Although appliances such as the washing machine are supposed to clean items, from time to time they need to be cleaned as well.
Do you have a top loading washing machine and wondering the best way to clean it?
Today we will discuss the best practices to use for the best results.
To ensure your machine stays as clean as possible at all times, it’s a great idea to make this part of your normal routine.
Cleaning it inside and out at least once a month will keep it looking new and working great.
What Supplies Will You Need?
Before you get started there are some supplies you’ll need to gather. The best cleaning supplies to use are:
- Bleach or white vinegar (whichever you prefer)
- Baking soda
- Microfiber cloth
- A small brush such as a toothbrush
- A pair of yellow gloves to protect your hands (Optional, but recommended)
You should also set aside about 2 hours to fully complete the process.
Don’t worry – you won’t be scrubbing for the entire 2 hours!
Steps To Clean Your Top Loading Washing Machine
Now that you’ve collected your supplies and are ready to start cleaning, here’s what you’ll do:
Step #1: Fill With Water & Add Chosen Cleaning Solution
You will begin by setting your washer to the largest load setting using hot water.
Once the machine begins to fill add 3 to 4 cups of bleach or white vinegar.
Some people prefer vinegar to bleach as it disinfects without the strong smell.
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Both work equally well, so it comes down to personal preference.
Once you’ve added the cleaner, allow your washer to agitate for a minute or 2 to allow it to mix with the water.
Step #2: Allow The Water & Cleaner To Soak
Once the cleaning solution is mixed well into the hot water leave the lid open and allow the solution to soak inside the machine drum for at least an hour.
Step #3: Soak Removable Parts & Detail Under The Lid
While the tub is soaking this is the perfect time to remove parts such as the fabric softener and bleach compartments for soaking and scrubbing.
Once they are clean go ahead and thoroughly dry and replace them.
Use the small detail brush or toothbrush to clean the top part of the agitator and other areas that are hard to reach under the lid and around the washer tub rim.
You can also use this time to wipe down the sides and front of the washing machine.
Just remember not to get carried away and close the lid yet.
Step #4: Close The Lid & Let Cycle Finish
After the hour is up, it’s time to close the lid and allow the wash cycle to finish.
While the wash is finishing, go ahead and clean the top and lid of the washer.
Don’t forget to wipe down the console and all dials with your cleaning solution.
Step #5: Run Another Wash Cycle
Now that you’ve completed an entire wash cycle using hot water and vinegar or bleach, you’ll want to do this one more time.
However, this time once the tub fills with hot water you’ll add a cup of baking soda.
This will help to neutralize the smell of the bleach or vinegar, and also help wash away loosened residue that may have been left behind after the first cleaning cycle.
Step #6: Wipe The Inside Of The Washer
After your second wash cycle is complete, you’ll want to grab the microfiber cloth and wipe the bottom and sides inside the tub, and the agitator.
Feel free to use some vinegar solution for this step. It will help remove any last bits of residue that are still clinging on.
Benefits Of Regularly Cleaning Your Washer
Chemicals, soap residue, and minerals from laundry detergent tend to get locked inside your washer and can create films that trap bacteria.
Once the bacteria begins to build up in the washer’s inner mechanisms, the water will not be able to get as hot as it should and laundry detergent won’t be as powerful.
Additionally, given the nature of a washing machine’s design, the hot, humid environment is naturally a breeding ground for bacteria.
While you are probably accustomed to the smell of your laundry room, there’s no doubt that your washer is harboring some stale smells.
Once the smells become bad enough they may begin to rub off onto your clean clothing.
So as you can see, keeping your machine clean not only protects your family from mold and other bacteria growing inside it, but it also protects your clothing.
Tips For Keeping Your Washing Machine Clean
While you will still need to “deep clean” your machine as described above once per month, there are ways to help keep it cleaner in the meantime.
After each use it’s best to leave the lid open on the machine. This will allow it to thoroughly dry inside.
Many people prefer to use cold water for washing clothes.
This is great for the integrity of your clothing, but you should still run a warm or hot water cycle occasionally.
Doing so will help slow down the build up of detergent and dirt.
Never under- or overfill your washing machine with clothes.
Loads that contain too many garments can leave behind excess moisture in the machine, while loads that are too small will leave behind residual detergent.
If you own a high-efficiency machine, make sure to only use laundry detergent that’s made for “HE” machines.
Using soap that’s not formulated for these machines can lead to a build up of soap scum.
Never allow clothes to sit in the machine after they’ve been washed.
Even leaving the clothes in there for several hours can allow bacteria to begin growing on the clothing.
If you leave a load in the washer for too long, it’s smart to just run it through another wash cycle before drying it.
In conclusion, as you can see keeping your washing machine clean is more important than you may have originally thought.
While it’s a process, it’s definitely worth it in the end!
Do you have any other tips to share? If so, don’t forget to leave a comment below to share your secret!