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 was recommended to be by a licensed appliance repair technician was: Glister Washing Machine Cleaner . It can be bought online through various retailers such as amazon as well as Hardware stores and most grocery stores. 

     When using a commercial cleaner, it is best to follow the directions given on the item packaging. Below are the user instructions given by Glisten: 

 Do not add clothing or detergent when using Glisten. For heavily fouled washers, follow instructions below using half the bottle. Repeat as needed.

  1. Pour a small amount of Glisten onto a clean cloth. Wipe the rubber seal around the door until the residue is removed. Rinse thoroughly with a damp cloth.
  2. With machine empty, add 1/2 cup to detergent drawer (front loader) or directly into the washer tub (top loader).
  3. Run washer on “Normal” wash cycle with hot water setting. Repeat monthly or as needed to maintain a clean & fresh washer.

Note: It is extremely important 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. A HE machine only need a maximum of 2 TBSP for a load of laundry.
  • If you use detergent pods or detergents that claim to be 2x, 6x, etc concentrated, you may need to clean your washer more frequently to prevent build-up. 
  • 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!
  • Using HOT water can help remove buildup when cleaning your machine. 

      Regular cleaning of your washing machine can help reduce issues with your cloth diaper laundry and can extend the lifetime of your appliance.

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 or visit Facebook.com/Nerdymommas book a consultation with me for more personalized help. 

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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