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How to Clean Your Washing Machine

Updated: Dec 13, 2021

How to Clean a Front-Loading Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Add two cups of white vinegar to the detergent drawer, set the washer to the hottest water temperature, and run an empty cycle. After the cycle is completed, add one and a half cups of baking soda directly to the drum, and run it through another hot wash. When the second cycle is done, give the drum a thorough wiping and let it air out.

When it comes to cleaning front-loading washing machines, the gasket, or rubber seal around the door, is usually the culprit behind musty-smelling laundry. Moisture and leftover detergent can create a breeding ground for mold and mildew, so it's important to clean this area regularly. To remove grime, spray the area around the door with distilled white vinegar and let it sit with the door open for at least one minute before wiping clean with a microfiber cloth. For a deeper clean, you can also wipe the area with a diluted bleach solution. To prevent mold or mildew growth, leave the door open for a few hours after each wash to let the moisture dry out.

You should clean your Front-Loading Washing Machine once a month.

How to Clean a Top-Loading Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda

You’ll want to set your washer to the highest level and hottest water temperature. Add four cups of white vinegar to the washer tub and start the cycle. Wait a few minutes, then hit pause, and allow the mixture of water and vinegar to sit for an hour. You can use this time to wipe the top of your machine clean with a microfiber cloth dipped in hot vinegar water, and to scrub the fabric softener and bleach compartments with an old toothbrush. After the one hour has elapsed, continue the cycle, then run another wash, this time adding one cup of baking soda to the washer tub.

You should clean your Top-Loading Washing Machine once a month.

Alternative Methods

Products like Affresh and liquid cleaners like Clorox Washing Machine Cleaner offer an alternative solution to use for monthly cleaning. These alternatives work in both Front and Top-Loading Washing Machines. However, steps should still be taken to clean the gasket and exterior, and often vinegar is a more affordable option.

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