How to Clean a Washing Machine

  • July 25th, 2016
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  • Posted in laundry

A front-loading washing machine filled with brightly colored clothing. Note: Shallow focus on soap; motion blur on clothing.

Cleaning a washing machine is something we should all be doing regularly. Not just to reduce bacteria, but also to prevent our beloved machines from breaking down.

However, not many people know how to go about doing it.

We have found a lot of our customers ask us “how do you clean a washing machine?”. So as a leading domestic appliance repair company in the UK, we thought we’d put a handy guide together!

How do you clean a washing machine?

  • Put 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda into the dispenser drawer.
  • Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar into the drum.
  • Set your machine on the hottest wash and let it fully run.
  • Keep an eye on the washing machine, you may find that it suds up a fair bit inside from the build-up of the soap residue. As you get into the habit of doing this more regularly, you should see it reduce over time.
  • If you have a top-loading washing machine, then put the bicarbonate of soda and 1/2 cup of white vinegar straight into the drum.

Other Washing Machine Cleaning Tips

shiny and stainless steel, metal, bubble

How do I clean my washing machine filters?

Clogged filters is one of the leading problems which cause a machine to break down (check your manufacturer’s manual if you’re not sure where it’s located.)

How do I clean my washing machine door seal?

This is the rubber bit between the door and the drum. Simply rub it down with half measures of water and vinegar if mould is present. Between washes, leave the door slightly ajar. This will help prevent any mould build up on the washing machine door seal

How do I clean my washing machine dispenser drawer?

Most machine models allow you to simply pull this drawer out and give it a good wash under the sink tap, or in the dishwasher. However, be careful not to force it!

How Often Should I Clean My Washing Machine?

You should aim to do this as often as possible, around once a month. If you wash a lot of greasy or heavily soiled clothes, then try and do this more often to avoid an issue from building up.


Why Does My Washing Machine Smell?

If you’ve tried cleaning your machine with vinegar and bicarbonate of soda and your machine is still emitting a smell, then you could have mould lurking around inside your machine. There are two ways to tackle this:

  • Place approximately 10 drops of clove oil into the drum and run it on the hottest setting.
  • Make sure to open your doors and windows as clove oil is extremely pungent.
  • Try cleaning the washing machine with bleach.
  • Or simply add two tablespoons of bleach to the dispenser drawer and run on the hottest setting.
  • Repeat this a few times if the smell is particularly bad.
  • Avoid adding any more bleach than this as it could cause an over build-up of sud which can lead to the electrics inside your washing machine becoming damaged.

We hope you find this guide helpful! For more information on how to maintain your machine, you might also want to read about how a washing machine works.

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