sponge but if you face any difficulty then follow the beneath steps.

Step two:

Take out the gasket carefully and soak it into the vinegar for 20-30 minutes. 

Step three:

After that 20-30 minutes use the sponge and rub the mold area properly.

Step four:

After that use a dry paper towel or rag to wipe it.

Step five:

Finally replace the gasket at its exact position. Make sure that you fix it properly.

Cleaning the drum

The drum is the central part that holds all the clothes and faces the dust and dirt. They have whole and curves in them, which may get dirty.

Therefore, they need proper maintenance. 

Components you need

  • Warm water.
  • Washing machine cleaning powder.
  • Clean and soft cloth.
  • A dry cloth or kitchen towel.

Step one:

First, you have to mix the warm water and washing machine cleaning powder to make a thin solution. The solution must be thin enough to dip the cloth.

Step two:

Now dip the cloth into the solution and rub the curves along with the whole drum.

Step three:

Now wipe the solution out of the drum using the soft cloth or kitchen towel.

The final interior cleaning

After cleaning each and every part completely, it is time that you give your machine an overall cleansing. It will make sure that all the remaining dirt and the remaining liquid soap or washing powder is cleansed totally.

Step one:

Firstly add some washing machine cleansing powder into the machine.

Step two:

If your machine has a hot water option, you can use the hot water. Or normal water will also do the job. 

Step three:

Now turn on the machine and use the clean tub or the clean cycle option. If your machine has none of that, you can choose the fastest washing option available in the machine. 

When the cycle is over, turn off the machine. 

Step four:

When the cleaning is done, keep the lid of the machine open for some time. It will dry up properly and will not build up any strong smell.

After you go through these steps, you will get an entirely different scenario from the before version of your washing machine.

There will be no mold, no foul odor, no stains remaining. As you have cleaned the filters, the water will drain faster, and the washing process will be over quicker. 

Cleaning the exterior

You may see stains of dried water droplets on your machine exterior. This can look very gross. 

You can remove these stains easily by using a spray cleaner. You can clean the glass door as well. 

Quick cleaning method

This was a detailed account about the deep cleaning of your washing machine which can be done every 2-3 months.

Now we will discuss the quick cleaning method that you can do every week.

Quick cleaning of top-load washing machine

Quick cleaning of top-load washing machine

Follow these quick and easy steps.

Components you need

  • White vinegar.
  • Baking soda.
  • Liquid soap and toothbrush.
  • Clean kitchen towel or soft rag.

Step one:

Turn on the machine and select the cleaning cycle. If your machine has no tub program or cleaning cycle, you can set the machine to the highest level with the hottest temperature.

Step two:

Now add the white vinegar into the drum and run for one or two rounds.

Step there:

Then pause the machine, or open the lid, and the machine will automatically pause. You paused the machine because you have to leave it like this for at least 30 minutes to one hour.

Step four:

Meanwhile, clean the dispensers using a toothbrush and liquid soap and wipe them with a cloth.

Step five:

Once the time duration is over, continue the cycle.

Step six:

Now when the cycle is over, you have to start another cycle using one cup of baking soda in it. Baking soda will evaporate all tiny dust particles.

Step seven:

After the second cycle is over, you can wipe the drum and other inside parts of your machine with a soft cloth. Also, wipe the exterior.

Quick cleaning or front load washing machine

Follow these quick and easy steps.

Components you need

  • Washing machine cleaner powder or vinegar.
  • Baking soda.
  • Soft cloth.

Step one:

Turn on the machine and set it to the highest level and temperature if you do not have a wash cycle.

Step two:

Add two cups of vinegar into the detergent dispenser of the machine, or use washing machine cleaner powder.

Step three:

Now run the cycle after closing the door.

Step four:

Once the cycle is over, start another cycle using baking soda.

Step five:

And finally wipe out the drum perfectly with the rag.

Homemade cleaners

If you want to avoid using detergent powder from the market, then you can make your own DIY to give effective cleaning to your machine.

You can use soda crystals, baking soda and vinegar solution, bleach, citric acid and Epsom salt. We have provided a chart below. 

The different qualities of these washing methods will be mentioned there.

Cleaner type Quantity you need Washes off Cleaning ability
Soda crystal 500 grams. For hard water add 250 ml of vinegar. Grease, stains and bad odor. Great.
Baking soda and vinegar solution ½ cup of baking soda with 1 cup of vinegar. Interior dirt. Quick and effective.
Bleach 60ml. Kills bacteria and prevents the growth. Anti-bacterial cleaning.
Citric acid Lime scale, black scum and other organism build-up. Anti-bacterial cleaning.
Epsom salt 1 quart of Epsom salt and one quart of vinegar. Overall cleaning. Safest way to disinfect the machine.

Tips to keep the machine clean

  • After washing a heavy load of soiled clothes you can make your machine go through a quick cleaning process. Otherwise, you can wipe out the interior with a normal cleanser.
  • Keep the door of your machine open after every wash. This will help to remove all the bad odors of your clothes from the machine.
  • Ventilation is a very important part of the maintenance process. You should wipe off the interior every time you finish a wash.
  • The proper ventilation will keep your machine out of rust. If you trace any rusted portion in your machine, make sure that you scrape it and paint it.
  • If you keep your clothes in the machine even after the cycle is done, it can create a musty smell in your clothes and machine as well. Therefore, remove the clothes after the cycle is done.
  • If you have a top load washing machine, never keep your damp clothes on the lid. The control panel can get harmed by the water.
  • Using extra detergent is a big mistake. It increases the foam quantity and clogs the hose.
  • Wired earphones and earbuds tend to tangle now and then so, keep them hanging when not in use. Do not keep them on your bed or pockets.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I use bleach in the washing machine cleaning?

Yes you can. Some washing machines even come with a separate bleach dispenser.

Therefore, it is nothing harmful if you use bleach in your washing machine.

Is using the dishwasher tablet in the washing machine safe?

Though this is quite a popularized method of washing your machine. But many of the reputed washing machine brands have forbidden to use dishwasher tablets in washing machines.

The reason is that they can harm the internal parts of the machine. And also they produce extra foam, which is not commendable.

How much vinegar will be enough for a washing machine?

If you are using raw vinegar, then 1 to 2 cups will be enough. However, you can also mix it with water before using.

How to clean a second hand washing machine?

You do not know how much the machine is clean or dirty. Therefore, it will be better if you give it a deep cleaning by following the steps mentioned above.

Should I wash a new washing machine?

New washing machines can contain musty smell because they remain closed for multiple hours. Therefore you can run a wash cycle before using it.

Is the dye stains removable from the washing machine?

Yes, dye stains are removable. You have run the wash cycle in your machine with 1 cup of chlorine bleach.

How much is it important to wash the washing machine?

Washing your washing machine is one of the most important parts of the maintenance process. You cannot avoid it because any avoidance will lead to malfunctioning of the machine.

The filters will not work properly and water inlet and outlet will become slow. Consequently the whole washing process will become clogged.

Therefore it is important that you take care of the cleaning process.

Which washing machine needs more cleaning?

The front load washing machines need more cleaning. The reason is that the gasket of the front load washing machine tends to gather mold due to lack of encountrance with sunlight and air.

What can be the highest interval of cleaning a top load washing machine?

The top load washing machines get much more air and light. Therefore, their cleaning requirements are not that high.

But you should at least try to clean it once in three months. And this is the highest internet that you can maintain.

What should be the highest interval for cleaning the front load washing machine?

Front-load washing machines generally need more maintenance. Therefore, you have to clean it at least once a month.

Final words

Never neglect the washing process of your machine. Because it can lead to harmful consequences.

Even your machine can become of no use forever. Therefore, try to take out some time from your busy schedule and wash your washing machine as per the instructed time limits.

You can also consult an expert to make your job easy. In that case you have to spend some extra money.

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