Cleaning and restoring your Washing Machine

Cleaning and restoring your Washing MachineCleaning your washer is a task that no one wants to do. But following these tips will make it all the more practical for just about anyone to complete—no children!

Unfortunately, over time through usage washing machines build up unwanted hard minerals, nasty soils, hair, mildew, and detergent compounds. These are not only unhealthy for the operation of your machine, but can also leave a nasty or otherwise unwanted smell, or even worse, residue on your clothes.

Many common causes of green or yellow staining on your clothing can be caused by mildew and mold buildup, and even make your clothes stink! While some detergents are specifically designed to clean out your washer during it’s next cycle, these products can be unreasonably costly. Rather, you might find useful taking the time to wash your washer by hand every six months to prevent unwanted smells and coloring.

The best way to clean your top loading washer is by setting it to the highest heat and cycle setting. Through adding white cleaning vinegar (specifically containing six percent acid) to the wash cycle you can renew your washer’s once clean smell and appearance. After starting your cycle, just hit pause, and get to cleaning! Using a soft rag or microfiber (even better) cleaning cloth to wipe the insides and outside of your washer should leave it looking clean and smelling fresh. You can use an old or cheap toothbrush to scrub down the inside, and a rag to wipe up any unwanted residue. Make sure to also clean out the intake dispensers, and then continue the wash after an hour of letting it sit in the cleaner. After this, turn on your washer’s cycle at its hottest and strongest. Doing this will not only wash away the current buildup, but also wash away unwanted smells and clean the interior parts that you can’t see—but still effect your clothes cleanliness.

Try to avoid leaving your washer lid door open unnecessarily, ensuring it’s always dry, and trying to dry out the insides as well during the more humid seasons to avoid bacterial growth or mold buildup.

One final tip: Stop mildew and mold by keeping the lid or door closed when not in use.

For Front Load washers use a similar method for cleaning, but also ensure the water is on the hottest setting. Also add a little bit more white cleaning vinegar, approximately 2 cups. Add a little baking soda (about half a cup) into the washer through the drum, and make sure you clean all rubber gaskets for the best cleaning results!

Image credit: Ivanov Arkady

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