Cleaning Your Washing Machine

by Karen Bates
(last updated April 20, 2009)

Perhaps the idea of needing to clean out a washing machine seems a little silly. After all, the washing machine is an appliance that you use all the time to wash clothes, so naturally it should stay clean. After all, it's constantly cleaning itself when you run a load of laundry, right?

The truth, though, is that washing machines should be cleaned regularly. Yes, most of the dirt from loads of laundry goes out with the discarded water, but not all of it. The inside of the machine can collect dirt from dirty clothes washed in numerous loads of laundry, and sometimes smells can develop inside the washing machine. Soap can also build up over time and affect the ability of your machine to clean at its full potential. When a film of dirt and soap is present, the machine can't do its job as well as it should.

Don't worry, though; giving your washing machine a good cleaning isn't very difficult, and it is possible to get that gross smell out. All you need to do is follow a few simple steps:

  1. Begin by filling your empty washing machine up with hot water. Make sure the machine is set to the highest capacity setting (large load).
  2. While the machine is filling, add some white vinegar or lemon juice to the water (about one or two cups should do it). You can also add ˝ cup of baking soda, if you wish, to improve the smell of the washing machine. Run through the wash cycle. Once this step is done, the dirt build-up and mineral deposits that were stuck inside the washer should disappear.
  3. Wipe out the empty interior of the washing machine with a paper towel or cloth to get off any loosened dirt or grime.
  4. Run another cycle all the way through, this time using cold water.
  5. Now that the inside of the washer is clean, you'll want to make sure that the outside matches! Get at all the hard-to-get areas (like around the lid) with a cotton swab or the edge of a washcloth. Scrub away any spilled detergent or dirt that has collection on the surface. Wipe the exterior with a wet wash cloth. Dry off, and your washing machine will be looking great!

Now that your washing machine is clean, it is ready to take on more loads of laundry. Repeat this process whenever you notice a musty smell in the washer. Also, it can help to leave the lid open after washes to allow the interior to dry out.

Author Bio

Karen Bates

An English student who enjoys writing and art, Karen has had her poetry published in her university's literary journal and has several novels in the works. ...

MORE FROM KAREN

Getting a Pedicure at Home

Going to the salon for a pampering pedicure can become costly and inconvenient. Instead, try doing a pedicure at home ...

Discover More

Simple Toilet Cleaners

Are you one of the many people who just hates cleaning the toilet? There are many toilet cleaners available that can help ...

Discover More

Gun Cleaning Kits

If you own a gun, you must maintain it correctly to ensure it continues to work the right way. Take time to clean your ...

Discover More

Tough Cleaning Jobs Require Brawny! Brawny paper towels provide the versatility you need: the strength for demanding jobs and the softness to clean up your child's messy face. This 24-roll pack of pick-a-size sheets can handle just about every cleaning task in your home. Check out Brawny 24-Pack Giant Paper Towels today!

More Cleaning Tips

Did Your Colors Run in the Wash?

Having color run in your wash is always frustrating. While frustrating, many don't know how to deal with color bleeding. ...

Discover More

Cleaning Lace and Delicates

Washing lace and other delicate items can be an extremely tricky matter. That is, it can be tricky if you don't know how ...

Discover More

Use a Laundry Bag When Washing Bras

Washing bras and other delicates is sometimes a tricky business. To take the trickiness out of laundering your bras, try ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 - 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.