Clean your Washer? Sounds kind of unnecessary doesn’t it? Yes, it SOUNDS that way…but when you think about all the dirt and grime that cycles through your washer on a day-to-day basis…it actually makes perfect sense! Washers need washing too!
Back on February 20th of this year, I posted about how to clean your front-loader washer at the request of my niece Ashley (even though I don’t own a front-loader). She was complaining about a funky smell and didn’t know what to do about it. That led me on an odyssey of sorts where I learned more than I ever thought there was to know about front-loader washing machines. It was definitely an eye-opening experience. So if you have a FRONT-LOADER, you can find out how to clean it here: How To Clean Your Washing Machine.
For the rest of us…I promised back then I would do a subsequent post about how to clean top-loaders, but haven’t lived up to my promise! Yet. Crystal gave me a gentle reminder via email the other day, saying she was patiently waiting the aforementioned promised post. So this one’s for you Crystal! And me….and the rest of us “low-efficiency” clothes washer owners. I personally think the HE (high efficiency) washers have some significant kinks to be worked out before I will consider buying one. But that’s just my .02 cents.
One of the reasons I’ve been dragging my feet about this post is because my washer is actually almost new. I bought it “used” 6 months ago from someone who had it in storage and had only used it a handful of times. So I figured it would be kind of silly to “clean” it at this point. hahaha. Silly is the word allright. Silly ME. Upon close inspection I realized the washer could definitely use a cleaning…especially after I started “looking under the hood”. OY!
So let’s get to it, shall we?
As usual, there are a myriad of “How To Clean Your Washer” articles out there…each with their own spin, but after reading about a thousand of them, this is the simple method I went with:
- Fill the washer with HOT water. Add 1 quart of chlorine bleach – no detergent – and let the machine agitate for a minute, then let it sit for one hour.
- After one hour, allow the washer to run through its longest wash and spin cycle.
- Immediately fill the washer with HOT water again and add 1 quart distilled white vinegar. Let agitate for a minute, and again, let it sit for one hour.
Using the bleach and vinegar will clean away bacteria, soap scum and mineral deposits from the wash basket and hoses. This is especially important if you live in a hard water area and should be done every three months. Every washer should be cleaned at least twice per year.
- While it is soaking, dip a scrubber sponge in the vinegar water and detail all the nooks and crannies of your washer, including the knobs, the lid and the exterior.
I used my microfiber cloths to wipe down and then buff the exterior. Look at that SHINE! :-)
- If your machine has built-in dispensers, clean those too. I was fairly shocked at how grimy mine were! The fabric softener dispenser was all slimy feeling…and the bleach dispenser was just plain icky! If your dispensers aren’t removable, warm 1 cup of white vinegar in the microwave or in a small saucepan. Pour it into the dispenser and allow it to sit for a few minutes to loosen any build up.
- After an hour, run the longest wash and spin cycle again.
Your trusty washing machine should now be shiny clean and ready for more abuse. :-)