We all love clean clothes. But like most people, not much thought goes into cleaning the washing machine itself. It seems now is a good time to write about how it’s done!
How Often to Clean
Cleaning the washing machine several times a year is a good start. Pay attention to how the machine looks and smells. How often does it get dirty? Create a cleaning frequency based on how often the machine is used.
What to Clean
Add 2 cups white vinegar or lemon juice to the tub.
Put the machine on the hot water setting and turn it on. Let cycle run for a little bit to agitate the water. Then turn the machine off.
Allow the water to sit for an hour before turning the machine back on to complete the cycle.
Should you need an extra disinfecting cycle, add 1 cup of borax and repeat hot water wash/rinse cycle as above. Some people prefer to use chlorine bleach.
While the machine is sitting, clean the remainder of the machine.
Exterior and Lid/Door
Spray the outside of the machine with your favorite handmade disinfectant household cleaner. Let spray sit for a couple of minutes. Then wipe down machine. Never use abrasive cleansers.
To clean sticky spots where soap has dripped, soak your cleaning rag in hot water, ring out, then rub to remove spots/streaks.
It is easier to clean the corners of machine lids with a cotton swab. But I like to attach a small piece of cotton gauze to a pop sickle stick or bamboo skewer because it is sturdier.
Take the dispensers out. Clean them under running hot water. Dry and place them back in the machine.
Spills on the Floor
Mop up anything that got on the floor while cleaning the machine.
Mildew Prevention Tip
Keep the washing machine lid door open (especially on front loading machines) after using the machine. This allows the machine to dry out which prevents mildew and its hideous smell from forming.