How To Clean Your Washing Machine

Did you know that you should clean your washing machine at least every month? Yes, it is a thing!

You probably assume that with all the laundry that your washing machine does, it would naturally be squeaky clean, right?

Your machine is actually filled with all kinds of debris, fabric remnants, food, etc., stacked in the corners. Considering some of these corners are always wet, molds are probably growing within.

As these materials build up over time, your machine develops a funky smell.

In this short guide, you will learn how to clean your washing machine to ensure your clothes come out just the way you want them; clean.

Cleaning essentials for your washing machine

To clean your machine, you will need a few materials, some of which you probably already have—the most common include:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Toothbrush
  • Rug or sponge
  • Bleach

Most of these materials could be also used to clean microwave, oven, and other kitchen appliances.

How to clean a front loader washing machine

The gasket

Your front loader washing machine has a rubber gasket around the drum. It keeps the water sealed in during washes but also notorious for trapping moisture in the machine.

Over time, your gasket will probably develop mildew and molds. So, with a damp rug or sponge, wipe out your gasket continuously with warm water until it comes out clean.

For a deep cleaning effect, chlorine bleach works best. Use a solution of water with about 10% bleach and use it to wipe the gasket clean.

The drum

To clean the drum, you will make use of the machine’s wash cycle. You should add some baking soda to the tub and white vinegar in the detergent tray. Vinegar and baking soda react to form a fizzy solution that cleans up your wash tub.

Some people prefer to use liquid bleach in the detergent tray instead of vinegar and baking soda. The best option is to simply use whatever chemical the manual suggests.

Run a complete wash cycle on hot water, preferably twice. Afterwards, run one without any chemicals to get rid of any residue.

Detergent tray

Next, you must remove all the removable parts from your detergent tray. Soak them in warm water with some soap or all-purpose cleaner. Then, clean them with a rug till dry and place them back in the tray.

After your cleaning cycles are complete, wipe it all down and leave your machine to dry. It will get rid of any smells and reduce the moisture.

How to clean a top loader washing machine

Cleaning a top loader washing machine can be a bit more straightforward than the front loader.

The drum

Fill up the drum with warm water while adding 3 to 4 cups of white vinegar. Then allow it to run a bit to mix up the vinegar, after which you should open the lid and let the drum soak for 30 mins to 1 hour.

After, run a complete wash cycle. Then repeat the process with baking soda. Baking soda adds some freshness to your machine and also gets rid of any remaining residue.

Upon completion, rinse it once more with just water to wash off any cleaning residue.

Detergent tray

As you let the interior parts wash up, take out the detergent trays and other removable parts and wipe them down clean. You can use vinegar water for this process or regular detergent. In case of any stubborn residue, use the toothbrush to scrub them off.

What about the washing machine exterior?

For both the front loader and top loader washing machines, cleaning the outside is just as important. Wipe down the sides, knobs, and other parts with warm water and a damp cloth. When the need arises, you can use some mild soap.

Pro tips when cleaning a washing machine

Always leave the lid/ door open between washes. Doing this helps with air circulation and helps the interior to dry faster. All these could eliminate smells in your washing machine and keep mildew and molds at bay.

Do not mix baking soda with vinegar and bleach all at once. Each of these substances is a strong cleaning agent. So, using them all together could create a reaction that could damage your machine. Use one at a time.

Use less detergent. Sometimes, you are just following the instructions on the detergent packaging. But, you can wash with way less detergent than you currently use. This reduces the amount of detergent residue within your machine, keeping it cleaner for longer.


Contrary to popular belief, your washing machine also needs some washing. All the dirt it takes out of your clothes has to go somewhere! Failure to clean it out will make your clothes come out even dirtier than before you washed them.

Therefore, follow these simple tips and methods for how to clean your washing machine and enjoy cleaner clothes!