How to Properly Clean Your Washing Machine

Sia CooperCloth Diapers22 Comments

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From time to time, your washing machine-the machine responsible for cleaning not only your cloth diapers, but your entire family’s laundering needs-can be subject to build up. After all, you are putting soiled and dirty things into it to be cleaned on a regular basis.

Why and how does buildup happen?
Residue from laundry detergents and fabric softeners can cling to the inside of your washer, causing mildew and even mold at times!
Scary, huh?

To clean your washer and remove build-up, you will need two magical ingredients: Baking Soda & Vinegar!

 

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Directions on cleaning your washer:

First, run a cycle of hot water along with two cups of vinegar and add 1 cup of baking soda to loosen up the soap and grime. Remove the fabric softener receptacle and soak it in hot water and detergent. Clean the bleach dispenser with a spray cleaner, paper towels, and Q-tips. Don’t forget to clean the top rim of the wash bucket which is up and under where it can’t usually be seen easily. Run the washer empty on a hot cycle one more time.

While this is going on, check all your hoses for leaks. Over time, the water hoses that came with your washing machine may start to leak or even burst. It is good preventive maintenance to check these hoses from time to time for any sign of wear or weakness. Most manufacturers recommend replacing hoses every 5 years. Make sure your hoses are not a disaster waiting to happen!

 

Once you’ve soaked the fabric softener receptacle, replace it and polish up the outside of your washing machine with vinegar and a cloth towel. Your washing machine now looks better and will run better as well! Please remember to do this every couple of months to prevent build up from happening over time.

If you have a front loader, make sure that you leave the washer door open to ventilate and to dry out after each and every wash-this helps keep buildup at bay as well!

Another tip for preventing buildup and residue is to take your clothes out immediately following the wash. I know, I know! This can be so hard to remember! As a mom, I tend to forget things-including THIS, but it is vital in keeping your machine clean!

If you take good care of your washer, it will take good care of you.

 

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22 Comments on “How to Properly Clean Your Washing Machine”

  1. Yeah I would. Just be quick to close the door and switch it on. The bicarbonate mix will fizz up very quickly.

    1. Hi Susan, it depends on your washer. Some washers these days have a self cleaning cycle. However, for best results, run on a normal wash cycle-this level will cover most of the machine when washing and cleansing.

  2. Would I start the washer on the sanitary cycle(extremely hot water cleaning) while adding the vinegar and baking soda directly into the washer?? I have a front loader.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing! My front loader has been stinky for awhile despite leaving door open and I was wondering the best way to get it clean and smelling nice again! 🙂

    1. Jenny, it would be best with hot water. However, if you do not have a hot setting, you should try a warm setting, in the least. It needs to be as warm as possible to help kill bacteria!

  4. I use 1/2 c.- 1 c. vinegar in loads I want disinfected, but not bleach. (like under garments) I pour it in the Pre-wash slot. I also use it in the fabric softener slot every other rime for my towels so they don’t get softener buildup. (softener build up makes them loose their absorbency)

  5. What size load would you recommend for this (which will determine amount of water) – small, medium, large? Thank you!

    1. Bleach is absolutely fine and would work most definitely! However, some moms do not like using bleach (much less keeping it in their home) with little children around. So, a safer and more natural alternative is vinegar. Hope this helps! 🙂

  6. I put a command hook on the side of my front loader & use a short bungee cord to allow the door to stay open & air without the door hanging wide open. My washer/dryer is in our main bathroom so don’t like it hanging wide open. Works great!

  7. If you have a top loader, then you could always boil a few large pots of water and mix it in with the regular tep of water so it wont drain before you get the water in there.

  8. Great tips! I just moved in to a new rental with a front load washer that has not been properly cleaned previously. Do you have any tips for mold or mildew stains on the seal for the door

  9. Thank you so much for the info…with kids using the washer clothes get left in..if your not timing the kids..lol.

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