Your washing machine is one of those appliances you probably never think of cleaning.

But you should!

What’s the danger of not cleaning your washing machine?

Your washing machine won’t run the way it should if you don’t clean it regularly to remove the build-up of soap scum, mould, and dirt.

But, how are you supposed to clean your washing machine without damaging it?

Here’s your safe guide on cleaning front- and top-load washing machines so you can do many more loads of laundry that come out clean, free of mould, and smelling good.

Whether you have a front-loading or top-loading washing machine, here are the easy steps to follow to make it sparkle and keep it clean.

Nine Easy Steps!

Clean Washing Machine - Nine Easy Steps

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

The great news about cleaning your washing machine is that you don’t need to buy specific cleaning products.

You can use what you already have at home.

Here are the supplies you’ll need.

  • Toothbrush
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Spray bottle

Extra items you might need:

  • Oxygen bleach

Step Two: Spray Inside The Washing Machine Drum

Start by filling your spray bottle with the vinegar and spray it around the inside of the empty washing machine drum. Then, use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe it so that you don’t leave vinegar residue behind.

If you’re wondering why you should clean your washing machine with vinegar, it’s because vinegar is touted as one of the best natural cleaning agents. It’s a bit acidic so it manages to remove hard water stains, soap scum, and grease.

Step Three: Clean The Rubber Gaskets

Clean Washing Machine Rubber Gaskets

Do you know those rubber seals that are around the washing machine door?

They can collect grime and dirt over time, so make sure you wipe them down with a microfiber cloth that’s been dipped in vinegar.

You should also gently pull the seal from the washer as much as you can without tearing it so that you’re able to clean difficult-to-reach spots. If you notice any dark spots that are on the seal after you’ve cleaned it, this is a sign that mould has stained it.

You’ll need to scrub the gasket with oxygen bleach to remove it.

Step Four: Run A Cycle With Vinegar

Now that you’ve cleaned the gasket and drum of the washing machine, you can move on to a deeper clean. Fill two cups with distilled vinegar. Pour them into the detergent dispenser of your washing machine.

Then, make it run on its longest cycle with the use of hot water. You should aim for a wash that’s at least 60 degrees Celsius to kill bacteria.

Step Five: Do A Second Cycle With Baking Soda

Put half a cup of baking soda in the washing machine drum.

You want to run it on hot water for the longest cycle it can do, just like you did in the previous step. When the cycle is complete, make sure you wipe the washing machine drum with a microfiber cloth. This will remove baking soda residue.

Step Six: Clean The Dispensers

Clean Dispenser

The washing machine dispensers where you put washing powder and fabric softener are hotspots for soap scum and other dirt, so you need to clean them.

You can do this easily with an old toothbrush. Simply scrub them well to remove any build-up.

Step Seven: Clean The Filter

Your washing machine has a filter to protect its pump from dirt and other objects that can sneak inside it. This means it can become grimy, so you should make sure you clean it regularly.

You can find the filter behind a cover along the lower part of the machine, but check the washing machine user manual. Once you’ve located it, you want to unscrew the filter cover. With a clean microfibre cloth, clean any components in the filter and then replace its cover.

Step Eight: Clean The Door

Once you’ve done the inside of the washing machine, it’s important to clean the door. Spray a bit of vinegar on a microfibre cloth and use it to wipe down the inside and outside of the washing machine door.

You should also clean the washing machine’s control panel and any buttons or knobs as these can become dirty.

Step Nine: Let The Machine Air Dry

Air Drying Washing Machine

Now that you’ve finished cleaning your washing machine, leave its door a bit open for several hours so that it can properly air dry.

This is important to prevent mould and mildew from forming.

How To Maintain Your Washing Machine

To prevent you from having to do a deep clean of your washing machine very regularly, you should follow some general maintenance tips, such as the following:

  • Remove clean clothes and other laundry items as soon as they’ve been washed. When a washing machine cycle has been done, quickly empty the drum instead of letting the clothes sit inside it for a while. This can lead to unpleasant odours developing, and it can also lead to issues such as mould and mildew.
  • Remove dirt as you see it. If you’re taking out your clothes after they’ve been washed and you see some pet hair or other dirt, make sure you quickly remove it to prevent it from accumulating.
    To remove pet hair from the washing machine drum, you should air dry the machine by leaving its door open, then use your vacuum cleaner’s soft-brush attachment to suck out the fur.

How To Protect Your Washing Machine From Hard Water

If you live in an area that has hard water, this can lead to a build-up of limescale deposits as a result of the chemicals which are present in hard water. Over time, hard water can also damage your washing machine.

To tackle this problem, you can use citric acid and ascorbic acid to clean away hard water build-ups, such as limescale and rust. The benefit is that it will also remove soap scum. Here’s how to use it to clean your washing machine.

  • Put a pan of water on the stove and bring it to a boil.
  • Remove it from the heat and put 200g of ascorbic acid powder and 100g of citric acid into it so that they can both dissolve.
  • Once dissolved, pour this solution into the washing machine drum. You can also pour a bit into the washing machine tray.
  • Then, do a hot wash in the washing machine without having any laundry in it.

Note: You shouldn’t put undiluted citric acid on plastic trays as this can damage them!

Easy Tips To Deodorise Your Washing Machine

 Stinky Washing Machine

We’ve mentioned that you can prevent unpleasant odours from forming in your washing machine by leaving its door ajar after a washing cycle, but there are other ways to keep your washing machine smelling fresh.

  • Keep the detergent drawer open between cycles. You shouldn’t just leave your washing machine door open, but also your detergent drawer open. This prevents mould from forming. .
  • Do hot wash cycles regularly. Every few weeks, you should do an empty hot wash cycle with your washing machine. This prevents bad odours from forming because it’s a way to wash out the machine.
  • Remove dirt from clothing before washing it. It’s always a good idea to dust or scrub off dirt from your clothing items before popping them into the washing machine as this will prevent dirt from getting into the machine as well as bad smells from forming.

Related Questions

How often should you clean your washing machine?

It’s good to clean your washing machine once a month. This will keep the inside in great condition and ensure that your laundry loads come out smelling and feeling fresh.

How often should you clean a washing machine filter?

You should do this regularly, around once a month when you clean the entire machine. If you use your machine very often, you should do it more regularly.


Your washing machine works hard to clean your clothes, but when last did you give it a good scrub?

In this article, we’ve featured the nine simple steps you need to follow to clean your washing machine so that it stays in excellent condition and you prevent damage to your laundries, such as in the form of mould, mildew, and unpleasant odours.

Best of all, you can easily clean your washing machine with the use of ingredients you already have at home, such as baking soda and vinegar.


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