All the warm soapy water mixed with dirty clothes takes a toll on your washing machine. Whether you have a front load or a top load washing machine with in-built or separate dryer, you need to clean your laundry machine from time to time. If you live in a hot humid climate, then it is even more imperative to clean out the gasket of the washing machine since gaskets become very moldy and the mold can get on your clean clothes nullifying all the effects of washing. Mold can also cause many problems like allergies, skin infections etc. So here are some easy ways to clean a washer and dryer.
1. Simple rag and hot water
The first step to clean mold from front load washer gasket is to use a dry rag on it. Gently run the rag all around the gasket. You can also remove the gasket for cleaning. Here are the steps to remove the gasket from front load washer:
- Switch off the machine and unplug it.
- Move the washer away from the wall if it makes it easier to work on.
- Tilt the machine slightly.
- Read the instruction manual to locate the screws of the inner door ring. Depending on the type of your washer, you may have to skip this step.
- Gently pry the rubber ring from the inner metal ring. Be careful, you do not want to damage or destroy the gasket.
Once the gasket is out, you can clean it by soaking in hot water and vinegar or replace it if it is totally moldy and worn out.
2. Add bleach in the drum from time to time
The easiest way to clean washing machine is using bleach. Toss one cup of bleach directly into the drum (or as per instruction manual) and run the washer on its hottest setting. This will leave your washer looking bright and clean and even remove musty odors.
3. Clean washing machine with vinegar and soda
You can easily clean the washing machine with vinegar and baking soda. Both these agents are natural and do not contain any abrasive chemicals. This method can be used for cleaning front and top load washers both. If you have hard water, then use vinegar and baking soda to remove the soap scum and salty stains from inside the washer. Here are the steps to clean washing machine with vinegar and baking soda:
- Liberally add a bottle of distilled white vinegar inside the drum. Make sure you also pour vinegar in the gasket area.
- Next, add an entire packet of baking soda in the soap and softener compartment.
- Set the washing machine on highest heat cycle and run it as usual.
- Voila! You will end up with a squeaky clean washer.
- The baking soda will also clean the tray and leave it fresh and mold-free.
- Repeat this clean-up once every two months to keep your washer clean and fresh.
4. Use de-scaling powder
A washing machine de-scaling product is another easy way to clean a washer. De-scaling products are readily available in home improvement stores and grocery stores. Use these once every 2 months. Add the product inside the drum and run it on the highest heat setting. A de-scaler is especially necessary if you have hard water in your area. Many de-scaling products recommend adding the entire box of powder in one use. But you need not do that. Simply add one to two tablespoons inside the drum and run the washer on its hottest setting. If your machine has the ‘drum cleaner’ setting, then you may simply use that instead. Descalers also come in form of liquid solutions and bubble bombs.
5. Use soda crystals
Soda crystals can also help you easily clean your washing machine. The crystals remove stains, rust and mold and are an environmental friendly way to clean the washer. Here are the steps:
- Use soda crystals once a month to keep your washer clean and fresh.
- The crystals removes lime scale, rust and moldy smell.
- Add about 300 grams of soda crystals directly into the drum. Put it on the hot setting and run it as usual.
You can also wash your clothes with soda crystals to remove stains from laundry and keep your machine in squeaky clean condition.
6. Use apple cider vinegar
When it comes to clean the washing machine with vinegar, most people use distilled white vinegar. However, you can also use apple cider vinegar for the purpose. Apple cider has the same acidity as white vinegar and in fact leaves you with a fresher washer as compared to using white vinegar. Simply add the apple cider vinegar in the drum and run the washer on warm setting. Use this method to clean a washer once a month to keep mold and mildew at bay.
7. Clean the washer with Borax
In order to clean your home washing machine using borax, use the following steps:
You will need
- 2 tbsp borax powder
- 1-2 cups white vinegar
- 2 tbsp washing soda
- A few drops of essential oil
In the first step, add only the borax and washing soda to the drum and run it on its hottest setting or self-cleaning setting if there is one. After this cycle is over, add vinegar and essential oil. Run on another hot cycle. After the cycle is over, dry the drum completely.
8. Air out the washer from time to time
Leave the door of your washer open from time to time. This will dry it out and prevent mold and mildew forming on the gasket.
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9. Do not forget to clean the detergent and softener tray
Soak the detergent and fabric softener trays in hot water and vinegar to loosen mold and grime. You can scrub the grime out using an old toothbrush. Once cleaned, wipe the tray dry and re-insert the tray back in place. Clean it out once every couple of months to keep the tray squeaky clean.
10. Clean the filters regularly
All washing machines come with a filter. If you have pets, then it is imperative that you clean the filters out from time to time as they tend to accumulate lot of pet hair and debris. Cleaning the filter can actually improve the efficiency of your machine. Locate the filter based on your machine type. Most instruction manuals will show you where the filter is located. Some front load machines have the filter located at the bottom of the machine. Use a screwdriver to pry the flap and open the filter slot. Pop off the rubber tube that goes from the filter into the outlet. Some dirty water will trickle out when you do that. Apart from cleaning (use hot water and vinegar to clean the filter) and drying the filter out, you must also check the holes for blockages.