how to clean washing machine

Table of Contents

Keeping your washing machine clean is essential for maintaining its performance and ensuring your laundry comes out fresh and clean. Over time, detergent residue, dirt, and mineral deposits can accumulate in the machine, leading to unpleasant odors and decreased efficiency. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with the knowledge and techniques to clean your washing machine effectively. By following these step-by-step instructions and implementing regular maintenance, you can extend the lifespan of your appliance and achieve optimal results with every wash.

Why Cleaning Your Washing Machine is Important

Maintaining a clean washing machine is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it eliminates the buildup of dirt, detergent residue, and mineral deposits, which can affect the cleanliness of your clothes and cause unpleasant odors. Secondly, regular cleaning prevents the growth of mold and mildew, ensuring a healthier laundry environment. Lastly, a clean washing machine improves the machine’s performance and extends its lifespan, saving you money in the long run.

how to clean washing machine?

The frequency of cleaning your washing machine depends on several factors, including the water hardness in your area and the frequency of use. As a general guideline, it is recommended to clean your machine at least once every three months. However, if you notice any signs of buildup or odors, it’s advisable to clean it sooner. Regular maintenance and cleaning will help you avoid potential problems and keep your washing machine running smoothly.

Tools and Materials Needed

Before starting the cleaning process, gather the following tools and materials:

  1. White vinegar
  2. Baking soda
  3. Microfiber cloth
  4. Toothbrush
  5. Distilled water
  6. Mild detergent
  7. Clean sponge
  8. Rubber gloves

Having these items readily available will make the cleaning process more efficient and convenient.

Cleaning the Exterior of the Washing Machine

Begin by cleaning the exterior of the washing machine to remove any dust, dirt, or stains. Use a microfiber cloth dampened with water and mild detergent to wipe down the surface. Pay attention to the control panel, knobs, and door seal. For stubborn stains, use a soft toothbrush or sponge. Rinse the cloth or sponge regularly to avoid spreading dirt. Once the exterior is clean, wipe it dry with a clean cloth.

Cleaning the Drum and Dispensers

To clean the drum and dispensers, start by running an empty hot water cycle. Add two cups of white vinegar to the detergent dispenser or directly into the drum. Let the machine agitate for a few minutes, then pause the cycle and let the vinegar solution sit for about an hour to break down any residue. Afterward, resume the cycle and let it complete. For front-loading machines, wipe the rubber gasket with a vinegar-soaked cloth to remove any mold or mildew.

clean washing machine
clean washing machine


Odors from Your Washing Machine If your washing machine has developed unpleasant odors, there are several methods to eliminate them. One effective approach is to run a hot water cycle with a cup of baking soda added to the drum. Alternatively, you can use a specialized washing machine cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Additionally, leaving the door or lid open between washes allows air to circulate, preventing mold and mildew growth.

Cleaning the Filter

Many washing machines have a filter that collects lint, coins, and other debris. It is essential to clean the filter regularly to maintain optimal performance. Locate the filter, typically located near the bottom front of the machine. Place a shallow container beneath it to catch any water, then open the filter access panel. Remove any debris and rinse the filter with distilled water. Once clean, reinsert the filter and secure the access panel.

Maintaining Your Washing Machine

Proper maintenance is key to keeping your washing machine in excellent condition. Some tips to follow include:

  • Avoid overloading the machine to prevent strain on the motor and other components.
  • Use the appropriate amount of detergent to avoid excess buildup.
  • Wipe the drum and door seal after each use to prevent mold and mildew growth.
  • Leave the door or lid open between washes to allow air circulation.
  • Regularly clean the detergent dispenser to prevent clogs.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

If you encounter any problems with your washing machine, consult the user manual for specific troubleshooting steps. Common issues include leaks, excessive noise, failure to spin, or error codes. If the problem persists, contact a professional appliance technician for assistance.


  1. How can I remove tough stains from my washing machine?
    • For tough stains, use a mixture of baking soda and water to create a paste. Apply the paste to the stained area, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub gently with a toothbrush or sponge.
  2. Can I use bleach to clean my washing machine?
    • Bleach can be used to clean your washing machine, but it should be used sparingly. Consult your machine’s manual to ensure compatibility and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the appropriate amount of bleach to use.
  3. Should I clean the washing machine’s water inlet hoses?
    • Yes, it is recommended to clean the washing machine’s water inlet hoses periodically. Disconnect the hoses, inspect for any buildup or debris, and rinse them thoroughly. Reconnect the hoses securely before using the machine.
  4. Is it necessary to clean both top-loading and front-loading washing machines?
    • Yes, both top-loading and front-loading washing machines require regular cleaning. However, the cleaning methods may differ slightly. Refer to your machine’s manual for specific instructions.
  5. Can I use vinegar and baking soda together to clean my washing machine?
    • Yes, a combination of vinegar and baking soda can be used to clean your washing machine effectively. Use vinegar in the drum and baking soda in the detergent dispenser for best results.


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