Even your washing machine requires some cleaning from time to time. Just like with dishwashers and vacuum cleaners, the appliances that are meant to clean your home sometimes end up being the dirtiest. Keep in mind that your washer is in contact with water, cleaning products and dirt, dust and sweat, as well as drastic temperature changes. With time, it will eventually require maintenance. Let’s read how to clean your washing machine!
Cleaning to remove limescale
Limescale is also a common issue. Limescale is the result of hard water, which is water with a high amount of minerals, which are like microscopic rocks. Depending on your area, you may have naturally hard water. This is the case for Texas, and Dallas particularly, which presents water with a high mineral count.
Hard water isn’t harmful per se. What happens is that, with time, minerals can set around your washing machine pipes, causing them to malfunction. This is why you need to do a proper cleaning.
If you have some experience creating DIY solutions, you probably already heard that baking soda and vinegar are a fantastic combination. It’s also going to work for cleaning your washing machine!
You can use vinegar first to clean your washing machine. Start by setting your washing machine to the hottest water temperature and the highest water level. Next, add two cups of vinegar. You can place them on the detergent dispenser. Then, run a normal cycle.
Afterward, do the same process but with a cup of baking soda. This will finish deodorizing and removing limescale from your washing machine.
Cleaning to remove mold from your washing machine
Your washing machine is also at risk of growing mold or mildew. It meets all the requirements mold needs to grow: it usually contains rubber, it is a dark place with constant moisture and a cold environment.
If you don’t take care of it, you’ll soon see some dark spots appearing which can be damaging to your health, particularly your respiratory system and even your brain.
Bleach is a popular solution for mold because it’s an agent that fungi can’t resist. This may not be very effective for surfaces where mold can penetrate, such as walls, but it will work just fine for your washer. If that doesn’t work, there are front loader cleaning tablets on the market that are made specifically for this purpose.
The most important preventive measure you can take is leaving the door open when not in use. Therefore, any water or moisture residues will be able to evaporate. Just build the habit of leaving the door open when you’re not using your washing machine. The same goes for your supply dispenser (your detergent/fabric softener container).
Washing machine maintenance
For regular maintenance, you can use the vinegar method, just like you did to remove limescale. No need to run a second cycle with baking soda.
Optionally, after the first cycle using vinegar, you can run a second cycle using one cup of bleach on the bleach compartment. This should only be done once in a while for a deep clean, vinegar will do just fine for regular maintenance. Also, make sure not to mix cleaning products, especially bleach. This is not only unnecessary, but it can also be dangerous.
Your filters and dispensers also need some maintenance from time to time. They gather residues of soap, fabric softener, and other types of debris. They can also be prone to mold growth and because they are closed compartments it may be something easy to miss.
Once a month, you should take out filters and dispensers and clean them using either soapy water or white vinegar, using a brush in a circular motion. For the insides of your dispenser and your debris filter, use a spray with vinegar and wipe with a microfiber cloth. The same process goes for your rubber gaskets (if you have a front-load washer).
Bonus tip: while doing laundry, you can use vinegar as a fabric softener! Just add one cup to the “softener” dispenser during the rinse cycle.
Remember to do regular maintenance for your washing machine once a month. A deep clean once or twice every six months seems a reasonable time, too. This will also help your clothes stay clean, sanitized, and free from unpleasant odors.
To keep your washing machine clean, you’ll only require to do some simple maintenance every once in a while. You only require vinegar, baking soda, bleach, and less than an hour of your time! Be consistent and you’ll have an appliance that will last for decades.