How to Clean and Sanitize Your Washing Machine

Published
July 20, 2020

Is your washing machine starting to smell worse than your sweaty pile of clothes? Then maybe it’s time to return the favor by giving it a good round of cleaning.

Bad odors, bacteria, germs and tough stains from clothes can eventually take a toll on your washing machine. When left uncleaned for a long period of time, these elements can build up in every corner of the machine. The result? Clothes that are covered in additional stains and doused with stronger odor.

So how do you exactly wash the thing that’s supposed to do the cleaning anyway?

In this cleaning guide, we’ll show you the complete steps on how to clean a washing machine.

How to Wash Washing Machine: What You’ll Be Needing

equipment for cleaning a washing machine


  • White cleaning vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Baking soda


How to Clean Washing Machine: 6 Easy and Simple Steps

making a cleaning mixture

1. Clean the gasket and door seals

Before giving your washing machine some good deep cleaning, you will need to clean the gasket and door seals first. 

To do this, simply soak some towels in a mixture of either hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar. Both of these ingredients are proven to weaken and break down any mold or hardened stains in the area.

Use a clean towel to apply some of the solution onto the gasket and door seals. Wipe the surface repeatedly until all the stains have come off.

Finish it off by using a clean toothbrush to scrub off any remaining residue and stain marks.


2. Set the washer to the hottest setting and longest cycle and largest load

After cleaning the gasket, it’s time to tidy up the actual machine itself. Start by setting the washer to the hottest setting, longest cycle and largest load possible to prepare it for the process of deep cleaning.


3. Fill the washer’s drum with vinegar and baking soda

Get a ½ cup of baking soda powder and 1 liter of vinegar and mix them in a clean container. If using vinegar as a cleaning agent isn’t your thing, you can use citric acid, hydrogen peroxide, chlorine bleach, oxygen bleach or enzyme detergent as good alternatives instead.

If you have a front-loading machine, add the vinegar to the detergent dispenser and baking soda powder to the softener dispenser. Start the washing cycle.

For top-loading machines, wait for the water to run for a few minutes before adding in the mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Leave it on for a minute and begin the washing afterwards.


4. Let the cycle run and wipe the machine

While doing the washing cycle, you can use this time to tidy up other parts of the machine. Using a clean microfiber cloth, wipe down the outside of the machine and go through every nook and cranny.


5. Repeat another cleaning cycle

Once the washing cycle has finished, run another cycle using hot water. This is helpful in removing any remaining stain or odor left inside the machine. Simply add a few drops of vinegar and give it another spin.

After the second cycle, open the machine and let it air dry for as long as possible. This is important as you would want to prevent any excess moisture from building up inside.


6. Clean the filter, dispenser and other parts

Make sure to give the machine’s parts with some good round of cleaning as well. Get a clean towel and wipe down the filter, dispenser, lid and other parts that have started accumulating stains.


Taking Care of Your Washing Machine

Keeping your clothes clean and fresh after every wash is more than just using the right detergent or fabric conditioner. Sometimes, it also takes a clean and neat washing machine to make it happen. That’s why it’s important to give your machine a good cleaning at least once or twice a year.

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