To ensure your clothes and other laundry come out of your washing machine clean, it’s important to clean your washing machine regularly. Thankfully, this is an easy task that can be done with minimal effort.
In this guide, we are going to give you five ways to clean your washing machine, including step-by-step instructions for each.
1) The fast method
If you don’t have much time, this quick and easy method is for you. Since most dirt and grime can be removed with hot water and washing detergent, all you need to do if you choose this method is to run your washing machine through a wash cycle without any laundry in it.
Here’s how to clean your washing machine using the fast method:
- Make sure there is nothing in your washing machine
- Fill the detergent drawer with your usual washing detergent
- Pour a couple of tablespoons of extra detergent into the washing machine drum
- Place the washing machine on the hottest cycle possible
- Turn it on and let it run through the cycle
- Once the cycle has been completed, open the washing machine door and let it dry out before using it again
- If the exterior of the washing machine is dirty, use a spray cleaning product and a damp cloth to give it a good clean
2) The natural method
If you’d prefer to use a more environmentally friendly and natural cleaning method to clean your washing machine, this is the one for you. If you have some baking soda and white vinegar on hand you can use this method. Both of those ingredients help to kill bacteria and remove any nasty smells from your washing machine.
Here’s how to clean your top loader washing machine using this method:
- Pour 250ml of white vinegar into the washing machine drum
- Run your washing machine on its hottest cycle
- Once the cycle ends, open the door and pour half a cup of baking soda into the drum, then turn it back on for another hot wash cycle
- Once the second wash cycle ends, open the door and clean the door gaskets/ seals and then leave the washing machine to dry out before using it again.
Here’s how to clean your front loader washing machine using this method:
- Pour 2 cups of white vinegar into the washing machine drum or the detergent drawer if you prefer
- Run your washing machine on its hottest cycle
- Once the cycle ends, place half a cup of baking soda into the detergent drawer and turn it back on for another hot wash cycle
- Once the second wash cycle ends, open the door and clean the door gaskets/ seals and the exterior of the washing machine
- Wipe out the washing machine with a clean cloth before using it again
3) The bleach method
If you’d like to give your washing machine an in-depth clean to kill bacteria and remove nasty odors, the bleach method might be worth trying. Essentially, you pour bleach into your washing machine and put it through a cycle and the bleach will get to work and kill everything in your machine.
Here’s how to use the bleach method to clean your washing machine:
- Make sure there are no clothes or other laundry in your washing machine
- Pour half a cup of bleach directly into the washing machine drum
- Run your machine on a hot wash cycle
- Once the machine is full of water, pause the wash cycle and leave your machine to soak in the water and bleach formula for 60 minutes
- After 60 minutes turn your washer back on and let it complete the cycle
- Once the cycle is complete, open the door and give the gaskets/seals a wipe and clean the outside of your washing machine
- Leave the washing machine door open to let it dry out
- When you use your washing machine again, it’s a good idea to do a load of whites as there still may be bleach residue remaining in the drum. Alternatively, you can run the washing machine through an additional cycle (empty) to ensure all bleach residue is removed.
4) The citrus method
Another good natural cleaning method is what we call the citrus method. This involves using lemon juice instead of vinegar which is a great natural cleaning product as it helps remove smells and bacteria.
Here’s how to use the citrus method to clean your washing machine:
- Pour two cups of lemon juice directly into the washing machine drum – if you have a front loader washing machine you can put the lemon juice into the detergent drawer if you prefer
- Put your washing machine on to a full wash cycle – set at the highest setting possible
- Once the cycle ends, clean the door gaskets and the rest of the exterior of the appliance with a mix of hot water and lemon juice
- Leave the washer door open to let the drum dry out before using it again.
5) The deep clean method
If your washing machine is really dirty, we recommend giving it a deep clean. This can be achieved by:
- Take the filter out and give it a clean before placing it back into the washing machine
- Give the door gaskets a good clean with your soap or natural cleaning mixture
- Clean the outside of the washing machine with hot soapy water or a natural cleaning mixture and a damp cloth
- Give the detergent drawer a good clean, making sure to remove all soap scum
- Run your washing machine through a wash cycle. You can use any of the four cleaning methods we have listed above for this part of the cleaning process.
- Once your washing machine is clean and the drum has dried out you can start using it again.
Bonus: Tips to keep your washing machine clean
- Leave the detergent drawer open between uses
- Don’t use too much detergent, as excess detergent will build up in your appliance and can stop your machine from working correctly
- Run your washing machine through a cleaning cycle once a month (any of the five cleaning methods in this guide is fine)
- Leave the washing machine door open between uses to let it dry out
- Make sure you clean the door gaskets/seals regularly· Take the washing machine filter out and give it a clean regularly