How to Clean Your {Top-Loader} Washing Machine


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. :-)

Print Friendly
Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter166Pin on Pinterest1634.7kGoogle+75

Enjoy This Post? Never Miss Another!

Subscribe to Jillee's FREE email newsletter and receive more great tips and ideas!



  1. Casey says

    Oh my! Can I *secretly* admit to NEVER cleaning my washing machine…EVER?! It’s awesome and over 10 yrs old…okokok, I’ll clean it! THANKS for the motivation ;))

    • Jamie says

      I there with you. Was just thinking I have lived in my house for 12 years an never cleaned my washer… Doing it today as well!!!

      • Eilee says

        I have never cleaned my washer either. But you can bet it will be done tomorrow. After reading these posts I’m starting to think our clothes are not getting as clean as they could be getting with a clean washing machine Thanks Everyone

    • Linda G. says

      You are not alone Casey. We have had our washer for 4+ years and we bought it used so I have no idea when it was cleaned. I’m sure it got a little cleaning one of the times my hubby had to do some work on the inside of it, I hope… Perhaps I should wait for a nice day so the kids and I can escape to fresh unbleached air outside. ;)

    • Heather S says

      I have never even thought to clean my washing machine before, I will be trying this tonight after my laundry is finished.

    • Donna says

      I have had my washer and dryer for 20 years and I have never cleaned it!!!! I have just recently noticed that my machine stinks. It has been happening for the past year since I started making my own laundry detergent!!! Thinking I will be going back to the company made stuff!! Time to go clean my washer!!!

  2. Audrey says

    My machine doesn’t have a selection for water level. It only adds water up to the level of clothes inside. Any suggestions for me?

    • says

      Audrey…does your washer have a “clean cycle”. Typically HE machines don’t fill all the way…only enough to cover clothes. The clean cycle will override this and fill the whole tub.

    • Audrey says

      No, it doesn’t. I just pulled out the booklet that comes with it and read the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the washer. It calls for 1 cup bleach mixed with twice the amount of detergent called for in a normal sized load, and then running it through a cycle using hot water. I still don’t see how this will clean the whole machine if it’s not filled up. I will experiment, though. I know if I open the top of the washer while it is washing, and then shut it again, it adds more water. So, maybe I will just have to do that until it is full.

      • Audrey says

        O.K. I found that by using the soak cycle, the water will fill up the machine. It’s soaking as I type. LOL

  3. says

    We live in the country and have a septic tank.. It is a must to keep it working or, as we just found out, it has to be pumped out at the cost of over $300.. My question for you is, will all the vinegar and bleach hurt the working of a septic tank?
    Thank you so much for all the helpful hints.. I love getting your posts..

      • LanellCrowell says

        Once every 3 or 4 months flush 3packs of yeast down your septic system. This will keep the tank fermenting. My father installed septic systems and advised people to do this.

      • Cheryl says

        Does this do the same thing as Rid-ex? I heard about using regular yeast but could not verify it worked. Would be MUCH more cost effective!!

      • Becky says

        Vinegar will not hurt a septic, but bleach can! It kills the bacteria that breaks down the “matter” in the tank. Small amounts like what is called for here shouldn’t do any damage, but I would hate septic users to think that it’s ok in larger quantities. I love using bleach to clean, but have to be careful how much goes down the drain!

    • lynne says

      I just had a worker come clean my front loader washer, he said just bleach every couple of months, he
      stated no need for the vinegar. Thought I’d share

      • Christine says

        Bleach kills the germs and bacteria but vinegar gets rid of hard water build up. Unless you have a water softener, you will need some vinegar as well.

    • Justin says

      A quart of bleach is a lot at one time for a septic tank to handle. I would not use that much at one time. The bleach will kill bacteria in your machine at a much lower concentration. I’d only use a cup, and not very often. It would also be a good idea to add some Rid-X to your tank afterwards, but wait a few days for the bleach to be “used up”.

      It’s also better for the tank if you limit anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners.

      A tank in good working order should be pumped about every 5-7 years with typical use. Aerobic style tanks usually need to be pumped more often.

      Don’t ask what a plumber is doing on a page about washing your washer, lol.

      • says

        Too much bleach and even too much vinegar will wear at the seals on your washer over time (you don’t want to find that your washer has leaked all over your floor). 1 cup of each is more than sufficient when cleaning your machine.

      • cocobear says

        if you have a septic tank do not run wash water in it run it on a separate leaching container it is only gray water then bleach would not hurt your septic

    • Tc says

      You can also get good bacteria to add to the septic tank via flushing it down the potty. There are natural ones that help to break down the stuff in the septic tank and allow it to drain into the drain feild. Small amounts of bleach won’t hurt it and vinegar is competely safe and natural to use. I have used vinegar for cleaning for years and it has never hurt the septic tank.

    • Crystal123181 says

      Our septic was pumped last summer. We rent but our landlord had it done. He said that there was a pink “film” that was really thick on top of the nasty in the tank. The septic company said it was from heavy bleach use. And our landlord advised us not to use so much bleach when washing clothes. It wasn’t from us because I only did one load of whites a week and very rarely used bleach to clean with. I’m not too worried about it because I know it wasn’t us causing this mess. I have since switched to a bleach alliterative, it works good. But yes, bleach can cause you septic issues. Vinegar, probably isn’t an issue because it’s not corrosive like bleach is.

  4. Dana says

    Can you pull the knob out to stop the cycle? Then after waiting the hour push it back in to continue the cycle?

    You should be able to find bleach at the grocery store or superstore near the laundry supplies and/or cleaning supplies.

  5. Rachael says

    Any ideas on how to do this if you have a washer that runs its cycle all the way through even if you have the top open?? Meaning I cant let the stuff sit there for the time suggested bc it will just keep going through the cycle. HELP!

    • says

      Is it a push pull knob to turn it on and off? or electronic? If the first? just push the knob back in to turn it off, if the second, unplug the washer after it has agitated for a minute, then plug it back in to finish the job :)

      • CTY says

        Rachel–I had a similar problem. I turned mine off so it could set for an hour and was cleaning the other parts like Jillee said–a few minutes later it was emptying. What?? So I pulled the plug to stop it from emptying. I finished wiping the exterior and took a peek inside–all the water was gone. DH said it must have a siphon effect because standing water can pose the danger of a child drowning. Alas–I did what I could–then added another cup of bleach and ran it through every cycle. For the vinegar treatment I think I’ll just run it on the longest cycle with extra vinegar. Whew! Good thing we only do this 4x/yr.

  6. Alisha says

    I keep my washer cleaner than most, but I love these ideas for the hard water stuff. Gonna try this today. Thanks Jillee!

      • Danielle says

        Yay!! I was just about to buy some washing machine cleaner but once again it’s JILLEE TO THE RESCUE!!

      • Bridget Burgess Thorne says

        My top-loading HE won’t allow water filling when empty–I can’t choose a load size, the machine does this based on the volume of clothing inside the machine (husband who wants all the bells & whistles, won’t listen when I point out that there is just more to break AND don’t get me started on the refrigerator!). I’ve tried several times. I specifically have the newest Whirlpool H2Low top loader–anyone have suggestions? Husband is going to be banned from appliance purchasing after this!

      • Jenn says

        I use a generic Mr. Clean Eraser to “scrub” the inside of mine. It takes the layers of gunk right off and with very little effort. I wipe the inside and out with a Mr. Clean about once a month and it keeps my washer in check. It even does the nasty layers on my agitator with very little effort.

        If you wish to do Jillee’s method with your type of washer, you can fill your washer with any sort of rag or towels you don’t mind bleaching and vinegaring (old men’s undershirts are good). Use those in the “cleaning” load that Jillee describes.

      • bugrussell says

        Jenn, that only cleans the inside of the drum, where you put your clothes. Isn’t the problem with HE washers the build up on the drum on the outside? Where we can’t get to it with a sponge? Jillee’s post I thought was to handle that.

      • Sallly B says

        I found that I can get my top loader HE washer to fill with more water if I use the cotton blanket setting. I haven’t tried doing it when empty, but I have for just a few items and it filled all the way up. I use that setting for most things now. Who thought that less water would really get things clean? NOT!

      • Scott says

        @ Bridget Burgess Thorne

        For those of you who have modern electronic load “sensing” machines, simply fill a bucket with HOT water from your hot tap (or boil some hot water in a pot), then pour into your washing machine. This may create enough weight for the sensors to allow HOT filling from the machine. If not, simply fill your bowl manually as described.

      • Misty says

        Check the owner’s guide, mine also has all the bells and whistles that I don’t use but there is a CLEAN cycle. I will be using it later today.

      • Joanne Stephens says

        I have the same kind of washer and mine will fill on empty if I select ‘bulky load’.

      • Tim McCoy says

        Bridget…I was like your husband, wanted all the bells and whistles on my front loading HE washing machine. After 6 years, one of those bells and whistles broke and a repairman declared the machine DOA! His comment, “you are washing clothes, you are not using this machine to fly to the moon! Computer chips are not needed to wash clothes. If you are washing your clothes, why do you want to save water?” I bought a top load Kenmore from Sears and it has worked great….my parents Kenmore has lasted over 25 years!

      • Jill says

        Tim: I agree totally. I have a Kenmore top loader that I have been using Forever. It has outlasted 3 others that my Mom has purchased! As long as you keep them clean, and have preventative maintainence by the Sears repair people every once in a while (usually to replace motor mounts), they keep going. I also feel that by using my local repair people, I am keeping someone employed, since it difficult to find appliances made here. My washer also is very well made- it has a welded (not pop-riveteed) drum that is porcelain coated. May yours last as well as mine has, and I hope I am not jinxing mine by writing this!

      • Momof3ms says

        Lol….That is what the repairman said who came to fix my “bells and whistles” washer. He asked me if I took my laptop with me when I showered. I looked at him like he was crazy. He started laughing and said, “if you would not take your computer into the shower, why use a washer that has a computer board in it and is CONSTANTLY in a wet environment” He said the computer part of the washer cannot ever be completely sealed from the damp and after a while, something is going to give. Then you have to replace the WHOLE works. We threw that washer away since it was dead and got an old fashioned, no computerized anything washer and it works great!

      • Ken says

        Actually the electronics are usually aealed and made waterproof. Even non modern washers the mechanical part will wear out usually the timer drum. Plus they are still electrical so even though they use hard contacts to go thru the cycles, things still wear out or corrode due to moisture. Fortuantely the parts are usually cheaper. Having more sensors however is like a modern car, more things to fail, and less ways to fix them. So tradeoff. You could have it physically wear out, timer drum, timer motor, knob breaks etc. Otoh, the electronics could fail due to motor stalling, sensor failures, display malfunctions etc.

      • suzie says

        mine adds more water every time we open/close the lid have you tried that mine is a kenmore but doesn’t allow a load size to be selected stupidest feature ever

      • Doris says

        Make sure you yourself pick out what you want re appliances. My friend’s son decided she should buy a side by side refrig. She always had a bottom freezer and it was to her liking. She cusses out the side by side freezer part when she goes into it. And, he didn’t pay for the refrig.– she did!

      • Crystal says

        I too have top loader he washer…..however, mine has a clean with affresh cycle?? I just put it on that cycle instead of selecting a wash cycle! There, it automatically sets the water temperature to the hottest also! Hope this helps!

      • Brandy says

        I don’t know much, but I’m pretty sure that bleach is corrosive to metal, and most front load washers have a metal drum. So I think soaking it with javex might be a bad idea.

      • lauren says

        Yeah, bleach/javex is pretty potent stuff I totally agree but when diluted with that much water it really won’t do anything to your machine. I’ve always used bleach to clean my whites when they get really nasty or off colored .. and my towels. As long as you don’t over do it and use it too often, you should be fine.

      • Manuka says

        Correct. You don’t want concentrated bleach anywhere near stainless steel for very long. Bleach is highly corrosive stuff, and stainless steel won’t stop it. Only reason you can get away with it in top-load washers is that the metal drums are usually coated in a porcelain enamel that resists darn near everything.

  7. says

    Thanks for sharing! Our old trusted top-loader has been looking funky for quite some time, I might try this. Only have to find out where to get bleach…

    • Nicole says

      You can use either Clorox liquid bleach or the store brand- any grocery store carry them in the cleaning aisle. :-)

      • Robin says

        Can I add that some folks’ HOT may not be quite that hot, if they’ve turned it down for little children in the home. We upped ours when we were washing my daughter’s oily Massage sheets – and it’s good to do your towels and bedding REALLY hot sometimes, to get out residues. So turn up your water heater really hot for this, you can turn it back down later.

      • says

        In lieu of washing your towels and bedding in really hot water to remove residue, I found a tip on pinterest that suggested adding a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle to remove residue. My husband is a chef and we really struggled with getting his uniforms clean because so often they come out of the dryer still feeling greasy. Now when I wash his uniforms with I add a cup of borax to the wash and a cup of vinegar to the rinse and they finally feel clean!
        The only thing we have that is gas-powered is our hot water, and we have a gas tank for that. It is really expensive to fill up so I wash everything in cold water so that we don’t use up the gas any faster than absolutely necessary and the vinegar trick gets all those residues out.

      • Kelly says

        That’s the method I always used to wash my cloth diapers – hot water, borax and ‘free’ detergent for the wash and cold water and white vinegar for the first rinse and a plain water second rinse. Never any stains or odors and nothing to irritate baby’s skin.

      • Sabrina says

        Something I found really useful for greasy clothes is 1/2 cup pinesol. the stains came out with only one wash and were much cleaner than ever before. My husband works in a warehouse with metal and gets his clothes very dirty.

      • Nancy says

        Pine Sol works great on greasy stains. You’re so right! On any color fabric Pine Sol does the trick. For those who want a more natural alternative and have the time… soaking a stain in lemon juice works well too. I’ve even used the 1/2 of a lemon to hold the fabric under the level of the lemon juice, to make sure to get the stain out. Plan to do this ahead of doing your laundry as it can take time. As much as an entire day depending on the stain. My mother got hair dye out of material using this method though! (maybe she was lucky or just plain stubborn. lol)

      • Sue says

        I only use Dawn for any grease stain. Wet area, rub in the Dawn. Let set for a while, wash as usual and the grease is gone. Works great for ring around the collar.

      • Sharry says

        Remember those Downey balls for rinse agents? Just put your vinegar in one, and it dispenses automatically in your rinse cycle.

      • Emily says

        I’ve been doing white vinegar in my Downy ball for years. Love it. No creepy chemicals or residues on our clothes.

      • Hannah says

        I know my washing machine levels the water temperature out to 100* F regardless of water heater temperature. I’ve tested for washing cloth diapers. Another great way to get your water to a super-high temp is to throw in some pots of boiling water. I’ve done this for dying textiles at home, too =)

      • Anna says

        How do you turn your water heater up and down..?! I had NO idea there were settings.. silly me! -does it make a difference that ours is an electric heater (I KNOOOOW.. SUCH a waste..! but, it’s what came in our apartment!) I notice that our “hot” on the hot cycle is NOT very hot at all! Thanks!

    • Jessica says

      Have you lived under a rock for your whole life??? You can get bleach from a freakin’ gas station… You can get it literally ANYWHERE! To think you have never used bleach for anything in your life makes my brain hurt.

      • Erin says

        That’s just being nasty. Would you really be that brutal to someone’s face? It was totally unnecessary. Besides, please remember that the Internet is global. In many countries bleach is very hard to find, because it is pretty nasty stuff.

      • Andrea says

        How totally rude and unnecessary. You should be ashamed and I KNOW that you have never asked a question that someone else found trivial. Perhaps they have never used bleach and was unsure of where to get it and to be belittled by someone was horrible.

      • Kevin says


        It is a bit disconcerting that this person has never used bleach before, but saying something like that really is uncalled for. I would love see you in a gas station or supermarket talking to someone else like that. Mainly because I would love to see your face when they gave it right back to you. Oh and on the off chance they were too nice to say something I would relish any opportunity to put someone in their place. Kudos on your attitude problem, and here’s hoping you see a behavioral therapist soon to discuss your online rage.


      • Whatsyourdeal says

        Considering that bleach is pretty freaking toxic and most people who don’t live in their own imagination land would rather use vinegar than bleach… I think you need to be knocked off your high horse. Vinegar does the exact same thing bleach does, without all the toxic fumes and issues. Sorry you don’t do the research before you act like a dickwad.

      • Manuka says

        “Vinegar does the exact same thing bleach does” ???? Not even remotely close.

        Sodium Hypochlorite (a 5% aqueous solution of which is commonly known as “household bleach”) is an alkaline chemical that is sodium chloride (commonly known as “table salt” with an extra oxygen atom. The oxygen atom is easily released, and that oxygen is the bleaching agent (the free oxygen is what kills germs, it’s very toxic to them). Non-chlorine bleaches such as oxyclean use peroxides to release free oxygen.

        Acetic Acid (a 5% aqueous solution of which is commonly known as “distilled white vinegar”) is weak organic acid (also known as ethanoic acid) that has no bleaching properties whatsoever. As an acid, it effectively dissolves deposited alkaline minerals like calcium that are found in hard water, something bleach cannot do because it too is alkaline. In the example of cleaning your washer, the vinegar is meant to neutralize any remaining alkaline components such as sodium hydroxide left behind by the bleach.

      • Carls-Bad says

        Jessica, I live in the country and the only store we have for miles is the local”gas station/grocery*hardware store/laundrymat” for several miles. I have pleaded with the owner to get clorox and he says he hasn’t the space. What do you suggest??????? Help!

      • denise murphy says

        Ask the owner to order you a case and then purchase it by the case. When you are on your last bottle ask him to order another. He doesnt need to put it on the shelf, just keep in box in stock room. He may ask that you prepay to guarantee pick up. Most store owners will do this for customer satisfaction and a sale

      • says

        Bulk buying is a good solution for anyone living some distance from “quick shopping”. (I order from a restaurant each year a case of green beans to add when canning garden soup, & for communal dinners.) Cases are a lot cheaper than cost per family size item…if you have the room (to store it in the dry and it won’t freeze) and it will be used in a couple or three years. (Expiration and “best used by” dates are for stores to rotate merchandise. Most things are quite usable for sometime after that date.) However, I have been told that liquid clorox will lose its effectiveness after a period of time (but the clorox cubes used in swimming pools retain their effectiveness)…perhaps ChemTeacher would know the answer to that I only use about 1 gallon of liquid bleach per year and it is still effective.

      • anna says

        Bleach only looses its effectiveness after it is mixed with water. In the jug it should be fine for years.

      • Jill Crawford says

        It’s quite possible that the person questioning where to get bleach was thrown by the word chlorine. I know a LOT of people who don’t read all the words on a bottle. OR maybe this person doesn’t do the grocery shopping, and was trying to get as much information as possible for the person who does. Maybe this person is just now moving out on their own. Which makes it completely possible they have never used bleach before. My brain hurts just thinking there are such rude people in this world that would make such assumptions without having all the facts.

      • Emily says

        Just a warning, make sure you do not mix the vinegar and bleach together! It creates a toxic chlorine gas.

      • Tiff says

        I think you might be thinking of bleach and ammonia. Those two combined are nasty toxic and will cause brain damage.

      • Stephanie says

        Actually, when you combine Bleach and Vinegar, it creates Chlorine Gas, which is highly toxic and can be fatal to breathe in. PLEASE DO NOT MIX!

      • Judy Sumpter says

        Vinegar and bleach mixed forms a toxic gas also. I know, did it once when I was very young.

      • says

        Bleach and Ammonia are extremely dangerous, you must NEVER!! NEVER!! NEVER!! combine the two. I know a lady that did it by accident and the fumes burned her throat so badly that the doctors weren’t sure if she’d ever be able to speak again. Fortunately she recovered but it was a very long and painful recovery.

      • Terry says

        I know of TWO women who died from breathing the fumes when they combined bleach and ammonia!

      • Cindy says

        Awww come on. You don’t have to be so mean. Those comments should have been kept to yourself. What good did writing that really do? None, just got rid of pent up frustration on your part. Maybe you need to find a hobby.

      • Jeanette says

        Wow, you are surely one spiteful woman. Who do you think you are? I would hate to be your neighbor. Someone needs the love of God in her life maybe? Lighten up and stop judging and insulting just because she is not a bleach user. I am not either. It is bad for my sewage treatment plant. So there!

      • Carol P says

        I don’t use bleach either. I am highly allergic to it and if I use it I can’t rinse my clothes enough times to be wearable. I have had to throw away underwear because someone used bleach in the white clothes. I can and do however use the non chlorine kind..

      • Julie says

        Why does your brain hurt because they have never used bleach? That’s really rude. Lots of people (myself included) are giving up on bleach and switching to less harsh chemicals, that are just as effective. For one, when puppy training, or potty training a child. Bleach would be worse than using vinegar. Vinegar is a great, natural disinfectant and you can mask the smell with essential oils if need be.

      • Nancy says

        No need to be testy or insult others just because they haven’t used the same products you have! Not everyone has been exposed to the same options and choices as everyone else. Especially if they have been in another country or in a very rural area. Please think of others possible situations and feelings before you post!

      • Melissa says

        Im allergic to it so I don’t use bleach…does that make me a moron?!? Be careful with ur words.

      • mountainmanmike says

        I haven’t been able to find bleach around either. Out in the country we use good old timey products like washing soda and vinegar, and for things we want to disinfect we use boiling water. There is a city about 8 hours drive, I might try to find bleach, I hear good things about it.

      • Madismemaw says

        Mountainmanmike; Don’t be in a hurry to start using bleach. As one comment above says; it can be harmful in some recycling plants. If you have your own cystern or septic system, it could very well kill off your “good” bacteria.

      • Scott says

        WOW, You are a GIANT douche-bag and need some anger management classes!!! Good Lord!!!!!

      • Sharry says

        Household Bleach is found with the laundry products in any grocery store,or big box store. Be very very careful with bleach. One drop will take the color out of ANY fabric. So open it carefully, and add it to your water after you stop your washing machine.
        If you are adding it to your whites only load, pour some into a measuring cup as suggested on the container, maybe a third cup, and add it to your washer load while the load is washing in lots of water, then rinse the cup out with the wash water, and wipe the bottle etc. with a rag.
        For a top loader, carefully pour into the dispenser marked ‘bleach” and again, wipe any drops up and don’t splash yourself! It should be considered a very dangerous substance. Do not use on colored clothes, use a “color safe bleach” for them. It will remove many stains, and make clothes much whiter.
        I’ve made all the mistakes, believe me, and hope you benefit from my experience. Good Homekeeping!

    • amanda says

      diandra isn’t from the US. germany, somewhere in scandinavia maybe? even if she lives here now, bleach might still be an unfamiliar product. a quick click on her name and her blog gave hint of that. and her last sentence even seemed like it might have been rhetorical…

      in some european countries chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) bleach is only available for commercial use. it might also be stronger. the non-chlorine bleach that’s widely available doesn’t have the same cleaning power. where chlorine bleach is available it’s as a cleaning product, not marketed as a laundry product the way it is here. i’ve heard it might be in small volume “for tough stains”. european laundry techniques have been a bit different than ours, the machines heat the water hotter, have longer wash cycles etc.

      at any rate, just some things i’ve picked up along the way in my travels and from family. i know her post was over a year ago, but diandra doesn’t live under a rock.


  1. […]   I have been trying very hard to get into a cleaning routine.  Mostly because I’m not in school or working so I miss having something to do every day.  So Haylie and I have been doing a chore every single day of the “working week.”  Stuff like cleaning the kitchen, laundry and picking up the living room.  But as of Saturday it went to a deeper level.  I have been deep cleaning, meaning that I have cleaned my washing machine, dishwasher, and dryer, and hard to clean stuff.  Here be links if you care: yesterday I probably spend 5 hours in my kitchen scrubbing and cleaning.  I’m okay with it though because my kitchen is looking really good.  In fact most of my house looks really good from a few hard hours of work on a daily basis.Quite proud of myself.    See, look how good the top looks.    I wish I had a before shot, but then again I’m glad I don’t cause then the world would know how awful it had previously looked.  I know it is not perfect, but I’m proud of the result. […]

  2. […] way to clean my washer. I finally found my answer on Pinterest there was a link to an article on “How to clean your top loading washing machine”. After reading this article I gave it a try, and it worked! Let me tell you, I was ecstatic my […]