How to Clean Your Washing Machine
By: Tanya Torres
Photo credit by Chrissie Kremerbon on UnSplash
You never know how much you need a washing machine until you do not have it readily available to use. Washing machines can do wonders for you and you won’t even know how important they are until it goes out or stops functioning properly. When your washing machine goes out, you won’t know until you pull out your clothes and they are smelling worse than they came in. Although it may seem peculiar to think that washing machines can make our clothes smell worse after being used, it is actually something that tends to happen every so often which is why we recommend cleaning it out before it becomes worse. If you are unsure of how to do so then we have some tips to help with your washing machines woes.
What Happened to my Washing Machine?
When your washing machine goes out or stops washing correctly, you might assume that it is due to it being old. However, this may not be the reason why your clothes and the machine are giffing off some foul odors. When we use our washing machines, we don’t see how much detergent, fabric softener, hard-water minerals and laundry soils can damage it by causing a build up inside it. As a result, this wet environment can cause mold and mildew to grow inside it which can lead to those foul smells that are coming out of it while leaving marks and stains inside of it due to all the debris left on our clothes. The areas that the mold and mildew thrive in is typically the washer lid and the door so be sure to keep an eye out on those areas.
How to Clean
Take Out Clothes Promptly
- Sometimes it is difficult to remember that you have a load of laundry in the washing machine that needs tending to because it doesn’t seem like it needs immediate attention. Although you might disregard it and think that leaving clean clothes in the washer for a certain amount of time is ok, it can lead to a smelly machine along with your clothes. By removing your clothes promptly from the machine as soon as the cycle ends, you are preventing any musty odors from developing and lingering in your machine.
Remove Debris and Hair
- If you have a furry friend that sheds a lot then dealing with their hair everywhere is something that you have grown accustomed to along with dealing with your own hair falling out, especially if you are a female. Hair falls out and that is a normal thing for it to do on a daily basis, it does not mean that there is something wrong with you, it is just a normal phenomenon. If this sounds like your typical situation at home then the one place that you probably don’t think about when it comes to hair is your washing machine.
However, when there is a build up of hair in our washing machine whether it is human or non-human, it makes our washing machine have to work harder and it can potentially lead to it messing up which is why we recommend removing it from the machine. In order to remove it, you will have to ensure that your machine is completely dry by leaving the door open to dry it out completely. After it dries, you can proceed to vacuum it out with the soft brush attachment or use a dry microfiber cloth to remove it by hand.
- If you have one of the newer washing machines then you are fortunate enough to have the special washer cleaning cycle on it. However, if you are not lucky to have this feature then you can easily clean your machine out by first cleaning out the washer drum as mentioned above and the gasket by spraying it with whatever solution you choose to use such as white vinegar, Affresh or Tide Washing Machine Cleaner on it and wiping it down with a microfiber cloth. You can also choose to use a ½ cup of bleach and put it in the dispenser or whatever cleaner you choose (mentioned above) and run a hot water cycle. Be sure to pay close attention to the rubber gasket since it accumulates a lot of the debris like water, hair and mildew, especially if you have a high-efficiency washer.
- After you clean out your washing machine and run a hot cycle, you will then have to wipe it down, especially if you have a front-loader machine. You will have to wipe the rubber gasket to ensure that it is thoroughly dry so no mold can develop there.