If your washing machine is smelling worse than your gym clothes, it may be time to give it a thorough cleaning. Believe it or not even washing machines get dirty and need to be cleaned. The easiest test to determine if your washer needs to be washed is to, well….stick your head in and smell the inside.
Soils from laundry, detergents and hard water minerals can build up in areas that are hard to see which can develop an odor over time. Mold, grime and mildew in the washer lid and the door are another problem area. It’s recommended that you try these steps below every six months to keep your washer in tip-top shape.
Top loading washers
Set your washer on the highest level, as well as the hottest setting. Add 4 cups of white vinegar to the wash cycle. After the cycle starts, pause the machine and allow it to sit for an hour. During this time, wipe down the top of the washer with a cloth dipped in the hot vinegar water. Use an old toothbrush to clean the fabric softener and bleach dispensers as well. After an hour, continue the wash cycle.
Next, run another wash cycle using one cup of baking soda. At the end of the cycle, wipe the top inside of the washer tub to remove any scum.
Front loading washers
The rubber gasket at the front of the washer accumulates water, dirt, mildew and other grime. Before cleaning the washer drum, clean the gasket by spraying it with white vinegar and wiping with a damp cloth.
Set the washer to the highest level and the hottest water temperature. Add two cups of white cleaning vinegar to detergent dispenser. Run it through a complete cycle.
Run another cycle on the highest level and at the hottest water temperature, this time adding one-half cup of baking soda to the drum. When cycle is done, wipe inside drum of washer with a damp cloth.
Bonus Tip: Help to subdue mildew and mold by leaving the lid or door open when not in use.