Though the washing machine is great at cleaning clothes, most people don’t think about how dirty it gets doing that job. All of the dirt and grime from the clothes has to go somewhere, and even though the inside of the washing machine may look clean, there are crevices and components that don’t get washed clean with the rinse cycle. Over time, this can build up and cause issues with the washing machine, cause foul odors, and cause the clothes to not get as they should. It’s important to regularly clean the washing machine, just like everything else in the home, to prevent this buildup and help the machine last longer.
When to Clean the Machine
The gunk that ends up on the inside of the washing machine can build up quickly. It’s recommended most people clean the washing machine at least once per month. Those who do more laundry may want to clean it once per week to get a clean washing machine they can trust to wash their clothes. It’s important to make sure this is done regularly to get rid of everything that can cause problems with the washing machine, as it might be difficult to see the grime inside until it’s built up too much.
Top Versus Front Loader
Cleaning is necessary for both top loader washing machines and front loader washing machines. Those who own a front loader may notice odors coming from the washing machine if it hasn’t been cleaned recently. These can occur when the door is closed while the inside of the machine is still wet. Cleaning the machine can get rid of the odors and letting the machine dry with the door open can prevent them from coming back.
Using the Cleaning Cycle
Some newer washing machines have a cleaning cycle. Use the manufacturer’s manual to determine how to run the cleaning cycle, what needs to be in the washing machine when this is done, and how often it should be done. This is a good way to get the machine clean, but it may not fully clean the machine. If the machine still has odors or still doesn’t look clean, other methods may be needed.
Cleaning With Bleach
Many people will suggest cleaning with bleach to help prevent smells, especially in front-load washers. The way to do this is to add bleach to the detergent compartment on the washer, then run an empty load. This can help get rid of any bacteria growing in the crevices inside the washing machine and may remove the odors, but it may not be enough to fully clean the machine, especially if it hasn’t been cleaned in a significant amount of time.
Another common method for DIY cleaning a washing machine is to use vinegar to handle the clean. Often, it is recommended to use vinegar in the detergent compartment or pour it directly into the machine. Then, run an empty load to clean the machine. However, it is important to note that some experts do not recommend using vinegar, as it can cause the rubber hoses and seals to deteriorate over time. The machine might be clean, but it’ll start leaking.
Other Ways to Clean the Machine
The internet is always good for finding new ways to clean things. There are tons of videos dedicated to just DIY cleaning hacks, and some of them have very good ideas to try. Unfortunately, a lot of them aren’t worth trying. Worse, there are some that will not only leave a dirty washing machine but can lead to damage, as well. It’s not a good idea to put anything in the washing machine that isn’t recommended by the manufacturer or thoroughly tested to ensure it is safe to use.
Washing machines can be expensive, so most people will not want to replace them until they need to upgrade or replace a broken one. Using cleaning methods that aren’t tested can cause significant damage to the machine, so it may not be worth having it repaired. Instead, trying to clean using unproven methods can lead to the person needing to purchase a new one.
Using Cleaning Products
There are cleaning products made for cleaning washing machines. These products have been tested thoroughly to ensure they are safe for use. It’s a good idea to look through the options and find one that’s going to not only be safe to use but that’s going to do the best job cleaning the washing machine. Tablets include products designed to help clean the machine, and they’re easy to use. Simply toss one in the machine and run an empty load to thoroughly clean the machine. Since they are safe, it’s fine to use them weekly to make sure the machine is clean.
Wiping Down the Outside
When the washing machine is being cleaned, don’t forget to check the debris trap, if there is one. Most machines will have one that is easily accessible, even if it’s not apparent how to open or empty it. Then, wipe down the outside of the machine. This removes any dust or debris that could get into the washing machine and lead to dust buildup and damage over time.
How long has it been since the washing machine was cleaned? If you’re like a lot of people, it may not be something you gave a lot of thought to until you started doing a deep clean of the house. Cleaning the washing machine regularly can help prevent issues by keeping it in better shape, can help remove foul odors, and can help ensure the washing machine is able to get clothes cleaner. There are a variety of DIY methods that can be used to clean the machine, but not all of them are safe to try. Instead, if your washing machine needs to be cleaned and you’d like to make sure it’s done right, check out the washing machine cleaner products available today. They’re easy to use, can get the washing machine as clean as possible, and can be used regularly to make sure your machine stays clean.