Cleaning Your Washing Machine

Washing the Washer 2

This is something you should do as often as you clean your dishwasher.  But of course I know that you’re probably not going to do it any time soon.  The last time I cleaned my dishwasher was when I made that post about it.  I’ll probably do it again before we move, but that’s it.  My washing machine?  Well, I can state for the record that I have never cleaned it.  Our old one was installed during the previous tenants’ reign in our apartment and I don’t think they cleaned it either.  And then it died, so we inherited the one from the downstairs apartment, which is of equal age and has also been equally abused.  Plus, the machine is literally right next to my front door, which means it gets all sorts of outside gunk stuck to it/in it, let alone the crap that comes out of my clothes (mostly dog hair, if we’re being honest).

Washing the Washer 3

Anyway, because we’re moving I figured I’d give it a bit of a scrub so the next set of tenants won’t have to deal with my leftover dirt.  Prepare to be shocked at the sheer grossness of my machine.  Just remember that I have a short hairy dog and the machine is next to a door to the outside on a busy, sooty street, so it’s not entirely my fault.  I’m not that bad of a person, really.

Apartment Therapy, of course, has great instructions on how to clean a top-loading washing machine, so I’m going to follow their lead on this one.  All you need is four simple items: baking soda, white vinegar (or bleach, if you prefer), a soft flannel cloth or microfibre cloth, and an old toothbrush.

Washing the Washer 1

Set the washer to fill at the largest volume, the longest setting, and the hottest water, and turn it on with the lid open. Pour in 1L (~1 quart, 4 cups) white vinegar.

Washing the Washer 4

While it’s filling, pop off any of the attachments that can easily be removed. On this machine, that’s the bleach cup.  Wipe off all the surfaces you can reach.

Washing the Washer 6

Chuck the attachments into the washer to soak.

Washing the Washer 8

The machine will continue to fill, and things will get pretty steamy. While that’s on the go, take your soft cloth, dip it in the vinegary water, and start wiping down everything you can still reach with the washer lid still open. For me that meant wiping down the interior of my dryer too, which is directly above. Rinse your cloth often in the washer water to prevent transferring lint to other surfaces.

Washing the Washer 10

Use the toothbrush to scrub harder-to-reach areas, like these dryer door holes.

Washing the Washer 11

And between the washer and dryer.

Washing the Washer 9

And don’t forget the crannies under the lid itself. Sorry for the steamy picture.

Washing the Washer 12

When the machine has filled completely it will stop. Haul out whatever you chucked in there and scrub it down.

Washing the Washer 14

Add 1 cup baking soda to the water.

Washing the Washer 15

Close the lid and let that fizzy water agitate itself for about a minute (wipe down the lid while you wait). Then open the lid again and leave that water to sit there for an hour. I know, a whole hour. But I’m sure you have other things to clean in the meantime.

Washing the Washer 16

When the hour is up, close the lid and let the machine complete its cycle. Use your soft cloth to wipe down the interior of the drum to remove any residue left behind, and run the cycle again with just water this time to flush out anything else.

Washing the Washer 17

And now it’s clean. Way to go!  Final tip: If you leave the lid open to allow the washer to dry between uses you can avoid mould and mildew build up too!

Washing the Washer 18

Author: allythebell

A corgi. A small boy. A sense of adventure. Chaos ensues.

8 thoughts on “Cleaning Your Washing Machine”

  1. Wow. I’m (nearly) speechless, and yet strangely awed by what one can do to put off a dissertation. If my washing machine looked like this, I’d be almost tempted to clean it as well. It scrubs up beautifully! Bravo to you 🙂


  2. Happy for this topic, we have a front loader washer/dryer combo and the main issue is the mildew/mold build up in the washer. I tried cleaning it and for some reason every thing I’ve tried has not worked. So I will give this a try, thanks Allie.


  3. Am feeling very nostalgic-I am the Uk and we dont often get the toploader washing machines but a few years ago I managed to get one at a bargain price. I loved that machine…then I had to move and leave it behind….sad days! Lol, funny how odd things bring memories back


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: