Tips on How to Clean Your Washing Machine
When was the last time you cleaned your washing machine? Just like any other appliance in your home, it may be a good idea to clean it regularly. Routine care may help extend the life of your washing machine and potentially improve its ability to do the job in an effective and efficient manner, says Consumer Reports.
Why Should I Clean My Washing Machine?
Here are a few reasons from BobVila.com why you may want to consider routine cleanings of your washing machine.
- Residue removal: Residue may build up in areas of your washing machine that you cannot see.
- Odor prevention: Odors from soiled laundry and, as the DIY Network notes, detergent residue may attach themselves to your machine. Routine cleaning may help remove odors or prevent them from developing in the first place.
- Dirt and sand removal: Dirt, sand and other abrasives from your clothes may end up in your washing machine and potentially damage the machine if not removed.
How Often Should I Clean My Washing Machine?
Check your user manual for cleaning recommendations and instructions, but here are some general rules of thumb:
- Odor prevention and detergent residue: The Spruce recommends cleaning a washing machine once per month, but it’s a good idea to check the machine’s owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation.
- Dirt and sand removal: Cleaning can be done on an as-needed basis, particularly if you notice dirt or sand at the bottom of the washer tub. BobVila.com recommends cleaning it out weekly, though, as this can help prevent lingering debris (including pet hair) getting transferred from one load of laundry to the next.
How Do I Clean My Washing Machine?
Once again, it depends on exactly what you’re trying to remove from your washing machine. A few tips:
- Detergent residue: Manufacturers may suggest using a special washing machine cleaner to help remove residue from your machine. If you have this cleaner, you want to make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging, but generally you pour the cleaner into the machine and run a cycle.
- Odor: Running your washing machine on a full cycle with 1 cup of bleach may help eliminate an odor problem, according to Consumer Reports. Remember to run the machine with only the bleach and water — no clothes.
- Dirt and sand: A simple wet rag can be used to wipe up debris from the bottom and sides of the washer tub.
Regular cleaning can be a simple way to help continue efficient operation and a potentially long life for your machine. Always defer to your user manual for specific cleaning tips. And if the above methods do not work to clean your machine, you should call in a professional.
This article highlights examples of precautions you can consider to help maintain your personal property. Please recognize that a particular precaution may not be appropriate or effective in every circumstance and that taking preventive measures cannot guarantee any outcome. We encourage you to use your own good judgment about what’s appropriate and always consider safety.
Originally published on April 28, 2016.