Many of our household appliances run constantly, taking on everyday wear and tear. They are often neglected and overused to the point that they break down and have to be replaced.
One very important and often neglected appliance is the washing machine. More specifically, the cleaning of it. Do you need to clean your washing machine?
Know the Signs
Although washing machines are constantly used to deep clean our clothes, that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily clean themselves. If you take a moment to think about the kinds of stains, marks and dirt that clothes have on them when they go through it, you might find yourself being grossed out. Therefore, it’s important to know the signs of when it is time to clean it.
One key sign that your washing machine must be cleaned is if you can pick up a noticeable odor coming from it. This can be either musty, mildew like or any variation between. Also, sometimes the machines functioning can decrease when it needs to be cleaned so watch out for this as well.
What Needs to be Done
To properly clean the inside of any washing machine you are going to need bleach or some kind of washing machine cleaning tablets. Some name brands of these include, Tide Washing Machine Cleaner and Affresh.
With bleach, simply dump about 60 mL of pure bleach into the detergent dispenser and run the washer’s clean cycle. If your washer doesn’t have a self clean cycle, choose the cycle that runs the longest and the hottest instead.
If you want to clean the inside of your washer with a more natural method, use white vinegar and baking soda instead. You can do this by pouring 2 cups of baking soda into the drum and run it on the clean cycle. Additionally, you can then run it on the same cycle with 2 cups of white vinegar, too.
Limit the Need
There are a number of things you can do to limit the need to clean your washing machine very often. The first being that you can pull out the detergent tray in front loading washers and manually clean them with soap and hot water. If needed, use a sponge or scrubbing brush to get any leftover detergent that has built up on it.
Additionally, check the door gasket on front loaders to make sure it is free of lint or debris. This can prevent the machine from draining properly and increase the amount of mold buildup.
Also, wipe down any spilled detergent that may have missed the dispenser going in or spilled out of the bottle.
Maintain, Maintain, Maintain
Leaving the lip or top of the washer open when not in use will allow it time to dry out and cut down on mildew buildup. Front loading washing machines also have a filter on the very bottom that had to be emptied every six months of so.
If you don’t use your washing machine often, sometimes water and detergent can sit in the drain lines and cause an odor. To prevent this, simply run the washer on the smallest setting to keep the lines flushed and prevent buildup.