A washing machine makes your life easier. It does not only clean clothes, but also saves you a lot of time. However, it is important to know how to clean your washing machine or dryer at regular intervals to keep it in good condition. Whenever you want to clean your clothes, towels, linens and so on, a washing machine comes in handy. Though it cleans your clothes, your washing machine itself also needs a thorough cleanup in order to be able to do its job efficiently.
Why Is It Necessary to Clean Your Washing Machine?
When you do not clean your washing machine, it leaves a bad odour in the appliance. Also, the leftover detergent, fabric softener, and debris stuck in the washtub can rub off on clothes, leaving behind weird marks and stains. Hence, we suggest you to clean your washing machine once in a month to keep musty orders at bay and your clothes in good condition.
While cleaning your washer can be easy, it is important to always read your instruction manual. It provides guidelines on how to clean your washing machine.
Ingredients to Keep Handy:
Step 1: Clean the Interior of Your Washing Machine
Cleaning a front-loading washing machine can be easy if you know the right way of doing it. First run an empty cycle on the hottest water setting. This helps remove the detergent build-up. Running hot water cycle also helps eliminate unpleasant odours, if any. Once the cycle is finished, drain the water. Then, clean the surfaces thoroughly with a sponge dampened in hot water. You may use an old toothbrush to clean the hard-to-reach areas.
To clean a top-loading washing machine, run an empty hot water cycle to clean the build-up of detergent residue. Top-loading washing machine attracts more dirt as compared to a front-loading washing machine. Thus, we suggest you to run a second hot water cycle by adding 1 tbsp. of detergent in it. Once the cycle reaches half of its total duration, pause the cycle. Turn off the switch button and let it rest for 30 minutes. Then resume the wash cycle and allow it to finish. This will help remove stubborn dirt particles. Once the cycle is done, turn off the power switch. Now, take a bowl of hot water, wear hand gloves and dampen a sponge in it. Clean the interiors with it thoroughly.
To clean a semi-automatic washing machine, add around 1 tbsp. of detergent to the drum directly set it on a hottest water temperature, or at least 50-60ºC. Once the cycle is done, let it rest for 20-30 minutes and then drain the water. Then clean all the interiors sections with a sponge dampened in hot water.
Step 2: Cleaning the Washing Machine’s Detergent Drawer
Even though the washing machine detergent drawer is meant to hold the detergent, a cleaning agent, it needs to be cleaned as well. You will see that the growth of mould is rapid in this area, and later, that invites bacteria too! Start by taking out the detergent drawer, then soak it in hot soapy solution. To clean any soap or mould build up, scrub with an old toothbrush. If the dispenser is very dirty, add 2-3 tsp. of bleach. Finally, rinse thoroughly, and wipe dry with a clean towel. Clean out the cavity, before you put it back, to ensure there's no hidden mould there. For more information, read our article on How to Buy the Best Detergent for Your Washing Machine.
Step 3: Cleaning the Rubber Seal
The rubber seal or gasket of your washing machine is also a space where mould gets built up. Take a small bowl and add 2 tsp. of detergent powder to it. Mix well. Next, dip a cloth in the soapy water and clean the gasket. Remember to be alert while lifting the gasket. Do it gently, otherwise it could get ripped accidentally. Once again, clean the residue stuck in the corners of the gasket. You can also remove any stubborn grime using a toothbrush. Finally, run a hot wash. It is a good practice after every cycle, to check that no items like coins or other materials are stuck around the gasket.
Step 4: Cleaning the Exterior of Your Washing Machine
While your washing machine’s primary job is to clean your clothes, you tend to repay the favour by cleaning various parts of your machine like the detergent drawer, rubber seal etc. But what about the exterior of your machine? You need to clean this too. Take a damp cloth and start wiping the exteriors gently. Remember not to use abrasive scrubbers to clean the exteriors to avoid scratches. If you have stains on your appliance, you can mix a little dishwashing liquid with water and dip your cloth in that mixture to wipe your machine. Finally, it is time to pat dry the exterior surfaces with a clean cotton cloth.
Step 5: Make Your Washing Machine Smell Fresh
Once your washing machine is cleaned, you need to ensure the bad smell doesn't return. There are multiple methods of making your washing machine smell fresh. You can keep the washing machine door open after you take out the clothes for 15-20 minutes; this prevents excess moisture from accumulating and mould from growing. Avoid using excess detergent. It can trigger unpleasant odours and residue build up in your machine. You can use a liquid detergent such as Surf Excel Matic Liquid which is specially formulated for washing machines. It leaves no residue (like powders do) as being a liquid it dissolves completely in water. Check the pack to understand correct usage instructions. Always, clean the muddy or dirty residue with a nylon scrubber before you drop the garment into the machine.
Step 6: Regular Maintenance
Your washing machine or dryer needs some special care. To keep it working at its best, take some regular maintenance measures. After every usage, wipe down the drum with a sponge or a cotton cloth. After each cycle, allow air circulation by keeping the washing machine’s door open. Take out the laundry as soon as the drying cycle is done. Small steps often make a difference.
What are your biggest concerns with keeping your washing machine clean?
There you go, now you know how to clean your washing machine effectively. Cleaning your washing machine can be a breeze when you know the right way of doing it. And whether you have an automatic or a semi-automatic, front-loading or a top-loading washing machine, keep these cleaning tips handy and your washing machine will be clean, smelling great and always ready to keep your clothes clean as well. A clean washing machine means clean clothes.