Blog / How to Clean Your Washing Machine & Why
Posted on Monday, December 16th, 2019
Our appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers are good workhorses that we use weekly or sometimes even twice weekly or more, especially if you have children or a new bub and use environmentally friendly cloth nappies or even the old towelling variety.Â We just automatically pour in liquid or powder washing detergents and fabric conditioners, basically putting dirty things in and taking clean and fresh things out. But how often do we think about cleaning the appliance that does all the hard work? Not often enough in most busy households, but how to clean washers is so simple.
How Often Should You Clean the Washing Machine?
If your washing machine is used heavily from day to day itâ€™s a good idea for good hygiene and for maintenance of the machine to put it through a cleaning cycle at least weekly. If you donâ€™t use it that often you can probably get by with a good clean less frequently, but itâ€™s good housekeeping to get into the habit of cleaning your washer thoroughly, inside and out, at the very least, once a month.
What You Will Need for Cleaning:
- Bicarbonate of soda (also called baking soda or bicarb)
- White vinegar
- Microfibre cloth
How About Front-Loading Washers?
The highly popular front-loading washing machines use less washing detergent and theyâ€™re also more energy-efficient than top-loaders. The downside of front-loaders is they can harbour unpleasant odours and mould, so they really need a thorough cleaning inside and out at least monthly. This will keep your front-loader smelling clean and fresh and it will deter mould and, in turn, youâ€™ll have cleaner, more hygienic bedding and clothes. Use the following earth-friendly method, minus bleach. Natural products cost less to produce and these washing machine-cleaning ingredients are probably already in your pantry.
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How to Clean a Front-Loading Washing Machine
To clean a front-loading washer just add two tablespoons of the bicarb into the machineâ€™s detergent drawer and half a cup of white vinegar into the drum itself. Then let the washing machine go through a normal wash cycle on hot. Keep your eye on the washer because the residue of soap or detergent might cause it to suds up. If you clean your machine often, this will occur less frequently. You will also need to clean the filter of lint and grot after most washes – following the manufacturerâ€™s recommendations – since clogged filters are the main cause of problems that can beset a front-loading washing machine. WIpe the outside of the washer down with the microfibre cloth and some hot water with a drop or two of dishwashing liquid.
To deter the build-up of mould on the seals in your washing machine, always leave the door slightly open when the washer is not being used to allow air flow to dry any dampness. If you see any mould, wipe it off with a solution of equal parts hot water and vinegar. Do this regularly and mould wonâ€™t tend to build up on the washer seals. The majority of front-loading washing machines have soap and fabric softener dispensers where mould thrives. Just pull it out gently and put it in the top tray of your dishwasher, or wash it by hand with hot soapy water and let it dry in the sunlight.
How to Clean a Top-Loading Washing Machine
The way you clean a top loader is similar to a front-loading washing machine apart from the ingredient amounts. Choose a hot water cycle and once itâ€™s full pour half a cup of bicarb and 2 cups of white vinegar into the tub and allow it to run as usual. The vinegar and bicarb will break down all the stubborn grease, dirt, built-up detergent and fabric softener. It will also keep the hoses clear and clean. Using a damp microfibre cloth, clean off any stains on the outside of the washer and wipe away any dirt or dust. As you would do with a front-loading washing machine, clean the fabric softener dispenser by either hand washing with dishwashing liquid and hot water, or put it through the dishwasher in the top basket. Hereâ€™s a hint: replace fabric softener with vinegar,Â which is a whole lot cheaper and better for your washing machine.
Filed under: Residential Cleaning