When you invest in your washing machine, you probably didn’t give much thought to cleaning it. After all, its purpose is to clean, so the necessity of sanitation probably hasn’t occurred to you. However, there are a few reasons why cleaning your washing machine should be a priority. Fortunately, there are several ways you can clean your washing machine that are simple to do.

Why Should I Clean My Washing Machine?

You only ever put detergent in your washing machine, so how could it be dirty enough to warrant cleaning? In reality, you are not just putting soap in there; you are also including your clothes that are covered in dirt, grime, sweat, and whatever else might be present. In addition, in the humidity we regularly experience here in Ohio, your washing machine can be a breeding ground for mildew and mold. Over time, if you don’t clean your washing machine, these things can build up and may even be coming off on the clothing you’re trying to wash. Many washing machine designs are more likely to start smelling badly because they will hold water in particular parts, causing mold and mildew growth. As if the mold, mildew, and grime that have built up weren’t enough, they are also likely clogging the mechanisms of your washing machine, preventing the water from getting as hot as possible and reducing the positive impact of your detergent. If you aren’t regularly cleaning your washing machine, chances are, it is quite gross at this point, and it may be preventing your clothes from being truly clean.

How to Clean a Washing Machine

Fortunately, there are several different ways to clean your washing machine. Below, we have outlined a few of the most effective.

Using Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar and baking soda weren’t just useful for the volcano you made out of papier-mache in the second grade; this combination is also one of the most popular natural cleaning solutions that can be used to clean your washing machine.

  1. Clean the door seals and gaskets by soaking towels in white vinegar. Pack the gaskets with vinegar and let it sit for an hour to loosen any grease or mold growth. After that, wipe down the gasket and door seals and scrub off residue with a toothbrush.
  2. Mix half a cup of baking soda and a quart of vinegar.
  3. Set the water temperature to 194 degrees Fahrenheit and select a long wash cycle.
  4. If you have a front-loading washing machine, add the vinegar to your detergent dispenser and baking soda in the softener section, then begin the cycle.
  5. If your machine is top-loading, start the cycle for a few minutes before you add the vinegar and baking soda directly in the drum. Let it run for a minute, then turn off the cycle and let it soak for an hour before starting the cycle again.
  6. Run another cycle with only hot water, unless there is still residue, in which case, you can add more vinegar.
  7. When you’re done, leave your machine door open so the inside can dry to prevent mold growth.

Cleaning with Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and removes limescale and mold. It is also safe for the environment and your family, unlike chlorine bleach, which can leave behind toxic fumes. When shopping for hydrogen peroxide, the 3% diluted solution works perfectly. You may see higher concentrations sold, but those are generally used by commercial cleaners who then create a diluted solution from it. The safety risks of handling a higher percentage is not worth it, so stick with the 3% bottle you see in the drug store.

  1. Select a long-wash cycle at 194 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a front-loading machine, pour one liter of hydrogen peroxide into the drum and begin the cycle. After that, run the machine once more with just hot water to ensure that you don’t have any residual hydrogen peroxide.
  2. If you have a top-loading washer, wait till the machine is filled, then add the hydrogen peroxide and allow the machine to agitate for one minute. Then stop the cycle and allow the solution to soak for a minimum of three hours.

Cleaning with Citric Acid

You may not have cleaned with citric acid itself, but it is a common ingredient in many cleaning solutions. Derived from citrus fruits, this natural cleaner is a powerful agent against limescale and soap scum. You can combine it with baking soda for any odors.

  1. Mix a cup of citric acid with half a cup of baking soda.
  2. Select a long-wash cycle at 194 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the solution to the drum and begin the cycle. If your washer is top-loading, let it run for one minute, then turn it off the let the mixture soak for an hour. Start the cycle again.

At Complete Appliance Service, we are happy to help you with all your appliance repair needs, including washer and dryer repair. If you need our services in Cleveland, contact us today!