How to clean your washing machine

Posted by Laurie Barrette on

 It might sound odd having to clean your washing machine, but did you know that if you do not clean it occasionally, it can collect dirt?

 Too much detergent, dirt and minerals found in water can reduce the efficiency of your washing machine and by the same token leave your clothes less clean than when they went in!

 Depending on the model of your washing machine, some manufacturers recommend doing it one to three times a year, but if you are a fan of washable diapers and toilet paper like us, we recommend doing it once a month just to be sure your laundry is properly cleaned. It could even extend the life of your appliances!

How do we do it?

1. To begin with, if you can, remove the fabric softener and detergent dispenser compartments and clean them with degreasing soap (dish soap does the job very well!). Use a cloth and an old toothbrush to scrub the compartments to get a good clean if they are not removable. Over time, it is surprising, the amount of soap that can buildup in these compartments.

2. Then, you take a soft cloth soaked with hot water and white vinegar (or household vinegar) to scrub all the joints on your machine (especially if you have a front-loading machine). Again, the old toothbrush may be needed if this has never been done or maintained before. Machine gaskets tend to accumulate mold which can create unpleasant odors. The opposite of what you want when washing your clothes!

Little tip: after each wash, use a dry cloth to wipe the joints and leave the door of your machine open to dry the drum nicely to prevent mold buildup.

3. Using a cloth with some mild soap, wash both the inside and outside of the machine. It is necessary to scrub well as animal hair or dirt can sometimes get stuck in the small holes of the drum.

4. If your washer has a drain or small filter to collect dust / hair / animal hair, now is the time to empty it and clean it with water as well!

*Fun fact -- Did you know that with every load of laundry washed, microfibers from your clothes are released into the water to pollute the waterways? That there is a filter you can install to filter out these particles and dispose of them rather than letting them end up in our waterways? For more information click here. 

Otherwise, we like the Guppyfriend bag that has the same function!

5. Now is the time to wash the washing machine while it is empty. Add one cup of baking soda to the drum and run a regular hot water wash cycle. Then add one liter of white vinegar to the hot water.

*Some machines like mine have a ‘’tub clean’’ function. If this is the case for you, run the cycle on this function.

Let the magic happen!

This process allows for a cleaner wash cycle and avoids unwanted odors on your clothes.

It is quick to do and makes all the difference!

We like to do the same process with our dishwasher. We take the opportunity to empty the filter at the same time; the one that collects the food and, also the rotating arms where food becomes embedded. If you see lime deposits in your dishwasher, try replacing the vinegar with 90 ml of citric acid when you run an empty cycle.

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