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The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide On How To Clean Your Washing Machine Effectively

Given that a washing machine is always filled with water and soap, it may seem counterintuitive that you have to clean your washing machine as well. But if you think about it, it makes sense. Your washing machine washes your dirty clothes, so the dirt has to go somewhere. More often than not, dirt does accumulate in the machine itself.

Washing your washing machine once in a while not only helps improve its functioning, it also leads to fresher and cleaner clothes. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean your washing machine effectively.

How to clean your washing machine

1. Clean the detergent tray

clean washing machine - remove detergent tray

First, pull out your detergent tray. Notice the build-up of dried-up, old detergent in there? You definitely don’t want to wash your clothes with that.

Remove the entire tray from the washing machine and rinse thoroughly with hot water and soap. Let it air dry before putting it back and using it. It’s best to let it air dry first because you also wouldn’t want mold to build up in there.

2. Keep the gasket fresh

clean washing machine - clean gasket

The gasket refers to the rubber seal around the drum opening. It has a few different folds and crevices which makes it watertight, but it also means you might not even notice what’s caught in there until you start looking closely. You might find hair, animal fur, or even disintegrated tissue from that time when you left a piece of tissue in your shorts.

Besides debris, you might even spot some mold and mildew. That’s just what you can see. Imagine all the invisible germs that you can’t see.

To clean the gasket, remove the debris first, then wipe it with an antibacterial solution or with a baking soda and vinegar mix. 

Regular and thorough cleaning of gaskets can not only ensure better hygiene but also helps you save money.

3. Disinfect the drum

clean washing machine - clean drum

The drum itself needs to be thoroughly disinfected too, both to clean out any lurking debris and to get rid of germs. Because the drum of the washing machine is often warm and damp, it’s a breeding ground for bacteria.

Tip: Leave the door ajar after your laundry is done so it can dry out properly.

4. Deep clean wash cycle

clean washing machine - tub cleaning cycle

Some machines might have a standard tub-cleaning cycle, while others require running a long, hot wash. It’s best to add some antibacterial or cleaning agent, whether a vinegar and baking soda mix, or a specially designed product like cleaning tablets.

Depending on whether you have a front-load or top-load machine, there are different steps to take. If you have a top-load machine, you may need to start a cycle and pause it for at least an hour, so your cleaning agent can do its magic in the machine. Once the cleaning cycle is complete, do one more rinse with just water, and finish it all off by wiping the drum down one more time. 

For a front-load machine, use a mixture of water, baking soda and vinegar. Let the solution sit in the basin for a while then run the machine for a couple of minutes. Lastly, drain and dry it with a clean cotton cloth.

5. Clean the filter

clean washing machine - clean filter

Just like how you need to wash your aircon filters regularly, you should remove the water hoses and clean the filter of your machine at least once a year, if not once every 6 months. This varies depending on the model of your machine, so make sure you keep that instruction manual handy.

6. Wipe down the outside

clean washing machine - clean exterior

Last but not least, now that the inside of your washing machine is clean, wipe down the outside of your machine to keep it germ-free and looking fresh.

How often should I clean my washing machine?

These steps, bar the filter cleaning, should be repeated once a month. It sounds like lots of extra work but it’s worth it!

If you take good care of your washing machine, and therefore your clothes, it means you will save a lot of money. You’ll also be doing your part for the environment. Most importantly, it means you will be eliminating hidden and invisible germs and keeping your household healthy.

clean washing machine - cats in washing machine

Don’t want to clean your washing machine yourself? Helpling’s specialised cleaning services scope of work include cleaning of the washing machine so you can leave it to us. Book a specialised cleaning service now and enjoy a special discount!

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