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The Ultimate Guide to Deep Cleaning Your Washing Machine

Even though you depend on your washing machine to clean clothes, towels, and other household linens, your appliance will eventually need some cleaning, too. Cleaning your washing machine is especially important during the rainy season, because the increase in humidity can encourage the growth of mold inside the appliance. A washing machine with detergent residue, trapped lint, and other dirt buildup offers plenty of opportunities for mold to grow, and it can contribute to the unpleasant laundry odor that Filipinos associate with rainy days.

If you want your laundry to stay clean, it’s important to deep clean your washing machine at least once every six months. The process for cleaning a front-load machine will differ from that of a top-load one, but some methods will benefit both types of appliances. Follow these cleaning tips to help your washer stay fresh and clean and run like new.

Run a Clean Cycle

Many new models of washing machines have a cleaning cycle with a preset time and water temperature. If your unit has this feature, simply add bleach and run the clean cycle. You can also recreate this process in other washing machines by running the longest wash cycle with hot water. Fill the detergent dispenser with liquid chlorine bleach up to the maximum capacity or pour a cup or more of bleach into the washer drum.

Once the cleaning cycle is complete, run another rinse cycle to ensure that all traces of bleach are completely washed away. Make sure not to skip this step because any remnants may leave stains on your clothes the next time you do the laundry.

Clean the Detergent Dispenser

After numerous uses, detergent and fabric softener residue can build up in the dispenser. This buildup can result in mold growth, which can cause both your laundry and the machine to stink. If your washing machine has a detergent dispenser that automatically releases soap and fabric softener into the drum, include this reservoir in your deep cleaning routine.

Begin by removing the dispenser and taking it apart. You can check the washer’s manual on how to do this. Rinse the inserts with hot water and remove all traces of soap residue. If there’s heavy buildup, soak the dispenser drawer in a bucket of hot water for 10 minutes. Then, use a soft-bristled brush dipped in a diluted chlorine bleach solution to take out all the gunk. Make sure to wear protective gloves when handling bleach to prevent your skin from getting irritated. After you’ve cleaned the dispenser drawer, wipe it dry and reassemble the inserts before putting the clean reservoir back into the washer.

Clean the Lint Trap

Most styles of washing machines available today have lint filters or traps where clothing fibers and large particles of dirt are collected. These filters need to be emptied and cleaned regularly so that your machine functions as it should and mold doesn’t start to grow in the trapped lint. Depending on the type of appliance you have, you may find the lint filter within the center agitator of a top-loading washer or along the washer drum’s top rim of a front-loading machine. You can also check the user’s manual to find your washer’s removable lint trap.

Once you’ve located the filter, remove it and brush away the lint using a soft-bristled brush. If you find mold, wipe it away with a cloth dipped in a diluted chlorine bleach solution. Rinse and air-dry the filter before putting it back.

Pay Attention to the Rubber Gasket

If you own a front-load washing machine, check the rubber gaskets or the seals around the door. Typically, small garments like baby socks can get trapped there, as well as soap scum. Make sure to clean the area well, and if you spot any mildew, wipe it away using a cloth with bleach solution. Then, wipe the gasket dry or keep the washer door open to air dry the seals. This should help keep mold away.

Wipe the Unit’s Exterior

Apart from the interior of your washing machine, you also need to clean its outer housing. Doing this will keep your washer looking like it’s brand new. Start by creating a cleaning solution of warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Then, dip a microfiber cloth into the mixture and wring out the excess liquid. Use this to wipe away dust, grime, and laundry product drips from the top, sides, and front of the washing machine. Remember to clean the knobs and electronic pads as well, so they remain functional.

If you have a top-load washer, open up the. Dip an old toothbrush into the cleaning solution and scrub the corners and tight places near the cover. Make sure to wipe the lid dry afterward. For a front-load unit, gently brush the outside and inside of the door until it’s sparkling clean. Once done, wipe all surfaces with a dry cloth.

Whether you have a top-load or front-load washing machine, you must deep clean it at least twice a year. This ensures that the unit operates properly and won’t leave your clothes smelling musty. By following these steps, you can be certain that you’ll have clean and fresh-smelling clothes after each wash.

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