Home Improvement September 26, 2017

How to Keep Your Washing Machine Clean

How to Keep Your Washing Machine Clean

So, you’ve gone through the home buying process and your real estate agent negotiated the washer and dryer with the purchase of the house (yes!). With that comes the great responsibility of maintaining those special appliances.

If you have an active lifestyle, the laundry room is your hangout. When the week is over you have muddy gardening clothes, kids’ peanut butter and jelly lunch shirts, dusting and dish rags, etc. There is only so much stain removing power in the world to help! Laundry detergent is one step in keeping your clothes fresh, but overtime it can leave a film on your washer drum which can cause your washer to run less effectively. There are a few simple steps to keep your washing machine at its freshest. This article will cover high efficiency (HE) machines and top-loading non-HE machines.

<information adapted from houzz.com>

The Best Cleaning Solutions

The first step to this cleaning process is to identify which cleaner you would like to use. You only want to use one cleaner and never combine.

– White vinegar
– Bleach
– Commercial cleanser
– Custom cleaner from your washer/dryer manufacturers

<information adapted from houzz.com>

High Efficiency (HE) Machines

High efficiency machines are among the most popular. Lucky for those HE machine users, most of these machines come with a cleaning cycle.

1. Choose the “clean” cycle. If your machine doesn’t have this, select the hottest water setting. In some cases, this may be the setting for whites or heavily stained clothes.

2. Choose the added rinse cycle if it’s available.

3. Fill the bleach dispenser with your cleanser choice.

4. Fill the tub to the highest level (this will probably be automatic with the clean cycle) and run the machine.

5. If you don’t have a second rinse cycle, run the rinse cycle again manually.

Once the cycle has ended, use a microfiber cloth dipped in vinegar to clean the gasket that seals the door and the area around it. “Carefully pull it back and inspect to see if you have mold, mildew or socks (as is the case with mine) underneath,” Rapinchuk says.

Don’t overlook cleaning the dispensers. Use vinegar or soapy water to wipe any detergent, bleach, fabric softeners or other laundry add-ins from the dispensers. “You can often just pop them out,” Brucia says. Wipe off all these areas with a cloth dipped in water and dry them with a microfiber cloth.

Finish by wiping down the controls and the outside of the machine with a microfiber cloth dipped in vinegar or an all-purpose spray. To make the exterior shine, dry with a microfiber cloth.

For Top-Loading Non-HE Washers

Although older machines don’t generally have a cycle for cleaning, you can easily create your own version. It involves a bit of a wait time between beginning the cycle and ending it, so use that time to clean other areas that won’t be reached by the water in the tub.

<information adapted from houzz.com>

1. Choose the hot water setting and the longest cycle.

2. Fill the tub to the maximum level, then pause the machine.

3. Add 4 cups of white vinegar or 1 cup of bleach to the water and let the machine agitate for a minute or two.
Transitional Laundry Room by Nor-Son, Inc.
Nor-Son, Inc.
4. Pause the machine and let it sit for an hour. Dip a microfiber cloth into the soaking solution, wring it out and use it to clean the top of the drum and agitator (where the water doesn’t reach) and the inside of the lid.

If you can remove the bleach and fabric softener dispensers, do so and clean the areas beneath them with the cloth and cleaning solution as well. If they are fixed in place, clean them and the area around them. “Using vinegar will help eliminate the detergent buildup,” Brucia says.

Finally, clean the control panel and the outside of the machine with the cleaning solution or an all-purpose spray. Use a dry microfiber cloth to dry and polish the surfaces.

5. Restart the machine and finish the cycle. “You won’t smell the vinegar, but if you do, simply add another rinse cycle,” Rapinchuk says.

Find the entire article here.