How To Clean Your Washing Machine

How To Clean Your Washing Machine

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Ever wondered how a home appliance that helps you clean your clothes, washcloths, and laundry needs regular cleaning too. Though a washing machine helps you clean dirty clothes, it gets dirty too in the process, but very few of us realize this fact. 

When you clean your laundry using a washing machine, all the soap, dirt, scum, bacteria and germs settle down inside the machine and over time, it can cause damage to your appliance and cut down on its life span. Moreover, it can hamper the efficiency of the washing machine- meaning that your clothes may not be as fresh and clean as they should be after a wash. For example, the built-up scale deposits can damage the drum, pipe and other components. Residues in the drum can affect the drying and so on.

Regular cleaning of your washing machine ensures that it is free from dirt and bacteria and ready to spin a clean laundry. Here we bring to you some simple tips to help you clean your washing machine and make this activity a part of your weekly or bi-monthly cleaning schedule.  

How to Clean a Top Load Washing Machine

While a top-load washing machine is easy to use, compact in terms of occupying space, and a little less prone to dirt and bacteria, it still requires regular cleaning and maintenance for better performance and longer life.

how to clean washing machine

Follow these simple steps to keep your top loader free from dirt and brooding bacteria…

  • Fill water to the highest level that your machine allows and set the machine at the hottest water setting and the longest wash setting. If your top loader doesn’t have an in-built heater, connect the inlet pipe to a geyser or manually fill in the tub with hot water.
  • To activate the cleaning processes add a quart of vinegar or bleach to the washer tub. These are commonly available ingredients in your kitchen and act as a good disinfectant.
  • Now, closing the lid of the machine, allow it to process for a minute. Thereafter, open the lid and let it stay for an hour.
  • While the water and vinegar are casting their magic in the washer tub, remove other parts of the machine that are detachable and clean all the nooks and corners under the lid. Using an old toothbrush you can access all the corners, peripheries of the washtub, and areas difficult to reach out. Soaking a microfiber cloth in a vinegar solution, rub the sides, top, and bottom of the washing machine from the outside.
  • After an hour, close the lid of the washtub and run the machine to complete the cycle. While this happens, use the time to clean the top dials and buttons with the vinegar solution.
  • After this cycle completes, run another wash cycle with baking soda, instead of vinegar or bleach. This helps in neutralizing the effect of vinegar or bleach and removes any residues from the previous cycle that can lead to the buildup of mildew.
  • Once the second cycle is finished, drain the washer and wipe down the bottom and sides of the washtub with the vinegar solution. Let the lid remain open after the cleaning process for easy drying and prevention of any trapped moisture.

Your top loader is sparkling clean just like your laundry.

How to Clean a Front Load Washing Machine

High-efficiency front-load washing machines are more prone to dirt, mold, and bad odour. Since they use less water and energy than other washers, they have higher chances of detergent residue, germs, and debris settling inside the machine. All this can lead to a less than clean laundry that may not be hygienic.

how to clean washing machine

So, how do you keep your front load washing machine clean and free from growing bacteria? Here are some simple steps to help you with your cleaning regime.

  • Ensure that the washing machine drum is empty before you start. Now select the clean cycle or the tub cleaner setting. If these settings are not available on your machine then select the hottest water setting and the longest wash setting. Now add two cups of vinegar to the detergent tray. Vinegar helps in combating any odour or foul smell that may have set in the machine. Now complete the wash and rinse cycle.
  • Once the first cycle is complete, drain the washer and repeat the cycle but this time add two cups of bleach instead of vinegar. Bleach acts as a cleanser and helps to remove stains, germs, and bacteria that may have accumulated in the washtub over a while.
  • Check if all the stains have been removed. Now run an additional cycle with clear water to remove any residues left behind from the previous two cycles.
  • Now it is time to clean the different parts of the machine that are detachable. Take a bucket full of warm water and some liquid soap. Remove the detachable parts like the detergent tray and soak them in warm water for some time. Then wipe each part with a piece of sponge to remove the dirt accumulated in the rims or at the edges. Clean it with clear water and let them dry thoroughly before you place them back on the tray.
  • Now check the rubber seal around the door for any sticky stuff, residue, or built-in mold. To clean it, take a bucket of warm water with one cup of chlorine bleach. Soak a soft cloth in the solution and wipe down the seal. Then clean the rubber seal with a clean, dry cloth to remove any moisture or residue left behind.
  • Next, use a damp cloth to wipe the outside of the machine to clean it nicely and remove any stains.

How to clean the Lint Catcher (Filter) in a Washing Machine?

While you clean your clothes a lot of lint, fibre residue and debris settle down in the lint screen or filter of your washing machine. Regular cleaning of the lint screen ensures that there is no build-up and damage to the machine in the long run. All you need to do is remove the lint screen or filter and use an old toothbrush or cleaning brush to clean off as much lint as possible. Besides the filter, it is also important to clean the cavity that holds the lint filter. If this area is clogged, it can prevent smooth airflow and affect the efficiency of your dryer.

Regular checking of the dryer duct will help in detecting any clogging or buildup of lint in the duct. The best way to clean the duct is to detach the hose from the back of the dryer and clear out any lint or residue.

Best Practices for Maintaining a Clean Washing Machine

While a deep cleaning of the washing machine is recommended once in a while, adopting good daily practices can help you maintain an overall clean washing machine with a long life and better performance. Here are some useful tips to care for your washing machine…

  • Avoid leaving washed clothes in the washing machine for a long time. Take them out soon after the wash cycle is completed.
  • Leave the door of the washing machine open for some time after the laundry is done. This helps to dry the wash drum from inside out and prevents the retention of moisture inside the machine.
  • After every wash wipe down the rubber seal with a clean cloth.
  • Clean the detergent tray on a weekly basis and leave it to dry, and then place it back.
  • Clean the lint filter on a weekly basis. Use a brush to dust off the lint and wash out the filter.
  • Every fortnight, run an empty hot wash cycle with 3 to 4 cups of vinegar. This solution shall help to kill germs and bacteria, left behind from the dirty clothes.

The Bottom Line

While a washing machine is a great cleanliness appliance in most households, it needs regular maintenance and cleaning too. Knowing the different parts of a washing machine and where it is most prone to dirt and damage is a good idea as it helps in proper cleaning. A quick clean up after everyday laundry shall ensure that there is no accumulation of dirt and debris over time and you get a fresh, odourless, and spotless clean wash-up of your clothes after every wash. Besides, giving a little extra time and planning a weekly or bi-monthly deep cleaning of the washing machine also contributes to good maintenance of the device and increased efficiency that goes a long way in increasing its life.

So, this weekend why not plan to clean your washing machine rather than your weekly laundry?

Image courtesy: pexels.com

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