Cleaning your washing machine: When, why and how you should do it!

Posted by Anne Apostolides on

How to clean your washing machine

     Getting fresh, clean laundry from your washing machine requires an effective wash routine and regular machine maintenance. Even though it is your washing machine's job to clean your clothing, it is your job to clean your machine! Just like detergent and mineral build-up can cause your diapers to work ineffectively, so too can these cause your washing machine to clean ineffectively.

     Most washing machines have a self cleaning mode and it is recommended to run this once a month to ensure that your washer is clear of any detergent or mineral build-up. If your washing machine does not have its own self-cleaning cycle, a long HOT wash cycle can be used. If you would like cleaning instructions specific to the make and model of your washing machine, consult your machine's user manual.

     Before cleaning your washing machine, make sure all clothing items are removed from inside your machine. You can remove build-up inside your washer with products you may already have at home, or opt for a commercial cleaner. Your choice will depend on your preferences and what items are available to you based on your location.

Method 1: Commercial Cleaner

     There are many different brands to choose from, but a product that is recommended by most leading washing machine brands is Affresh® , which can be bought online through various retailers such as amazon. You may also be able to find it in your local hardware store. 

     When using a commercial cleaner, it is best to follow the directions given on the item packaging. Do NOT mix in other additives. The following instructions are from the Affresh® website:

  1. Place one tablet of Affresh® Washing Machine Cleaner directly in the washer tub―not in the dispenser.
  2. Run the washer on a clean washer cycle or a normal cycle with hot water setting.
  3. Simply wipe away any residue left behind after the cycle ends

Note: Also remember to wipe around the inside of the rubber seal if you have a front loading machine.

Method 2: Bleach

     If you do not want or are unable to use a commercial cleaner, you can clean your washing machine using bleach. Please note that using more than this amount consistently can cause damage to your machine over time. Bleach is a caustic chemical and should be handled with care.

  1. Remove all items from inside machine drum.
  2. Place 1 cup of bleach into the detergent dispense of your washing machine.
  3. Close lid/door.
  4. Run your machine's cleaning cycle OR hot wash cycle.
  5. After cycle has complete, wipe dispenser tray (if removable), and around the doors rubber seal.

Method 3: Distilled Vinegar

     An alternative cleaning product to bleach that you can use is distilled white vinegar.

  1. Remove all items from inside machine drum.
  2. Place 1 cup of distilled vinegar into the detergent dispense of your washing machine.
  3. Close lid/door
  4. Run your machine's cleaning cycle OR hot wash cycle.
  5. After cycle has complete, wipe dispenser tray (if removable), and around the doors rubber seal.

Additional tips...

     Along with keeping up a monthly cleaning schedule for your machine, these tips can also help to keep your washing machine in its best working condition.

  • Make sure you are using the correct amount of detergent. Use of excess detergent can reduce how clean your laundry gets and can build up inside your washing machine.
  • Don't leave wet clothing in your machine for extended periods of time. This can cause your washer and your clothing to become musty.
  • Leave your washing machine door open when it isn't running. This allows air flow and circulation to properly dry the inside of the machine.
  • If you are using a front loading machine, pay special attention to the rubber seal around the door. Make sure you wipe in and around all its nooks and crannies so you don't miss anything!

      Regular cleaning of your washing machine can help reduce issues with your cloth diaper laundry. If you have a good machine maintenance routine, but are experiencing issues with your diaper laundry, please CLICK HERE to check out our laundry troubleshooting guide to help fix your routine. If you feel like you need additional or one-on-one help, please contact me directly via e-mail at Nerdymommas@gmail.com

References:

https://producthelp.whirlpool.com/Laundry

https://www.maytag.com/blog/washers-and-dryers/how-to-clean-washing-machine.html

https://www.persil.com/uk/laundry/laundry-tips/washing-machine.html

https://www.affresh.com

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