How to Clean Your Washing Machine

November 27, 2017
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How to Clean Your Washing Machine

Is your washing machine suffering from a musty, damp odour? Noticing marks or discolouration inside the drum? Sounds like it could do with a clean.

Cleaning your washing machine helps to keep it running in top condition, so you can give your clothes the best possible wash. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be a big job. Remember – you’ll have a hard time washing your clothes in a dirty appliance!

Man with washing machine

Read below for some easy ways to keep your washing machine fresh and clean. If you want to use descalers or chemical cleansers, make sure to consult your appliance’s manual first to check that they’re suitable.

How to Clean a Front Loading Washing Machine

  1. First, check the detergent drawer. If there’s any detergent build up or mould present, remove the drawer and soak it in hot water. Scrub away any residue – an old toothbrush is great for this. Then, rinse the drawer thoroughly, let it dry, and return it to the washing machine.
  2. Detergent in washing machineAdd two tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda and half a cup of white vinegar into the detergent drawer. Set your machine to a hot or sanitising cycle (without any laundry inside) and let it run.
  3. Once the cycle has finished, open the door and allow the machine’s drum to air-dry. If the musty smell remains, repeat the previous step.
  4. Take a damp cloth. Lift the rubber seal around the appliance’s porthole, and wipe away any residue or mould. Take time to wipe down the surfaces of your washing machine as well.

Follow the above steps and your washing machine should smell fresh again. If a musty smell persists, it may be due to a blockage in the standpipe. If you think this may be the case, try using a drain unblocker to clear the pipe – you may need to contact professional help if this does not resolve the issue.

How to Remove Washing Machine Limescale

Found a build-up of limescale in your washing machine? If you live in a hard water area, limescale can build up on the heating element over time, causing expensive energy bills and machine damage. To solve this issue, put some citric acid in the machine, run a hot wash, and it should be good as new.Washing machine

Tips to Prevent Washing Machine Odours

The points above should help you clear unpleasant smells and limescale from your washing machine, but how do you prevent them? Check our list of handy tips for keeping odours at bay:

  • Run a hot/sanitsing cycle: Once a month or so, run the appliance on an empty hot or sanitising cycle. This eliminates any residue that has built up over the month.
  • Leave the washer door open: Between cycles, leave the washing machine door open – or at least long enough for the interior to dry out. This allows air to circulate throughout the drum and prevents mould from developing. With front loading washing machines, you may want to open and air the detergent drawer, which can also develop mould.
  • Don’t use too much detergent: Only use as much detergent as is necessary – there should be guidelines on the packaging that outline how much is needed. Excess detergent may not fully flush from the detergent drawer, and can build up inside the machine.
  • Empty the filter: Regularly empty your washing machine filter. Clogged filters are a leading cause of problems across a range of front loading washing machines.

Mother and baby with washing machine

Follow these tips, and you can stop mould and musty smells before they become a problem. Take care of your washing machine, and you can keep your clothes smelling fresh and looking their best!