Your washing machine is a hard-working major appliance that takes loads of work from your hands. From small towels to clothes and bedsheets, your washer and dryer are versatile appliances that can handle your laundry work. But since your washing machine’s main job is to expel dirt and stains from your clothes, nasty debris and odours can build up inside your washer over time. From dirt to water deposits to leftover detergent, your washing machine is prone to developing mould and an unpleasant odour. To guarantee that your clothes and linens are as clean as possible, make sure that the washing machine itself is well maintained.
Here are some simple and effective tips to clean your washing machine.
How to Clean Your Washing Machine
If you have a modern washing machine, you may simply run its self-cleaning cycle and follow through with the process indicated in the manufacturer's instructions. However, if your washing machine doesn’t have the self-cleaning feature, refer to these easy ways to clean your washer and dryer.
Gather Your Cleaning Supplies
Before anything else, take out some cleaning supplies that you will need. Luckily, these items can be easily found in your kitchen. It will be nice if you have these handy items stored for your next washing machine cleaning.
- Clean cloth
- Mild detergent
- An unused toothbrush
- Hot water and vinegar solution
- Baking soda
- Vacuum cleaner
Washing Machine Interior
- Detach all removable parts and soak them in mild soap to target stubborn stains.
- Look for small debris or trapped objects that may cause blockage and remove them from your washing machine.
- Wipe the interior of your washing machine with soapy water. Tackle small crevices with an unused toothbrush to thoroughly remove excess detergent and stubborn grime.
- Fill your washing machine with hot water and two to four cups of white vinegar. Use this vinegar solution to tackle tough stains and odours on your washing machine drum. White vinegar is trusted to be safe for your washing machine, so you don’t have to worry about using this solution to clean the interior. This will also kill the bacteria in your washing machine.
- Run a wash cycle with a vinegar solution at the hottest possible setting to sanitise your washing machine. If you have a front-loading washing machine, you can pour this solution directly into the soap dispenser. This will remove musty odours and bacteria buildups inside your washer and dryer. Pause the cycle and let the vinegar solution sit for an hour to loosen up detergent and dirt buildups. You don’t need to pause the cycle if you have a front-load washer.
- Run another cycle afterwards with detergent to remove the vinegar smell. You can pour some baking soda into this cycle to totally clear away the buildup.
- Leave the washing machine open to let the interior dry. Wipe off the surfaces to remove the residues afterwards.
Washing Machine Exterior
- Wipe the exterior of your washing machine with a clean microfibre cloth and mild detergent. You can do this while waiting for your vinegar solution to clean your washer's interior.
- Tackle your control knobs by brushing or removing them for a thorough wash in a basin.
- For a front-load washer, don’t forget to clean the rubber gaskets, as they are notorious targets of stubborn dirt and mould buildup.
- Once the washing machine's surfaces are cleaned, start vacuuming its back and bottom.
- Inspect your washing machine and repair any damages as soon as possible.
Washing Machine Cleaning FAQs
Is White Vinegar Effective in Cleaning a Washing Machine?
White vinegar is highly acidic and effective in cleaning not only the washing machine but other appliances as well. This can target slimy dirt due to the wet environment, as well as mould and mildew buildups, without the harsh chemical effect on your washing machine surfaces. If your washing machine is filled with an unpleasant odour, a hot water and white vinegar solution can do the trick. Bleach is also an effective cleaning agent to kill bacteria and remove washing machine odours.
What Should I Do with My Smelly Washing Machine?
Bacteria from dirt and detergent residues, as well as mildew and mould buildup from undrained water, can cause odours in washing machines. Get rid of this musty smell by wiping off all the surfaces with white vinegar and a damp cloth until you tackle the whole appliance. Make sure to remove the dirt even from the narrowest corners. Allow the washing machine to air dry afterwards.
Another easy trick to get rid of washing machine odours is to use the ever-reliable baking soda. Dissolve three cups of baking soda in a cup of water before running the empty washing machine cycle. Add two cups of white vinegar to the hot cycle and follow the cleaning process as mentioned above.
Prevent your washing machine from being smelly by using only the right amount of detergent for your wash cycle. Moreover, always clean and remove excess moisture after the laundry session to prevent mould from growing within your washer.
How Often Should I Clean My Washing Machine?
The best way to keep your washing machine clean and free from odour-causing bacteria is to expel dirt and detergent residues after washing. For the best results, deep clean your washing machine at least once a month or once every two months. If there are visible, stubborn stains, clean your washer and dryer immediately to prevent your clothes from being impacted. You should also deep clean your washing machine after cleaning muddy or heavily soiled clothes and linens.
Your washer and dryer are reliable appliances that keep your clothes, towels, and linens clean and fresh. However, this major appliance can also be the target of stubborn stains that can affect the quality of clothing. If you start to smell some musty or sulfuric odours coming from your washing machine, it’s time to give it a good scrub. Luckily, you can easily clean your washing machine with items that can be found at home.
Giving your washing machine some TLC will definitely help your appliance work at its best for years to come! If you are looking for innovative washing machines in Singapore, check out our list of the best washing machines in Singapore.