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Cleaning the Washing Machine

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Let’s face the facts. The majority of us give very little thought to what’s going on inside of the washing machine. Typically, on wash day, the device is loaded up with clothes and detergent, the machine is turned on, and the washing cycle begins. Then about an hour later, the clothes are clean and ready to be dried.

Many people think of a washing machine as a self-cleaning appliance and feel that they do not need to buy washing machine cleaner. When in use, the washing machine operates with a tub full of soapy water and possibly, chlorine bleach. While this combination is highly effective for cleaning fabrics, it’s not at all helpful for cleaning the actual washing machine. Those same soaps and detergents can leave minerals and residue behind that add to the problem of a dirty washing machine.

How will I know if my Washing Machine needs Cleaning?

The machine works in a moist and sometimes hot environment. When this environment is combined with the germs and bacteria from the clothes and then collected over time, this can lead to a very unpleasant situation. A foul, musty odor may be one of the first signs that the washing machine needs to be cleaned. This smell is caused partly by the bacteria and mold that have collected and are multiplying inside the machine.

A dirty, dark stain around the inside rim of the wash tub can also be an early sign that the machine needs attention. Many people assume that this is a stain caused by the dyes in clothing; it’s not. That dark stain is caused by collected mildew and germs.

Sometimes, the washing machine’s first clue that it needs attention is just that it is no longer getting the job done. If, after going through a complete wash cycle, the clothes are coming out of the machine in almost the same state as before the wash, then it may be time to clean the machine. This taint to the laundry may take the form of streaks and stains or maybe a lingering body odor on freshly washed clothes.

How do I clean my Washing Machine?

Cleaning the washing machine regularly goes a long way toward avoiding many of the scenarios listed here. Taking care of this household chore can take a lot less time than you would think. There are a few ways to effectively scrub down the inside and outside of the machine to keep it working at its best.

The best approach for cleaning the washing machine will depend on whether the machine is a top-loader or a front-loader. With front-loader machines, the detergent dispenser must be cleaned between loads to cut down on bacteria. The door gasket on the front loader also needs to be wiped down to control mildew and keep the tight seal. It’s also not a bad idea to keep the door slightly open between use to allow for thorough drying on the inside of the machine.

Cleaning the inside of the machine can be accomplished in several ways. If the idea of using harsh chemicals in the environment is not an issue, then using bleach may be a viable option. For this method, the machine is filled with hot water then a quart of bleach is added to the water. The machine is then turned on and allowed to agitate for a minute to properly mix up the bleach and give the solution a chance to reach all areas of the inside.

After the moment of agitation, the machine is stopped, and the mixture stays in the tub of the machine for about an hour with the lid open. Once the hour has passed, the cover is closed, and the washing machine goes through a complete cycle with the bleach water.

Once the bleach water cycle has run through, the entire process is repeated using a quart of vinegar in place of the bleach. While this method can be time-consuming, it should yield the desired result.

Washing machine tablets are a safe and convenient way to keep your washing machine clean and fresh. There are even tablets on the market today that are effective for both top loader and front loader machines and septic system safe. The easy-to-follow instructions with these tablets make maintaining a spotless washing machine safe and painless.

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