The importance of cleaning your washing machine cannot be overstated. Even though it is an appliance used for cleaning, it can accumulate a buildup of soil, detergent, and hard water minerals that can cause unpleasant odors and affect machine performance.
Also, mold and mildew can thrive in the washer lid and door, which can harm your health. Therefore, cleaning your washing machine is essential to prevent soil and debris buildup.
Experts recommend cleaning your washing machine about once a month or every 30 cycles to prevent the buildup of soil and debris. This will also help maintain the machine’s performance and prevent bacterial growth.
If your machine starts to smell or you see mildew buildup, it is crucial to consider cleaning it immediately. This is because the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to clean and remove the buildup.
Why Clean with Vinegar?
There are many reasons why you should clean your washing machine with vinegar. Washing machines can become a breeding ground for bacterial growth due to soap scum, detergent, fabric softener, fiber residues, and hard water minerals.
White vinegar is an effective natural cleaning solution to help remove this buildup and prevent bacterial growth. It is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer that can break down mineral buildup and leave your washing machine smelling fresh and clean.
White vinegar and baking soda are effective cleaning solutions for front-load and top-loading washing machines. These natural cleaning agents can help remove stubborn stains, odors, and mineral buildup. Additionally, they are eco-friendly and safe to use, unlike harsh chemicals that can damage your washing machine.
When it comes to removing mold or mildew, chlorine bleach is more effective than vinegar. However, vinegar is better for removing odors and preventing soap scum buildup.
Materials Needed for Cleaning Your Washing Machine
When it comes to cleaning your washing machine, there are several materials that you will need to have on hand. These materials help to effectively remove buildup and bacteria from your machine, leaving it clean and fresh.
Here are the materials that you will need:
- White Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Microfiber Towel
Method 1: Cleaning A Top Load Washing Machine
If you have a top-loading washing machine, here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean it using vinegar and baking soda:
- Set your washing machine to the hottest temperature and longest cycle. Use the highest load size.
- Add four cups (945 mL) of white vinegar to the washer. Which will help break down any mineral buildup and bacteria that may have accumulated in the machine.
- Pour a cup (235 mL) of baking soda into the water. Which will help remove any stubborn stains and odors.
- Close the lid, and let the washing machine run for 5 minutes. Allow the vinegar and baking soda to circulate through the machine and start breaking down any buildup or bacteria.
- Open the lid and pause the machine for an hour. And give the vinegar and baking soda time to work their magic and break down any stubborn buildup or bacteria.
- While your machine is paused, wipe the outside of your machine with a microfiber towel. This will help remove any dirt or debris from the machine’s exterior.
- Finish the washing machine’s cycle. Let the machine run through the full cycle with the vinegar and baking soda mixture.
- Once the cycle is complete, open the lid and wipe down the machine’s interior with a microfiber towel. Repeat this step as necessary until all buildup and stains are removed.
Method 2: Cleaning A Front Load Washing Machine
If you have a front-loading washing machine, here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean it using white vinegar and baking soda:
- Fill the detergent dispenser with white vinegar. Use about two cups (473 mL) of vinegar to ensure the dispenser is full.
- Start a normal wash cycle in the hottest water setting. Allowing the vinegar to circulate through the machine and break down any buildup or bacteria.
- While the cycle is running, wipe down the exterior of your washer using a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar. This will help remove any dirt or debris from the machine’s exterior.
- Run an additional (hot) rinse cycle with no added vinegar or detergent to remove any remaining vinegar and ensure the machine is thoroughly rinsed.
Additional Tips for Maintaining a Clean Washing Machine
Maintaining a clean washing machine is important to prevent bad odors, germs, grime, and mold.
Here are some additional tips to help keep your washing machine clean:
- Clean your washing machine every three to four months. Doing so will prevent buildup and bacteria from accumulating in the machine. Using white vinegar and baking soda is an effective and natural way to clean your machine.
- If your washing machine has a detergent dispenser drawer, use a damp cloth or machine cleaning wipes to wipe down the drawer surfaces. Check your appliance’s care guide for specific cleaning instructions.
- Using baking soda or bleach in washing machines is generally safe, but always run a rinse cycle before loading clothes back inside. Check your appliance’s care guide before using bleach to ensure it is safe for your machine.
- To prevent mildew and mold, open the lid or door when not in use. Allowing air to circulate through the machine and prevent moisture buildup.
- Use a toothbrush to reach hard-to-reach areas, such as the rubber seal around the door. This will help remove any buildup or debris hiding in these areas.
- Monthly cleanse with Affresh, an oxygen-based bleach and sodium carbonate tablet, can help eliminate lingering smells and keep your machine clean and fresh.
- Adding extra detergent does more harm than good, as it can leave soapy residue on clothes and cause unnecessary wear to the washing machine. Always follow the recommended amount of detergent for your machine and the size of your load.
In conclusion, it is essential to maintain a clean washing machine to prevent the buildup of debris, bacteria, and mold. Regular cleaning should be viewed as a preventative measure to ensure your machine continues functioning efficiently. Neglecting to clean your washing machine can lead to unpleasant odors and even damage to the machine.
Using washing machine cleaners, vinegar, and baking soda are all effective cleaning agents that can be used to keep your machine clean. However, following the appropriate cleaning method for your specific type of machine is important. Top-loading and front-loading washing machines require different cleaning methods, so it’s important to follow the appropriate cleaning steps for your machine.
To maintain a clean washing machine, it’s important to keep the door open between cycles, wipe the seals and clear filters and drains regularly, and use the machine frequently to prevent bacteria growth. By following these tips and regularly cleaning your machine, you can ensure that your washing machine continues to work effectively and efficiently for years to come.