Keeping Your Washing Machine Clean
Did you ever think that something that cleans your clothes would need cleaning, too? Here are some great tips on keeping your washing machine clean, why you should clean it, and how often.
A few months ago we had to buy a new washing machine after our old one finally gave out. Luckily with everyone in my family being home right now I don’t have a lot of laundry to do every day.
Washing the laundry on that first day in the new machine was amazing. My clothes had never smelled and felt more clean!
However, after a few months of doing laundry, I started to notice that my clothes weren’t smelling or feeling so clean any more. They were starting to smell dingy, like maybe I was forgetting to put in the detergent.
Has that ever happened to you?
Light bulb moment: I realized after a while that it was actually my washing machine that was making my clothes smell and feel unclean!
Keeping your washing machine clean is super important. Read on to find out why you need to keep the machine clean, how to clean it, and how often you should clean it.
Keeping Your Washing Machine Clean
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Why you should clean your washing machine
Just like everything else, washing machines get dirty, too. Over time, they develop build-up from grime, detergents, hard water deposits, mold, and mildew. This can cause your laundry to appear dingy and just plain unclean. Washing machines also collect fingerprints and stains, so it’s important to clean inside and out.
What you need:
- Empty spray bottle
- Vinegar or lemon juice
- An all-purpose cleaner (see my recipe here)
- Cleaning rag
- Old toothbrush
How to clean each part
Exterior: Wipe down the entire exterior of your washing machine, including the knobs. You can use your favorite all-purpose cleaner, vinegar, or lemon juice for this. Vinegar works great at removing fingerprints and detergent build-up, and lemon juice will work just as good. Just pour some vinegar or lemon juice into a clean spray bottle and spray the area; wipe clean with the rag. Or you can soak the rag with vinegar or lemon juice and wipe down the machine.
Lid or door: With the vinegar, scrub around the edge of the lid or door to remove any detergent build-up, dust, and/or mildew. Using an old toothbrush will get into all those tight spots and grooves. If you have a front-loading washing machine, pull the top of the rubber door seal back gently to check for mold. If there is any, use the vinegar on an old toothbrush to remove it. (Click here to see what else you can use an old toothbrush for!)
Fabric softener/bleach dispensers: Remove the dispensers from the washing machine and scrub them in the sink. While they are out, scrub around the opening with the toothbrush and vinegar. Dry the dispensers completely and place them back in the washing machine.
Tub: Pour two cups of vinegar or lemon juice into the tub of the washing machine and run it through a complete cycle. Use the hottest and longest setting possible to remove stains, detergent build-up, and odors. The acid in the vinegar and lemon juice will also remove any mineral deposits from hard water.
If you have a top-loading washing machine, it should be cleaned every six months. However, if you have hard water, cleaning the machine every three months will prevent mineral deposit build-up.
Front-load and high-efficiency top-load washing machines need to be cleaned at least once a month because they use less water than standard machines.
Your washer should be cleaned more often if you live in a hot, humid area because mold can be more of a problem. Also, your washing machine should be cleaned more often if you have a lot of heavily soiled clothing.
What about you? Do you clean your washing machine often?
Are you looking for more cleaning tips? I recommend these:
Pretreating Stains with Baking Soda
Is Your Bedroom Making You Sick?
11 Things You’re Forgetting to Clean in Your Bedroom
How to Clean Up Fast For Company
Natural Ways to Make Your Bedroom Smell Clean and Amazing