Experts weigh in on how often you should be cleaning your washing machine

April 22nd, 2020

Cleaning your washing machine might sound counterintuitive. After all, its main job is to wash. Wouldn’t filling the appliance with soap and water clean the thing?

Washing machines collect dirt and bacteria.

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Your washing machine cleans off dirt on the clothes you put inside it. By logic, the dirt needs to go somewhere. If you don’t clean your washing machine, dirt, bacteria, and fungus might collect there. If left unattended, it can lead to serious health consequences. According to green cleaning coach Leslie Reichert, she suggests using these green-cleaning tips every six months to avoid any issues.

There are two ways to clean your washing machine.

To make this easier, the way you should clean your washing machine will depend on the type of appliance you have.

Cleaning a top-loading washing machine

If you have this type, prepare a microfiber cloth, toothbrush, white cleaning vinegar, and baking soda.

To start, you need to set your washing machine to the hottest setting. Take about 4 cups of the vinegar and add it to the wash cycle.

Pause the cycle halfway and allow the water to sit there for about an hour. Use that time to wipe the top part of your washing machine with the microfiber cloth. Dip it in the hot vinegar water first.

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Then, get your old toothbrush. Use it to scrub the dispensers.

Once an hour is over, continue the cycle. Run another wash with a cup of baking soda.

Cleaning a front-loading washing machine

For this type, you’ll need to prepare a spray bottle, baking soda, microfiber cloth, and white cleaning vinegar.

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Prior to cleaning the drum, you should clean the gasket first. Spray a good amount of white vinegar and wipe the area with a damp microfiber cloth.

Once you are done with that, set the machine to the hottest setting and put 2 cups of the vinegar to the detergent dispenser. Run two cycles. The first one is your regular cycle. For the second one, add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the drum.

After both cycles are complete, wipe the entire appliance with a damp microfiber cloth.

How to Remove Bad Odors from Your Washing Machine

Sometimes, cleaning your washing machine isn’t enough. It could have that nasty moldy smell that usually develops after leaving the washer door closed. The ultra-tight seal on your washing machine’s doors doesn’t let the interior to fully dry out. This allows mold and bacteria to grow inside.

To eliminate the smell, all you have to do is run a cycle once every six months with an empty washer. You can buy a product for this or you can use a cup of bleach. They work the same way in treating your washer.

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Remember to keep the door open after. This will allow the interior part of the washer to completely dry out.

How Often Should You Clean Your Washing Machine

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Ideally, you should clean the inside and outside of your washing machine once every six months. You can do it more frequently if you’re using a natural solution that won’t cause problems to your septic system.

In case you have a white washing machine, check the interior and exterior of the unit. With that color, you’ll be able to see buildup quickly. Look for any dark streaks along the rim. If you see any, take it as a sign that you need to clean your washer.

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Source: Today, Good Housekeeping, Pixabay