Imagine sticking your dirty clothes in a dirty washing machine. How clean do you think your clothes are? It’s not something you think about often, but the more you neglect washing your washing machine, the less likely it will be that your clothes are actually clean. Start properly cleaning your washing machine to ensure your shirts, pants, undergarments, blankets, and more come out pristine.

How Often Should You Clean the Washing Machine?

A believable common myth about washing machines is that they’re always clean because of the detergent and fabric softener you use. However, the dirt from your clothes must go somewhere, and some will linger in your appliance. The frequency with which you should clean the washing machine depends on the type you have. Regular top-loading machines only need cleaning about twice yearly, while front-loading and high-efficiency top-loading machines need cleaning once a month because they use less water.

Pro Tip: The more heavily soiled your clothes are, the more often you should clean the washing machine.

Essential Washing Machine Cleaning Supplies

Plenty of products at your local drugstore are specifically for cleaning your washing machine. For example, they might have a label that says, “washing machine cleaner.” You can use these cleaners, but some items you may already have around the home can work too. Ensure you have the following supplies before you begin properly cleaning your washing machine:

  • Vinegar
  • An old Toothbrush
  • A sponge
  • Warm water
  • Baking Soda

How To Clean a Washing Machine

Newer washing machines might include a self-cleaning cycle and instructions from the manufacturer for scrubbing the inside. Follow those steps if you have them. If you don’t have these instructions, use the following process.

Step One: Use Vinegar on a Hot Cycle

Vinegar is the holy grail of household cleaning products because it can tackle just about anything. Hot water and vinegar can help eliminate bacterial growth and deodorize mildew odors. Run your washing machine on a hot cycle with two cups of vinegar instead of detergent.

Step Two: Scrub the Inside

Mix a solution that contains one part vinegar to three parts water. Using the sponge, the toothbrush, and your solution, scrub the inside of the washing machine. The detergent and softener dispensers need extra attention, as do the inside and edges of the door. Don’t forget to wipe down the machine’s exterior too.

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