How to Clean a Washing Machine? Ultimate Guide

Somewhere along the way, I missed the memo that cleaning a washing machine should be a regular thing, not something you never do. I thought the soap in the detergents would keep it clean, and I bet I’m not the only one who thought that. Oops.

But here’s the thing! Minerals and soap residue in detergents can build up in the washing machine over time. Eventually, you might notice that your clothes just don’t seem as clean as they used to. My washer was starting to feel a bit grimy. I thought maybe I was overloading it or not letting the rinse cycle do its job properly.

So, I did some research and found lots of different ways on how to clean your washing machine.

How Many Times Must You Clean a Washing Machine

In order to maintain a washing machine in good working condition, you must know how to clean it. Also, be mindful of the method you choose; for example, a different strategy could be required for older machines than for newer front load washers. 

If you use the cleaning cycle to do a thorough clean on your own a few times a year, you can prolong the life of your washer. The majority of appliance makers really recommend giving your washer a good scrub every six months.

Follow these steps to give your washing machine a thorough cleaning. Every top-load and front-load washers have different cleaning processes, and you’ll find more about them as we explore the topic. These methods include using natural ingredients like vinegar, bleach, washing soda, baking soda, or washer cleaner. You can restore the internal as well as external luster of your washing machine with a little hard work.

How to Deep Clean a Washing Machine

Your garments will come out in pristine condition once you clean your washing machine. It doesn’t clean itself, even when your washing machine uses detergent every load. That is why periodic thorough cleaning is essential.

Many methods exist for thoroughly cleaning a washing machine; the one you choose will depend on your specific model and whether you choose to use homemade or store-bought cleansers. Rest assured, these procedures are not very challenging. Read on to learn about the many ways you can clean your washing machine.

DIY Washing Machine Cleaner

Your washing machine can be cleansed in a number of ways if you want to do it yourself. Keep to a single approach; as most ingredients do not complement one another. You can use borax, peroxide, bleach, baking soda, or vinegar, depending on what you have on hand. Below, we’ll outline the stages for each do-it-yourself cleaning approach on how to clean a washing machine.

Another option is to use a commercial washer cleaner. These are branded cleaning tablets made for commercial washing machines. If you decide to use a washer cleaner, be sure to follow the directions specifically for your brand.

For your safety, never combine bleach and vinegar.

How to Clean a Front Load Washer

It is essential to understand how to clean a front load washer. Unlike to top load washers, they are more likely to generate unpleasant odors due to their design. In smaller areas, water can readily pool and cause mold or mildew to bloom. Keeping your washer clean might aid in eliminating these undesirable smells and germs. This is a detailed guide on cleaning your side-load washer or front-load washer:

Wash the tub of the washing machine.

Clean and soak your drawers, detergent trays, and detachable pieces in the tub while it’s soaking.

Give the washer’s exterior a quick cleaning.

Use an old toothbrush to scrape the door gasket when the cleaning cycle is complete. Use vinegar or bleach to clean it, but never combine the two.

Empty the filter.

Clean the parts that were soaking along with your detergent trays.

Using a microfiber cloth, clean the door and the inside of the bathtub.

Use the cloth to give the washer a thorough once-over.

Try to leave the door open so that everything dries completely.

How to Clean Top Loading Washing Machine

In most cases, top-loading washing machines are simpler to clean than front or side-loading models. Soaking a cleaning solution in this washer is easier. To clean a top-load washing machine, follow these simple steps:

Begin by cleaning the washing machine’s tub.

Be sure to clean and soak any detachable pieces, drawers, or trays that contain your detergent while the tub is soaking. There may not be many detachable components on your washer, depending of its age.

Washing machines should have their exteriors wiped down.

After the cycle is complete, wipe off the area under the tub surround. Use either bleach or vinegar (but not both) to wipe them off.

Rinse the agitator and filter.

Put the detergent portions in the water and finish washing them.

Use a microfiber cloth to clean the interior of the tub as well as the lid.

Once again, use the towel to wipe off the whole washing machine.

Hold the cover ajar to let the contents air dry completely.

Clean the Washing Machine Tub

Cleaning the wash tub is the first step towards getting your washer clean. Because of its water-tight construction, it’s the simplest to keep clean. Many washers come equipped with a dedicated clean cycle that makes cleaning the machine easier. If not, proceed with the guidelines given below, taking into account the load size and water temperature.

Here’s how to clean a washing machine using some materials you could already have in your home:


Here’s how to use bleach to clean your washing machine:

Start with a dry and empty washing machine.

Use warm wash and rinse cycles on the standard setting in your machine.

Transfer half a cup of bleach into the detergent section.

Completely fill the bleach chamber.

Turn on and leave the washing running.


Here’s how to use peroxide to clean your washing machine:

Start with an empty, dry washer.

Choose the hottest and highest setting or the cleaning setting on your machine.

Fill the tub with two cups of hydrogen peroxide.

Turn on and leave the washing running.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Here’s how to use baking soda and vinegar to clean your washing machine:

Let’s start with a dry, empty washing machine.

Choose the hottest and highest setting or the cleaning setting on your machine.

Pour in three or four cups of white vinegar as the washer fills up with water.

After letting the washer agitate for a while, end the cycle.

Give the vinegar a minute to soak.

After adding half a cup of baking soda, restart the agitator.

Let everything soak for up to an hour after stopping the cycle. If you’re in a hurry, it’s recommended to soak for at least 30 minutes.

Run the washing machine through to the end.

Repeat the procedure if your washing machine isn’t as clean as you’d want.

Cleaner Tablets

Using washing machine cleanser tablets, follow these instructions to clean your washer:

Start with a washing machine that is empty and dry.

Fill the washer tub with one tablet of laundry detergent.

Run a normal cycle on the hottest water setting.

Borax or Oxygen Bleach and Washing Soda

Here’s how to use washing soda, borax, or oxygen bleach to clean your washing machine:

Start with an empty tub.

Pour two teaspoons of borax or oxygen bleach and two tablespoons of washing soda into the tub of a front-loading washer.

Pour half a cup of each powder into the wash tub of a top-loading washer.

Use the washer’s “clean tub” option or run the largest cycle at the highest temperature.

Pour vinegar into the washing tub or the tray of the liquid dispenser once the cycle is complete. For front-loading machines, use two cups; for top-loading machines, use one pint.

Start the hot water wash cycle again. After a few agitations, stop the cycle for a top-loading machine. After 30 minutes, let the solution settle before continuing.

Let a front-loading machine’s cycle finish as usual.

After the final wash cycle complete, wipe the interior of the machine with a microfiber cloth to clear off any residue.

Clean the Washing Machine Door or Lid

It’s likely that you are aware that the door of a front-loading washing machine can get rather filthy. Hair, dirt, and lint are often drawn to the rubber gasket around the door.

In a similar vein, although it may not be as obvious, your top load washer can also gather lint and hair. The wash tub’s indentations may catch debris, and the lid may grow dirty as a result.

Thankfully, it’s easy to clean the door or lid:

Wipe down the sides or front of the washer with a clean, damp cloth.

Wipe the lid’s bottom and top.

Remember to wipe the inner lip of the lid as well, because lint and leftover soap might build up there.

You may use a bleach and water combination if mold or mildew is a concern. Another option is to use water and vinegar.

Use a paper towel or microfiber cloth to give the area a thorough scrub, and then rinse with water.

Finally, give it a dry wipe.

Clean Washer Parts, Detergent Trays, and Surfaces

Cleaning your washing machine’s removable components on a regular basis is crucial. Both liquid and powder detergents have the potential to build up. These areas may also get clogged with lint and dirt. Maintaining them clean guarantees that they will function as intended. Cleaning your dryer vent is also imperative as it can accumulate dirt too.

How to clean detachable components is as follows:

Remove the fabric softener, bleach, and soap dispensers from the machine.

Put them in a hot bath. To remove any dirt, use a microfiber cloth, an old toothbrush, or tiny cleaning brushes.

After giving them a good rinse and drying, replace them.

Remember to clean the washer’s outside as well. The lint, dust, and filth can accumulate anywhere on the machine. To make your washer shine, give the top and sides a thorough cleaning with a microfiber cloth.

Clean the Agitator and Filter

Cleaning the agitator and filter should be your main priority if you want to give your washing machine an extensive deep clean. Depending on the kind of machine you have—particularly whether it’s a front load or top load model—the procedure may change. Remember to unplug the machine before starting:

For instructions on how to remove the washing machine filter, see your owner’s handbook.

To remove the bolt holding the agitator on machines with one, use a socket wrench. When the agitator is free, remove it from the machine by lifting it out.

Put the filter and the agitator in a bucket of hot, soapy water. As an alternative, you can mix 1/4 cup baking soda, 2 cups vinegar, and 1/4 cup water to make a homemade cleaning solution.

Using a scrub brush with soft bristles, thoroughly clean the removed portions.

After giving them a thorough rinse, pat dry with a microfiber towel.

In the washing machine, return the agitator and filter to their original positions.

Key Takeaways

Maintaining a spotless washing machine is simple now that you know how to clean it. Are you prepared to bid washer grime a last goodbye? Bleach and other cleaning materials can be readily ordered online and delivered straight to your house. When and whenever you need internet purchases delivered, we’re here to help.

Explore Further

Debunking 5 Myths about Washing Machines!

How to Optimize Your Small Laundry Room Space

31+ Best Laundry Room Ideas That You’ll Love

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