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How To Clean A Washing Machine: The Practical Guide

Washing machines clean our laundry – but it’s important to remember that the appliance itself also needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent those washing machine smells! Routine care and maintenance will keep your machine working efficiently and in peak condition. See how to clean a washing machine: the practical guide here…

  • Check the manual – you need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning the machine – if you use unlisted cleaning products you may find your guarantee becomes invalid..
  • Take out the detergent drawer – soak it in hot water and with an old clean toothbrush remove any detergent build-up and mould. Rinse thoroughly before putting it back..
  • Clean the gasket and door seals – use a microfibre towel soaked with bleach or white vinegar to loosen mould and grease – after about an hour scrub residues away with a toothbrush and wipe down with a dry cloth..
  • Remove the filter – to check for lint and other debris that could cause a blockage. Rinse with warm water before replacing.

washing machine

Home Remedies – Top Loaders

Often the simple solutions are the best – how to clean a washing machine with vinegar is straightforward – all you need is the white wine vinegar, a toothbrush, and a microfibre cloth. Fill the washing machine with the hottest temperature setting, the highest load size, and the longest wash. As the drum fills add a litre of vinegar – this will disinfect without any toxins.

Knowing how to clean a washing machine with soda crystals is just as easy – add a cupful after the washing machine has been agitating for just a minute. Leave the lid open for about an hour to allow the vinegar and baking soda to get to work.

Allow the cycle to complete by closing the lid – whilst this is happening you can clean the top of the washing machine and the dials with the vinegar solution. Repeat the hot wash with another dose of vinegar to clean away any loosened residue left behind during the first cycle – once the washing machine has drained you can wipe the sides and bottom of the tub to ensure a complete clean.

Front Loaders

For a front loading washing machine add the white vinegar to the detergent dispenser drawer and baking soda to the softener compartment and start the wash cycle. While the cycle runs you can wipe down the exterior of the machine using a cloth soaked in vinegar – use the toothbrush to get into all the hard to reach areas. Run another cycle with just hot water and a dash of vinegar – once this cycle has finished leaving the door open to prevent any mould and mildew forming.

Other Cleaning Methods

How to clean a washing machine with bleach is a frequently asked question – as hydrogen peroxide will remove limescale, kill mould, and is both anti-viral and anti-bacterial. You can simply use a litre of chlorine bleach with water at a very high temperature with a long wash cycle. This method is eco-friendly as it doesn’t leave toxic fumes and it breaks down into oxygen and water.

The downside is it takes longer to work – it really needs to be left in the machine for at least three hours, so for front loaders, you may need to run it through twice. You need to bear in mind that hydrogen peroxide must be used within a year of opening and stored in a dark place to keep its effectiveness.

You can use powdered enzyme detergents to remove any sticky residues – look for ones that contain grease-eating enzymes such as Amylase and Protease. You can also add powdered oxygen bleach to your usual detergent. Citric acid is a natural way to remove lime scale and soap scum – and helps to remove smells.

Washing Machine Maintenance

When you know how to clean a smelly washing machine you can easily keep it smelling fresh by:

  • Not using an excess amount of detergent that can cause a build-up of residue in the drawer
  • Rinsing off excess dirt from soiled clothing before loading into the machine
  • Using a water softener to minimize limescale deposits
  • Leaving the door open between washes to reduce mould growth
  • Running an empty hot wash once a month to keep the appliance clean

Appliance Repairs

Technicians from Exclusive Repairs are washing machine repair London experts! When you need that specialist help and advice you’ve come to the right place. You’ll get safe and affordable repairs from experienced engineers – carrying out a fully insured service that comes with a six-month guarantee.

Make a hassle-free appointment available six days a week – and you can get a short notice option if you’re really in trouble. Get quotes for your repairs, and pay a really competitive rate – your washing machine will soon be running like new once again without any unpleasant smells.