Washing machines, despite their washing/cleansing function can also get dirty and smelly as well, due to the accumulation of mold and unpleasant smells from clothes and moisture in the load and sides. By cleaning up your washing machine, you will prevent any mold and unpleasant odors from forming and your machine will most likely function better and clean your clothes more efficiently. It is something that many ignore, but it really helps both the machine itself and your clothes.
Here are some tips on cleaning up your washing machine:
Read the manufacturer’s instructions
Read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean your machine. Make sure that any cleansing methods you use are consistent with the manufacturer’s instructions because using any cleansing products that are not recommended e.g scale-off detergents or bleach, may make you lose the machine’s warranty.
If you have a front-load washing machine (U.K and European model), read the instructions on how to remove your detergent drawer safely–some manuals may even have pictures to do this more accurately. After you remove it, you can then check for any signs of mold and detergent residue and clean it up with hot water and an antibacterial liquid detergent.
Use the baking soda and white vinegar
Another ecological method to clean up your machine without using any chemical detergent is to use a baking soda and white vinegar solution. To make your solution, simply mix ¼ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of water in a measuring cup. In a separate container, use 2 cups of vinegar. Use the baking soda and water mixture to clean up the detergent drawer and pour the white vinegar into the drum of your machine.
Set your washing machine to a normal setting with hot water to begin a new washing cycle, and let the baking soda and vinegar do its magic till the cycle ends. Both baking soda and vinegar are able to clean up mold deposits and get rid of any harbored smells without using extra detergent. Do this washing method preferably once a month for a clean and fresh smelling washing machine.
Use a clean sponge
For any stubborn mold or dirt stuck in the opening sides of the washing machine, use a clean sponge lightly soaked in white vinegar and begin scrubbing in medium-intensity circular motion until there is no visible mold or dirt. Finish with a wipe of hot water.
Repeat the process
In case you still notice some mold or smell a bad odor emanating from the machine, repeat the process in 2-3 days without washing your clothes in-between. You can also dampen a microfiber cloth in water and baking soda or vinegar and wipe off the insides of your machine yourself. You can also use a toothbrush for the entrance and sides of your washing machine, as long as it’s clean and free of any residue.
Let it dry out
Try not to use more detergent than necessary as this not only costs you more, it may inhibit the good function of your washing machine over time as well. Additionally, try to keep the machine’s door open after the cycle ends and you remove the washed clothes. By letting it dry out in normal room temperature, you prevent mold and unpleasant smells from forming–which obviously, need a damp and moisture-rich environment to develop.
Ideally, you want to clean your washing machine once or twice a month as too much cleaning or too infrequent cleaning will most likely encourage more mold and unpleasant odors. The same methods and tips highlighted above can also be used to clean up your drying machine.