Washing machines are one of the most used appliances in our homes. They are essential for keeping our clothes clean and fresh. However, it’s easy to forget about the importance of cleaning the washer itself. Over time, dirt, grime, and detergent build-up can accumulate in the drum and pipes, leading to unpleasant odors and even damaging your clothes. This article will guide you through the process of cleaning your washer, step by step.
Why You Should Clean Your Washer
Before we dive into the cleaning process, let’s first understand why it’s important to clean your washer regularly. Over time, detergent and fabric softener can leave residue on the drum and hoses, leading to unpleasant odors and damaging your clothes. Additionally, dirt, grime, and mildew can accumulate in the washer, leading to mold growth and possible health hazards. By cleaning your washer regularly, you can prevent these issues and extend the life of your machine.
What You Will Need
Before you start cleaning your washer, you’ll need a few items. These include:
- Baking soda
- Hot water
- A clean cloth
- A scrub brush
How to Clean the Drum
The first step in cleaning your washer is to clean the drum. Here’s how:
- Fill the washer with hot water.
- Add one cup of vinegar to the water.
- Let the machine run for a few minutes to distribute the vinegar evenly.
- Add half a cup of baking soda to the water.
- Run the machine again for a few minutes.
- Stop the cycle and let the water sit in the drum for an hour.
- After an hour, turn the machine back on and let it run through a complete cycle.
You can also use a commercial washer cleaner if you prefer. Follow the instructions on the package for the best results.
How to Clean the Dispenser and Hoses
The dispenser and hoses are often overlooked when cleaning the washer, but they can also accumulate dirt and grime. Here’s how to clean them:
- Remove the dispenser and soak it in hot water and vinegar for an hour.
- Scrub the dispenser with a brush to remove any remaining residue.
- Run hot water through the dispenser to rinse it thoroughly.
- Use a scrub brush to clean the hoses, especially the rubber seals.
- Run hot water through the hoses to rinse them thoroughly.
How to Clean the Exterior
The last step in cleaning your washer is to clean the exterior. Here’s how:
- Wipe down the exterior of the machine with a clean cloth and hot water.
- If there are any stubborn stains, use a mixture of baking soda and water to scrub them away.
- Rinse the exterior with hot water and dry it with a clean cloth.
Here are some related questions about cleaning your washer:
How often should you clean your washer?
You should clean your washer at least once every six months. If you use your machine frequently or notice any unpleasant odors, you may need to clean it more often.
Can you use bleach to clean your washer?
You can use bleach to clean your washer, but it’s not recommended. Bleach can be harsh on the machine and may damage the rubber seals and hoses over time.
What should you do if your washer still smells after cleaning?
If your washer still smells after cleaning, try running a cycle with hot water and vinegar again. You can also leave the door open between washes to allow air to circulate and prevent mold growth.