Washing the Washer: How to Clean the Washing Machine

It’s easy to forget that even the machines you use to wash your clothes and dishes need cleaning. The clothes washer is especially neglected, since it’s unlikely that you take a close look inside when you wash clothes.

In one afternoon, though; you can clean away any grime, dirt, and water build up in your washing machine easily and effectively—and you can do it while you’re finishing your other house cleaning tasks.

What You’ll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Bleach
  • A sponge
  • About 3 and a half hours

The amount of time you will need varies with the length of the washing cycle you will use, so plan accordingly.

How to Clean

While you will need to carve out some time for this cleaning, you will only need to do this two to three times a year. It will be well worth it when your clothes come out fresher than ever!

  1. Fill the washer with water by starting a cycle and then canceling it once it’s filled.
  2. Add 2 cups of chlorine bleach straight to the water. If you want, allow the washer to agitate for a few seconds to mix the bleach into the water.
  3. Soak for 1 hour. Use this time to remove bleach and fabric softener dispensers and wash them in your sink.
  4. Run the washer through one empty cycle. For an extra boost, use warm water or use a longer cycle.
  5. Repeat the entire process, but this time use 2 cups of vinegar instead of bleach.

While the washer is soaking the second time, use a sponge or cloth soaked in vinegar and water to wipe down the inside of the lid, the edges of the washer, and the exterior to give an all around clean.

Occasional housekeeping tasks like washing the washing machine can make a big difference in the long run, keeping your appliances working more effectively for a longer period of time.

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