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In household chores, the washing machine is an unsung hero. It dutifully cleans our clothes, ensuring we enter the world looking fresh and presentable. But have you ever considered how often this trusty appliance deserves a thorough cleaning?
Maintaining a clean washing machine is crucial for its longevity and the cleanliness of your laundry. This comprehensive guide will delve into how often you should clean your washing machine and the steps to do it effectively.
The Frequency of Cleaning
Monthly Maintenance for Optimal Performance:
Once a week, washing machines should be cleaned through a “clean cycle,” in which all clothing and detergent are removed from the machine. A monthly cleaning routine is highly recommended to ensure your washing machine functions at its best. This regular maintenance prevents the buildup of dirt, grime, and soap residue that can accumulate over time. Additionally, it helps prevent unpleasant odors and keeps your laundry smelling fresh and clean.
High-efficiency machines may require more frequent cleaning since they use less water, which may cause residues to accumulate over time. When in doubt, the “every 40 loads” rule—which states that you should try to clean your washing machine’s interior roughly after it has processed 40 loads of laundry—is a useful goal to set. Cleaning the washing machine should be done every two to three months if you’re single or live in a home with less laundry.
Intensive Cleaning Every Six Months:
While monthly maintenance is vital, a more thorough cleaning session is warranted every six months. This involves a deeper cleanse to tackle any stubborn residues or mineral deposits that may have accumulated. This semi-annual ritual will contribute significantly to the longevity and efficiency of your washing machine.
Factors That Influence The Cleaning Frequency Of Your Washing Machine
- Water Quality: Water quality can significantly affect how often you clean your washing machine. Hard water areas can see mineral buildup more quickly, requiring more frequent cleaning.
- Usage Rate: Your washing machine’s cleaning requirements are directly impacted by how frequently you use it. Your machine needs greater care in general maintenance and cleaning the more you use it.
- Laundry Habits: To prevent too much residue from accumulating in the drum, washing many clothes and extremely soiled goods or using fabric softener and bleach may need more frequent cleanings. At the very least, you should rinse off the drum once a week if you use these products often. To accomplish this, place no garments in the machine and set the machine to a rapid warm wash for 15 minutes.
- Regular Maintenance: This may be the most crucial element. You will need to undertake a more comprehensive, in-depth clean less frequently if you maintain your machine better regularly. An effective washing machine starts with proper maintenance, guaranteeing that deeper cleaning sessions become less frequent and more doable over time.
Steps to Clean Your Washing Machine Effectively
Materials You’ll Need
Before embarking on the cleaning process, gather the following supplies:
- White Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Microfiber Cloth
- Empty Spray Bottle
- Hot Water
Step 1: Wipe Down the Exterior
Begin by unplugging your washing machine. With a microfiber cloth dampened in a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar, gently wipe down the exterior. Pay special attention to buttons, dials, and the door seal.
Step 2: Clean the Detergent Dispenser and Filters
Remove the detergent dispenser and filters (if applicable) and wash them in warm, soapy water. Use a toothbrush to scrub away any stubborn residue. Rinse thoroughly and allow them to dry before reassembling.
Step 3: Run a Hot Water Cycle with Vinegar
Pour two cups of white vinegar into the detergent compartment. Set your washing machine to the highest water temperature and run a complete wash cycle without any laundry. The acidity of the vinegar will help dissolve mineral deposits and soap scum.
Step 4: Run a Baking Soda Cycle
After the vinegar cycle, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda into the drum. Run another hot water cycle. The baking soda will help neutralize any remaining odors and break down residues.
Step 5: Wipe Down the Door Seal
The rubber door seal is a common hiding spot for mold and mildew. Use a mixture of water and vinegar to clean this area thoroughly. Be sure to reach into the folds and crevices.
Step 6: Rinse and Wipe, Dry
After completing the baking soda cycle, run a final rinse cycle to eliminate all traces of vinegar and baking soda. Wipe the drum and door seal with a clean, damp cloth, then leave the door ajar for proper ventilation and drying.
Following these detailed steps, you’ll maintain a sparkling clean washing machine that ensures your laundry emerges spotless and fresh every time.
How To Prevent The Washer From Getting Dirty
You will eventually need to give your washing machine a thorough cleaning. But you can do a few things to shield your computer from odors and buildup that can occur frequently.
- Pre-Rinse Clothes: Make sure to pre-rinse anything that won’t easily wash away in water before you throw your garments in the washer. Remember that whatever you put in the washing will share the same water with your other garments.
- Check Before Washing: Go through your clothes twice before washing them to ensure you haven’t mixed in any toys, electronics, cash, tissues, or paper goods. These things make it more difficult to wash and rinse your load completely.
- Have Everything Out Of The Traps: After each wash, look around and remove everything that shouldn’t be in the washer. Pull back the front trap on front-loading washers to ensure nothing is lodged inside. Anything can become lodged, including little socks and trash.
- Selecting The Incorrect Detergent: Using the incorrect detergent or too little of it is one of the biggest blunders made by owners of washing machines. Only a small amount of specialized detergent is required for High-Efficiency washers to function. If not managed correctly, excess detergent can lead to build-up and potentially damage your machine.
Q1. What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Washing Machine?
Your water won’t heat up as much, and your detergent won’t be as effective if these bacteria clog the internal processes. Furthermore, washing machines are hot, muggy places by design. This could turn into a haven for bacteria to proliferate and spread.
Q2. How Do I Know If My Washing Machine Needs Cleaning?
The washer smells like mildew or mould. During the washing cycle, the machine makes strange noises. The Water Doesn’t Fill the Drum to the Rim. After loads are completed, the drum doesn’t drain properly.
Q3. How Do You Deep Clean A Washing Machine?
A couple of clean hand towels and a quart of vinegar (many manufacturers advise against running the washer fully empty) should be added to the drum before starting a wash cycle. Use the longest wash cycle, the biggest load size, and the hottest water setting.
Q4. Do Washing Machines Need Deep Cleaning?
Furthermore, mildew can accumulate over time in an unclean washing machine and not only smell bad but also cause the washtub to get bad. Gazzo advises thoroughly cleaning your washing machine every three to four months in addition to routine cleanings.
Q5. How Much Vinegar Do You Put In A Washing Machine To Clean It?
Pour in two cups of white vinegar for cleaning in the detergent dispenser. Finish the whole cycle in the washer. Repeat the cycle with the hottest water temperature and highest level, adding half a cup of baking soda to the drum. After the cycle, use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe the washer’s interior drum.
Cleaning your washing machine once a month is crucial to preventing residue, unpleasant odors, and bacterial growth. Affresh Tabs, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and baking soda can be used to clean your washing machine. Regular laundry cleaning will extend the life of your washing machine and guarantee that your clothing smells good.