Is there an unpleasant smell coming out of the washing machine? Alas, a simple rinse will not get rid of it. Removing mold and odors, scale and plaque, washing the drum — we will tell you how to clean the washing machine at home.
It is worth remembering: the washing machine should be cleaned regularly. This affects not only the quality of laundry but also the health of the whole family. The procedures described below should be performed at least once a month.
important! Please refer to the washing machine’s owner’s manual before reading the article further. Some manufacturers do not recommend using folk descaling agents in their cars. Sometimes this may lead to the termination of the warranty.
Table of Contents
How to clean your detergent drawer
It is very easy to assess the degree of contamination of the washing machine — just remove the detergent box (tray) from it. Mold, brown deposits, and laundry detergent residues are excellent breeding grounds for bacteria.
Let’s start by cleaning the mailbox. Soak the tray in hot, soapy water for a few minutes. Then, using an old toothbrush, remove any remaining detergent and mold that has formed. Thoroughly rinse and dry the tray with a paper towel. Before you return the box to its place, you should clean the compartment itself for its installation — most likely, there is also dirt there.
Leave the detergent drawer slightly open between washes to prevent mold from forming. Strictly adhere to the recommendations on the amount of detergent for a particular type of washing. By following the instructions on the packaging, you can avoid excessive foam formation, and therefore unnecessary sediment inside the washing machine.
How and how to clean the washing machine
Cleaning the washing machine once a month is a great solution. The technique will repay you well: white clothes after washing will become even whiter and more fragrant. And the absence of plaque and scale, in addition, will allow you not to spend extra electricity.
To perform this procedure, you need to start the hottest washing mode (with a temperature of at least 60 ° C), after pouring 200-250 milliliters of table vinegar directly into the drum. Don’t worry: the smell of vinegar will disappear at the stage of rinsing.
How not forget about this procedure in the future? Just keep a bottle of table vinegar where your laundry detergent, rinse aid, and other detergents are stored. Needless to say, this place should not be accessible to small children.
Using baking soda
Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is one of the most effective ways to clean a washing machine. The high pH of the soda solution makes it an ideal tool for removing grease and organic impurities, as well as stains — for the same reason, soda is indispensable in the kitchen.
Add two tablespoons of baking soda to the washing powder compartment — the soda will act as a detergent. Ideally, you can combine this cleaning of the washing machine and the method described above. Soda is poured into the powder compartment, vinegar is poured into the drum, we turn on the ” hot ” washing mode. These two components will cope with the most severe and long-standing pollution.
Using sodium percarbonate
Look for oxygen bleachers on the market. Their main component is sodium percarbonate, which perfectly copes with cleaning the washing machine and removes unpleasant odors. Sodium percarbonate is more effective than baking soda, but it is also safer than chlorine-containing bleach. This is an excellent all-purpose product that is sold in powder form. Recommendations for its use are no different from our advice about soda, which we gave above. important! You can’t use sodium percarbonate together with vinegar.
Using citric acid
If you live in an area with hard water, the experiments with baking soda described above may not lead to anything. Then you should try the opposite option-a solution based on organic acids. On the Internet, you can find a lot of instructions for cleaning the washing machine with citric acid. We have our own miracle recipe.
In addition to citric acid, you will also need ascorbic acid (vitamin C). It makes no sense to go to the pharmacy — vitamin C for medical and preventive purposes is packaged in bags of 2.5 grams, and this is not enough. Look for large packages of food-grade ascorbic acid on sale.
Citric and ascorbic acids easily enter into redox reactions, which makes them especially effective for cleaning the washing machine from dirt associated with hard water — rust, limescale, scale from detergents.
So, for super acidic cleaning of the washing machine, you will need 100 grams of citric acid and 200 grams of ascorbic acid. All this should be diluted in 3 liters of water previously brought to a boil. Allow the solution to cool to 40 degrees and pour directly into the drum. A small amount of the solution can also be poured into the detergent drawer. Start the hot wash process with an empty drum. At the end of the process, the washing machine will be as good as new.
Important point! The citric acid in the powder can damage the plastic laundry detergent box — always dissolve it in water.
If you use liquid bleach — the same “Whiteness” – you can clean the washing machine with this tool. This procedure is very effective in cleaning the inside of the washing machine from dirt and mold. And some people use bleach-based sodium hypochlorite for external cleaning of household appliances.
Pour 100 milliliters of bleach into the detergent drawer, and the same amount directly into the drum of the washing machine. Start the hot wash mode with an empty drum. If the washing program allows you to pause the process, do so as soon as the drum is filled with water. After an hour, you can continue washing.
At the end of washing, start two additional rinsing cycles, and for the first time, you can add 50 grams of vinegar to the rinse aid compartment. When finished, wipe the inside of the door and dry the seals.
It is important to remember that even after the most thorough rinsing, a small amount of bleach may remain inside the machine. Therefore, for the first wash after cleaning, we recommend that you select items that will not be damaged by bleach.
Ventilate the washing machine
Cleaning the washing machine includes more than just the procedures described above. To prevent the formation of mold, it is necessary to ventilate the machine from the inside.
When cleaning is complete, open the door wider so that the inner surface of the drum dries naturally. Is there still an unpleasant smell? Any contamination found? We’ll have to repeat the whole process.
In general, it is worth making a habit of leaving the door open after each wash. At least until the drum is completely dry. This reduces the chance of mold and bacterial growth on the inside of the washing machine.
Clean the rubber seals of the washing machine
The rubber seals of the washing machine, like the detergent drawer, are a haven for mold. You can also find bunches of hair, coins, and even missing stockings.
What can I do right now? Moisten a cleaning cloth with soapy water and thoroughly wipe all rubber seals. In order not to damage them, try not to apply excessive effort. The rag can’t handle it? Use an old toothbrush.
You should also periodically perform a preventive cleaning wash. It is recommended to do many manufacturers of washing machines-a description of the procedure can be found in the operating instructions. Well, after each wash, check the cracks in the seals — they perfectly collect garbage and small things from your pockets.
How to clean the washing machine filter
The washing machine filter is usually located under the drum door, just above the floor level. He collects all the garbage from the drum-fluff, hair, coins so that they do not get into the pump. This is why a filter can be a great place for mold to grow and germs to spread. And this, in turn, leads to the appearance of unpleasant odors.
To clean the filter, we recommend that you refer to the instructions — this procedure can be performed differently for different manufacturers. Most often, to access the filter, you just need to remove the protective cover. Keep a low bowl or tray and towel handy to avoid leaking any remaining water. After you unscrew the filter, rinse it out. Then put on a glove and carefully remove the accumulated debris in the compartment. The frequency of repeating the filter cleaning procedure is once every three to four months.
How to clean the washing machine from the outside
If you keep the washing machine open (and this is the right solution), the drum is quickly covered with a layer of dust. The detergent drawer can leak, and seals often leak a small amount of water — external contamination should also be treated responsibly.
Many people use laundry detergent to wash the surfaces of the machine, combining this procedure with the washing itself. There is really no particular difference: for external cleaning of the washing machine, you can use both powder and liquid detergent, and formulations marked “concentrated”. It’s simple: apply the chosen product on a damp cloth, wipe off dust and dirt, remove stains with a wet washcloth. Use paper towels to remove any remaining moisture.
This recommendation may seem elementary, but keep it up: it’s easier to perform quick maintenance on your washing machine regularly than to spend several hours thoroughly cleaning surfaces once a year.
How to prevent the appearance of odors
Well, the washing machine has been cleaned, but how can you prevent further odors? Here’s a quick checklist to help rid your bathroom of unpleasant “scents”::
- Keep the washing machine open: this will prevent the accumulation of excess moisture and the appearance of mold.
- Avoid using too much detergent and conditioner – this can cause unpleasant odors. If possible, alternate the use of washing powder and liquid detergents.
- Run the wash regularly with hot water. Even if you don’t use baking soda or vinegar, washing with the maximum allowable water temperature will prevent odors.
- Wash or clean dirt and debris from your clothes before putting them in the washing machine drum.
- In areas with hard water, it is recommended to use softeners. These can be external devices with replaceable cartridges or tablets that are placed in the drum with each wash. Both of these methods will help minimize the formation of lime scale.