We just dump all our dirty clothes into the washer and hope that they come out sparkling clean, neat, and tidy. But how often do you clean the washing machine itself? Just as we are dependent on the washing machine to clean our clothes, the machine relies on us to clean it, too! So, if your machine is taking more time than usual to fill with water or drain – or if it is starting to smell – then it’s a good idea to spend some time cleaning it.
Washing Machine Cleaning: Using Vinegar and Baking Soda
Cleaning the washing machine is easy to do, and you only need a few materials. You need :
- Baking soda
- Brush (optional)
- To start the washing machine cleaning process, fill the washer. Then, set the machine to the highest load size, the hottest water, and the longest wash.
- To clean the inside of the machine, add 1 or 2 cups of white vinegar and a cup of baking soda to the hot water. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant.
- Allow the machine to agitate for about a minute. Then open the lid and let the mixture sit for an hour.
- In the meantime, remove all detachable parts of the washing machine and soak them in water mixed with a little liquid detergent. Clean the corners under the lid with a cloth. You can also use a brush if you want to clean the upper portion of the agitator and the hard-to-reach areas beneath the lid and around the edge of the tub.
- Now, clean the outside walls of the machine. Use a soft cloth and dip it in the liquid detergent solution and wipe all the dirt and stain off the surface. Then clean it with a fresh cloth.
- When an hour is up, close the lid and allow the wash cycle to complete. Take this time to clean the top of the washing machine, the dials, and console with vinegar, wiping the surfaces with water afterwards, if necessary. Once the wash is done, drain the vinegar and baking powder solution.
- It would be a good idea to refill the tub with hot water, add more white vinegar, and then let the machine run once again. This is to ensure that any residue left behind from the first wash is removed completely.
- After draining the water, dab the sides and bottom of the tub with the vinegar solution to do away with any former residue.
- Remember to leave the lid open between uses to allow the inside of the machine to dry properly,preventing any mould and mildew from developing.
Some Handy Lint Filter Tips
The lint filters should be cleaned at least once every three months to ensure that the washing machine functions properly.
Remember – there is more than one lint filter that you need to clean! As busy moms who are ever concerned about their little darlings, we often forget to check all the filters of our machines. We clean the dryer filter often as it is easy to locate, and leave it at that. But we frequently overlook the filter tucked into the washer. Keep the manual handy to help you locate the exact position of the washing machine filter without much ado.
If you are about to buy a washing machine, choose one that has a removable lint filter. This will make the entire cleaning process easier. Use a paper towel or brush to clean the sticky layer of lint off the filter screen. After cleaning, rinse the lint filter in hot water, as it helps remove detergent and fabric softener residue that will clog it.
Remember to look inside the machine, too. If you find loose lint in the machine, peel it away. If the lint refuses to go easily, use a wet sponge or a heavy-duty paper towel to scrape it off.