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Sunday, May 26, 2024

How to Clean Your Top-Loading Washing Machine: A Step-by-Step Guide

Your washing machine works hard to keep your clothes fresh and clean, but it too needs cleaning from time to time. Residue buildup, unseen mold or mildew, and a lingering musty smell are tell-tale signs it’s time to give your top-loader some TLC. A clean washing machine not only results in cleaner clothes but also helps the machine run better and last longer.

Why is a Clean Washing Machine Important?

  • Cleaner Laundry: Soap scum, detergent residue, and even fabric softener can build up in the crevices of your washer, transferring to your laundry and leaving clothes less than pristine.
  • Prevents Odors: A dirty washer is a breeding ground for mold and mildew, the leading culprits behind that “musty towel” smell.
  • Extends Machine Lifespan: Proper cleaning helps maintain parts and prevents the buildup of gunk that can cause malfunctions.

How to clean a top loader washing machine with vinegar and baking soda?

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Tools and Supplies You Will Need:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Chlorine bleach (optional)
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Old toothbrush
  • Cleaning spray (optional)

Step-by-Step Cleaning Guide:

  1. Empty the Drum: Ensure your washing machine is completely empty of any clothes or debris.
  2. Start a Hot Wash Cycle: Choose the hottest water setting, the longest cycle available, and the largest load size.
  3. Add Cleaning Agent: Here’s where you have a few options:
    • Vinegar & Baking Soda: Add 4 cups of white vinegar to the drum. During the rinse cycle, add 1 cup of baking soda. This combination is natural and effective at combating odors and light buildup.
    • Chlorine Bleach: Add 1 cup of chlorine bleach to the drum for a more potent disinfectant, especially if you are battling significant mold. (Caution: Never mix bleach with vinegar or other cleaning agents)
    • Commercial Cleaner: Washing machine cleaners are available, but always double-check their compatibility with your machine model.
  4. Pause & Let Soak: About one hour into the cycle, pause the machine and allow the cleaning solution to sit in the machine for at least one hour. This gives it time to break down grime and residue.
  5. Deep Clean Removable Parts: While the solution is soaking, remove any detachable components like the detergent, bleach, and softener dispensers. Soak them in hot, soapy water and give them a good scrub, especially in the nooks and crannies.
  6. Clean the Agitator (if applicable): Wipe down the agitator (the central column) with a damp cloth. If the cap is removable, follow your machine’s instructions for taking it off and cleaning the inside.
  7. Scrub the Drum: Use a microfiber cloth or sponge with a small amount of the chosen cleaning solution to wipe down the inside of the washing machine drum, paying attention to crevices around the top. An old toothbrush can be helpful for reaching hard-to-access spots.
  8. Complete the Cycle: Restart the wash cycle and let it run through to the end.
  9. Clean the Exterior: Wipe down the outside of your machine with a microfiber cloth and all-purpose cleaner or a solution of warm water and vinegar. Pay attention to the control panel and lid, where dust and spills often collect.

Maintenance Tips: Beyond Deep Cleans

  • Leave the door ajar: After each load, leave your washer’s lid slightly open for ventilation. This lets the drum dry and prevents mold.
  • Wipe the gasket: Regularly check and wipe down the rubber gasket (seal) around your washer’s opening, a common spot for trapped moisture and buildup.
  • Remove wet clothes promptly: Don’t let wet clothes sit in the machine, as this creates the perfect environment for mildew.
  • Run a monthly maintenance cycle: Run a hot, empty wash cycle with vinegar once a month to keep things fresh.

Related: How to Wash Microfiber Cushions? Follow This Instruction

Addressing Extreme Cases

For heavy mold infestation, repeated cleaning cycles with bleach may be necessary. In severe cases, consulting your machine’s manual or seeking a professional technician’s guidance is advised.

By following these steps and incorporating regular maintenance, you’ll enjoy a cleaner washing machine, fresher laundry, and a longer-lasting appliance.

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Mary Kate
Mary Kate
Mary Kate is a Freelance Writer and Social Media Manager who helps finance professionals and Fin-tech startups build an audience and get more paying clients online.

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