You clean your clothes with every load that you run in the washing machine, so that must mean that your washing machine gets cleaned, too, right? Wrong. The dirt, bits of food, fibers, and other materials that get washed off your laundry has to end up somewhere, and sometimes that means getting into hard-to-reach places in the washer.

By cleaning your washing machine, you can make sure that your clothes will be cleaner, and that the machine can run more efficiently. Cleaning a washing machine is a pain-free chore you want to take care of sooner rather than later. When that water is left standing in a warm and wet environment, it can lead to mold and mildew growth, as well as some unpleasant odors. When you clean your washing machine, you help make it last longer by preventing potential damage or necessary repairs.

Top-loading and front-loading washing machines will have a slightly different technique for getting cleaned. And all it takes is the use of some common cleaning products you should already have around the house. One of the first steps of cleaning a top-loading washer is to fill it with hot water, then add about a quart of bleach. Let the machine run for a minute to mix the two, and then let it sit for an hour. 

After that one hour, let the machine finish a complete cycle, and let it drain out the water. Then fill the washing machine with hot water once more, but this time mix is a quart of white vinegar. (It is important that these two steps remain separated, as you should not mix bleach with vinegar.) Do the same thing of allowing the vinegar and water to mix and then let it sit for an hour before finishing the complete cycle. With the basin now clean, use a mixture of water and vinegar to spray down other parts of the washing machine, like the gaskets, dispensers, and the exterior.

Not only will the washer look and feel cleaner, but it will improve the efficiency of each subsequent cycle. Front-loading washers require a bit more effort because there are a couple extra nooks and crannies where water can settle. You will need a water and vinegar solution again for this appliance, and use a rag to wipe down the inside of the door. The rubber gasket will need attention also, and you may need to use an old toothbrush to really get into the tough spots.

Cleaning the inside is the same routine, but for the front-loader, you will want to fill the liquid detergent dispenser with about a cup or two of vinegar. Run the washer on the hottest setting with no clothes. After that, you can then add one-third cup of baking soda to the drum and run the washer on hot again. This helps fight the odors and soap scum that have built up over many washes. Even though your washing machine is great at washing laundry, you should not neglect cleaning the washer.

For more information on cleaning a washing machine, or how to make your washing machine more efficient, call Kellermeier Plumbing at 616-866-5134. At Kellermeier Plumbing, we pride ourselves on being honest and upfront with our customers and strive to provide our clients with the highest level of service.