Clean your washing machine? Sounds kind of unnecessary doesn’t it? It might sound that way… but when you think about all the dirt and grime that cycles through your washer on a day-to-day basis, it starts to make a lot more sense! All of that dirt, grease, and grime can start to build up on the inside of your washing machine, which can make it less efficient and less effective. So taking a few hours to give your washing machine some TLC can make a big difference!
This particular post is focused on cleaning top-loading washing machines. But for those of you with front-loading machines, never fear! Get the scoop on cleaning your front-loading machine by following the handy link below. :-)
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After sifting through dozens of opinions on the topic of cleaning top-loading washing machines, I came up with the following method. I’ve been using this method on my HE washer every few months for several years now, and it always works wonderfully for me! I would recommend it to anyone with a top-loading machine.
The keys to this method are bleach and vinegar. The bleach kills bacteria and mildew, while the vinegar dissolves soap scum and mineral deposits from the wash basket and hoses. The result is a washing machine that looks newer, smells better, and most importantly, works more effectively! Every washing machine should be cleaned at least twice per year.
So let’s get down to it, shall we?
How To Clean Your Washing Machine
Step 1 – Bleach Soak & First Cycle
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.
Step 2 – Vinegar Soak
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.
Step 3 – Wipe Down
While it is soaking, dip a microfiber cloth or scrubber sponge in the vinegar water. Use your damp cloth to wipe down all the nooks and crannies of your washer, including the knobs, the lid and the exterior.
If your machine has built-in dispensers for fabric softener or bleach, clean those too. This is fairly simple if your dispensers have removable parts.
(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.)
Step 4 – Second Cycle
After an hour of letting the vinegar soak, run the longest wash and spin cycle again.
Your trusty washing machine should now be shiny clean and ready for more abuse. :-)