Washing Machine Cleaning Guide

Last Updated on - April 8th, 2021

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Why should we clean a Washing Machine?

Your washing machine is used to clean your clothes, but it is also essential to regularly keep your washing machine clean. Inside a washing machine, molds and dirt have been hibernating for a long time. There is also a great chance that your washing machine starts rusting from inside. These rusts will make your clothes dirty.

So, it is necessary to clean your washing machine regularly.

Generally, in Front loader washing machines, there are lots of rubbers and sealing to avoid any seepage. These rubbers collect moisture, and for a long time, this moisture forms the mold. There is also a great chance of producing bacteria due to these molds. It also gives a lousy odor to your clothes.

There are many benefits of maintaining cleanliness inside a washing machine –

  • It prevents the formation of mold.
  • It helps to remove any foul odor.
  • Also, It ensures that your machine hoses and pipes are not getting blocked with the scrum.
  • It prevents the build-up of any rust inside the machine, so it improves the life of the appliance.

Best practices to maintain cleanliness in the washing machine – 

  • Remove clean clothes- As soon as the wash cycle finishes. You should remove the wash and keep the machine empty to prevent any smell inside the washtub.
  • Leave the door open after the wash – After each wash, you should leave the door or lid open for some time. It will help air to circulate inside and dry out the remaining moisture. 
  • Clean your machine regularly. – You should clean your washing machine with some vinegar, liquid bleach, or some good cleaners. Most of the washing machines have special washer cycle programs specially designed to clean the drum or tub. Regular cleaning will help to remove any mold generation. It also removes any odors from the washing machine.
  • Clean the inlet hose filter. – An inlet hose is a filter that stops minerals and debris from the water from getting inside your machine. But there is a chance that this filter gets clogged by these materials and stops the water flows—one better way to clean these hoses by the first turn of the water supply. And then disconnect the hose and remove any materials from the hose. 
  • Wipe the exterior after each wash. – You should regularly wipe the exterior of the washing machine with a clean, soft cloth. It doesn’t require any harsh chemicals or scrubbers to clean its exterior.

Some more washing machine cleaning practices –

  • Remove any hair residue – If you have pets in your house and that pet sheds hairs, it is essential to clean it. For removing these hairs, you should first let the machine dry completely. Later by a vacuum cleaner remove the hair.
  • Clean your detergent dispenser. – The residues of detergent produce bacteria inside the machine. It would be best if you clean the lint filters and the detergent dispenser to maintain its hygiene.
  • Buy an anti-rust spray – Sometimes rusts are produced inside and outside the body of the washing machine. Whenever you observe any rust or scratches on the machine, you should use paint to cover it. Also, when your washing machine is completely dry, then better to use any anti-rust spray. 
  • You can buy anti-rust spay from Amazon here.
washing machine cleaning liquid
Washing machine cleaning liquids and wipes

Items required in Washing Machine Cleaning-

  • Soft Cleaning Cloth
  • Scrub Brush
  • Regular Bleach & White Vinegar
  • Bicarbonate Soda

Front Loading Washing Machine Cleaning Guide –

  • First, turn off your washing machine.
  • Remove the detergent dispenser and cleans it properly.
  • Untie the lint filter and remove any lint or cloth residues. Later clean it with fresh water and attach it again to the machine.
  • Check any blockages and dust from the drainage hose.
  • Operate the machine on drum cleaning mode. – If your machine has a drum cleaning cycle, then it will help to clean the drum. It will remove any detergent residue, mold, and dirt inside the drum. 
  • In high humid areas, you should clean the drum regularly. If you are using an excess of detergent and softener, then also use drum clean regularly. For better results, pour some bleach into the detergent dispenser or the drum and run the program. Also, add some bicarbonate soda (2 spoons) and 50ml of vinegar in fabric softener to wash.
  • Clean the door seal rubber by cleaning wipes with bleach and anti-mold solution. This wash must be with an empty load.
  • Clean the exterior of the machine with a soft wipe. You should wipe down the LED display panel, door and handle latches, knobs regularly.

Once the above steps are completed, then your washing machine is ready for a regular wash. 

You can buy washing machine cleaning equipment from Amazon here.

Please check some of the Best Front Loader washing machines here.

Top Loader Washing Machine cleaning Guide

  • Turn off your washing machine.
  • Untie the lint filter and clean it with soapy water. 
  • Remove the detergent dispenser and fabric softener. Clean it with vinegar or soapy water. 
  • Check the drainage hose for any blockage.
  • Now clean the machine lid, LED display panel, and external body with soft wipes. 
  • Now turn on the washing machine. Put 1-2 cups of vinegar inside the tub and some bicarbonate soda (2 spoons) in the softener box. Now run the wash cycle with hot water. For this cycle, you should not place any load inside the tub. If your washing machine has a clean tub mode, then use that mode to clean the tub.
  • Once the cycle is completed, then wipe it and leave the lid open to dry.

Shop for Washing machine cleaning equipment from Amazon here.

Please check some of the Best Top Loader Washing Machines here.

How to clean a Semi-Automatic Washing Machine

  • Fill the tub with warm water till maximum water level. Now add 2-3 cups of vinegar and start the spin for 1-2 minutes to mix the vinegar.
  • Later add two spoons of baking soda and spin again for 1-2 minutes to dissolve the soda. Now left the solution inside the machine for 30-40 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, you can clean the exterior of the machine by cleaning wipes and vinegar.
  • Remove the lint filter and clean it with the soapy solution.
  • After 30-40 minutes, start the washer and spin it for 30 minutes. 
  • Now drain the solution and let the washing machine lid open for some time to dry.
  • Follow the above 
  • Clean your washing machine every 1-2 months with the above process.

Please check some of the Best Semi-Automatic Washing Machines here.

Some More Washing Tips –

  • Don’t use too much detergent. – Excess detergent will take more water to remove the detergent residue. Also, after the wash, you can feel detergent traces and smell in your clothes. Read how to tackle detergent residue from clothes here.
  • If your clothes are not smelling fresh, then soak them in a solution of 1/2 cup baking soda. It will smell fresh.
  • If you feel your fabric softener isn’t giving the best result. Then pour some vinegar and run a load.
  • Try to fill the washing machine tub/drum up to 80% of its load capacity. The lesser load will lead to wastage of water and energy. The total load will not give you better washing results.
  • Don’t wash your shirt with all its button-up, and it will not give you a better washing result.
  • Don’t overuse bleach for washing, and it will harm the fabrics.
  • Suppose your washing machine vibrates too much during washing. It might be due to the unevenness of the floor where the washing machine is placed. Assure that the washing machine is completely level. The vibration may cause operational issues in the long run.
  • Never leave the stains on clothes for a long time; the sooner you treat, the better result will come. You can give a quick wash for those kinds of stains immediately.
  • If you are worried about missing socks, you can use Mesh Laundry Bags. Read more about Mesh Laundry Bags here

How to tackle detergent residue from clothes:-

If you are using detergent powder, then it may not dissolve completely into the water. Sometimes you will find these detergent residue left on clothes after the wash. It will not only be visible to others but also giving an awful detergent smell. You can follow some of the below tips to avoid getting these traces from clothes. 

  • Suppose you pour the powdered detergent into the empty washer first for some time. It will give time to dissolve these powders completely into the water. 
  • Never overload your washing machine. It is recommended to fill the drum/tub up to 75-80% of its full capacity. This will gives enough space for your clothes to rise well.
  • Don not overuse detergent powder for washing. 
  • In cold climates or cold water, the detergent doesn’t dissolve completely. For cold water wash, you should first dissolve the detergent powder into a cup of warm water. Later add into the laundry for better dissolution of detergent. 
  • Better to use Laundry Liquid in place of detergent powder. You can read more about Laundry Liquid Vs. Detergent Powder here. 
  • Always store your detergent powder in an airtight container. In the open air, the detergent powder gets clumpy. These clumps remain undissolved and create the problem of residue. 
  • It would be best if you regularly clean your detergent dispenser with vinegar to remove any residues.
  • If you see detergent residue on clothes, then before wearing you should rewash them. The chemicals present in the detergent will cause skin irritation and rashes.

Why should we use Mesh laundry bags-

Mesh laundry bags are like small zipped or drawstring bags made from mesh or netting. These bags allow the soapy water to get in and out. These are not expensive and are very helpful to save your delicate laundry. It would be best to wash your socks, swimsuits, bras, and other very delicate items with the rest of the laundry.

There are chances that you may miss your socks or tangles your bra straps with other clothes. Many of us prefer hand wash for stockings, lingerie, and swimsuits. A laundry bag will help you and keep your delicate tangle-free and long-lasting. You can use separate bags for socks, lingerie, etc. so that your socks will not mismatch next time.

Benefits of using laundry bags – 

  • It helps to prevent your clothes from damage by any hook. It also helps your bra straps from stretching.
  • You would not miss your socks for next time if you placed them into a separate laundry bag.
  • No need to hand wash for the most delicate items. You can achieve the same by placing them into a laundry bag.
  • You can also use them to carry some items like for alteration or sports and gym wear.

You can buy Mesh Laundry Bags from Amazon here. 

Laundry Liquid or Detergent powder: Which should you use?

Liquid detergent and washing powder both used to wash your clothes. Although, there is a common misconception that the laundry liquid is better because it is expensive. But this is not always true, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. The main difference is that the liquid is better at removing greasy stains. At the same time, the detergent powder is better at removing the heavy muds. 

Detergent Powder – 


  • Best results on heavy soiled and old stubborn stains removal.
  • Cheaper than the laundry liquid
  • Sometimes they come with cardboard packing, which is environment-friendly.


  • Cardboard detergent boxes are heavy, tough to carry, and rip easily. They become soggy in contact with moisture, and it may ruin the whole box of powder.
  • Both Laundry liquid and detergent powder work effectively on various water temperatures. Only in very cold water, the detergent will not dissolve more effectively.
  • Powders contain more chemicals as compared to liquids.
  • The detergent powder has Sodium sulfate. These will adversely affect the septic system.
  • It is not effective for pre-treat stains, and You have first to make a paste of it before applying it on stains. 

Laundry Liquid – 


  • The detergent is pre-dissolved, which can quickly effective on any water temperature.
  • You can pre-treat stains by pouring them directly onto clothes.


  • They’re usually more expensive than powdered detergent.
  • They came in plastic packaging, which is no Eco-friendly.

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