Because your washing machine uses suds to clean items around your home, you may not think it needs cleaning as well. But, over time, you may notice an icky smell coming from your washer or your clothing. This scent can happen due to a buildup of bacteria and mildew and can cause problems with each load.
Yet, tidying up your machine will eliminate these microbes and deter unpleasant odors from forming. This cleaning can also remove lingering soap scum and grime, so your appliance needs fewer repairs and will last longer. Maintaining your washing machine does not have to take up your entire day. Instead, you can grab a few household products and use the below tactics to get it looking good as new.
How to Clean a Washing Machine
Some washing machines have a self-clean option, and you should use that according to the manufacturer’s instructions to clean your device. If your appliance does not have this function, you can use the actions outlined below to cleanse it yourself and ensure that your laundry remains fresh.
Step 1: Complete a Cycle with Vinegar Included
Step 2: Wipe the Interior and Exterior of the Washing Machine
Grab a bucket or small wash tub that you can use for scouring parts of your washing machine. Add 1/4 cup of vinegar and warm water to your basin and use it along with a cloth to clean the interior of your appliance. Once you are satisfied with your results, you should also address the exterior.
Step 3: Conduct an Additional Cycle
To complete the cleaning of your machine, run one more empty cycle with hot water. This time, do not add any detergent or vinegar, but you can add a 1/2 cup of baking soda to remove the accumulation loosened from the first cleaning. After this is done, you can wipe the inside of the drum with a dry cloth to remove any remnants.
Guidance for Cleaning a Front-Loading Washers
With front-loading machines, the rubber seal around the door is usually the cause behind any musty smells within your laundry. Moisture and detergent residue can create prime conditions for mildew to thrive. To remove any grime that gathers there, you can spray the area with white vinegar. Allow the liquid to rest on the door for a minute, and then wipe it away with a clean cloth or napkin. If you need a deeper clean, you can use bleach instead of vinegar. When you get done, leave the door open so the moisture will dry.
Suggestions for Cleaning a Top-Loading Washer
When cleaning a top-loading washer, you can start an empty cycle with a hot water temperature selected. Let the tub fill with the heated water and add the two cups of vinegar. Allow it to agitate for one minute, pause the cycle and let it sit for an hour. After that time passes, start the machine again and let the process run its course. If you notice that your appliance has gotten covered with detergent splatters and dust, you can use a clean cloth and vinegar to scrub around the lid, rim, and outside.
Tips To Keeping Your Washer Smelling Fresh For Longer
Keep The Door Open
While the appliance is not in use, you should leave your washer door open. This effort allow moisture to escape and discourage mildew from growing inside the drum of your washing machine.
Use The Hot Setting
Washing with cold water will decrease the chance that your clothes will shrink or fade and can save on energy costs. But, using hot water is a terrific defense against bacteria and viruses. If your household is fighting a cold or has been out in extremely dirty circumstances, run a hot wash to help keep the family from getting sick. Hot water and a splash of vinegar loosen up any leftover remnants and rinse away germs.
Avoid Over Utilizing Detergent
Adding extra detergent to your loads can stain or mark the material and negatively affect how they look and smell. This quantity can generate too much foam and cause a buildup in your washer. As time goes on, this can excess will produce unpleasant odors and limit the effectiveness of your machine.
If you live in an area with hard water, you may frequently deal with laundry issues such as yellowing, graying, or stiffness. The minerals in this water will not break your washing machine, but they can reduce its lifespan. You can reduce these problems by adding washing soda or vinegar to your loads.
How Often You Should Clean a Washing Machine
Now that you have ways to keep your washing machine clean, you may wonder how often you should use them. It gets recommended to put your washer through a cleaning cycle once a week or bi-weekly. If you do not use the washer often, you should limit your routine to one cleaning each month.
Even though this is a commonly suggested schedule, the activity should get handled based on the type of machine you have, the room you have it in, and how often you manage your laundry. With a top-loading washer, you will need to clean more frequently since excess water gets left at the bottom and is more likely to promote bacteria growth. Also, frequent cleanings may be necessary to deter mold and mildew if your washer is in a damp area like your basement.
Get Support With Your Day-to-Day Cleaning
Regularly sanitizing your washing machine will prevent undesirable odors from seeping into your home and clothes. These steps are simple to handle and make the project easier to complete. However, adding this task to the other responsibilities on your to-do list will make your cleaning routine seem overwhelming. At Cleanzen, we provide one-time or recurring house cleaning assistance for your home. Call us today for a free estimate!