In recent years, front-loading washing machines gained popularity as the first high efficiency (HE) machines touting increased energy savings due to their need for less detergent and water than standard top loaders. Their downside is the large rubber seal around the door that has the tendency to harbor mold, bacteria and unsavory smells. Once your washing machine is in need of a cleaning, it also affects the cleanliness of your clothes. If you clean your front-loader regularly, not only will the laundry room smell better, but your clothes with smell fresher and appear brighter as well! What’s even better than having a clean washing machine? Using natural products to clean it! This method requires no harsh chemicals and you probably already have what you need in your cabinets at home.
You will need:
- – 2 ¼ cups of white vinegar
- – ¼ cup baking soda
- – Sponge for scrubbing
- – Clean rags
- – Toothbrush (optional)
Start by cleaning the rubber gasket that allows your washer to seal. This piece is notorious for harboring mildew, as well as things like pet hair. Put ¼ of your white vinegar in a spray bottle, or on a clean rag, and wipe behind the gasket. If your machine requires an extra deep cleaning, you can add some baking soda to the rag to make it more abrasive while scrubbing. Cleaning behind the gasket is especially important if you bought your washing machine second hand and are not sure the last time the previous owners cleaned it. Depending on the length of time since someone did any up-keep on the machine, this step could take several minutes and require several rags. Use this opportunity to wipe down the inside and outside of the door as well.
Measure your baking soda and place it directly into the drum of your washing machine. This will help aid in ridding your washing machine of unpleasant smells.
Pour the remainder of your vinegar into the detergent dispenser of your machine. DO NOT add any actual detergent during this step.
Run your washing machine on its hottest setting. Do not add clothes while it’s running. This cycle is strictly for getting your machine clean! After it is finished running, you can use another clean rag to once again wipe behind the gasket. The hot water, combined with the baking soda and vinegar, will help to loosen any stubborn mineral deposits that have built up. This is where having a toothbrush might come in handy!
Using a clean rag, wipe out the inside of machine one last time! Now your machine should be sparkling clean and ready to keep your clothes fresh!
Remember with front-loading washing machines, it’s always a good idea to wipe behind the gasket after doing your laundry. By drying the moisture after each use, you’re giving mold, mildew and bacteria less of a chance to take hold. Whenever possible, remember to leave the door open after use so everything can air dry regularly and to make it less likely that mold and mildew will grow. Perform a full cleaning once a month to ensure clean clothes and a fresh smelling laundry room!
Click here for instructions on how to clean a top loading washing machine!