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Homekeeping · How To Clean A Washing Machine w/ Simple Bleach (The Right Way)
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How To Clean A Washing Machine w/ Simple Bleach (The Right Way)

If you only do one thing to take care of your washing machine, make it this one! I'll show you the simple step-by-step process here.

Cleaning your washing machine might sound redundant, but just think about all the grime that your washer handles on a regular basis! That grime can collect on the inside of your machine over time, making it less efficient and less effective. Taking the time to give your washing machine some TLC is a big part of keeping it working well!

In today’s blog post, I’ll be sharing everything you need to know in order to clean your washing machine! I’ve included methods for cleaning both front-loading and top-loading machines in this post, so no matter what type of machine you have, you’ll know exactly how to clean it by the end of this post!

Related: The One Laundry Hack You Need To Know If You Have An HE Washer

How It Works

The key ingredients in both cleaning methods are bleach and vinegar (read more about the do’s and don’ts of cleaning with vinegar). Bleach kills bacteria, mold, and mildew, while white vinegar dissolves soap scum and tough mineral deposits. You will also need a measuring cup, sponge, bucket, and cloth. After using them in the steps outlined below, your washing machine will look newer, smell better, and most importantly, clean your clothes more effectively.

Related:  9 Things You Need To Do To Avoid Costly Washer & Dryer Repairs

How To Clean Your Front-Loading Washing Machine

For cleaning instructions for front-loading machines, click this link or keep scrolling!

Step 1 – Vinegar Wash

Add 2 cups of white vinegar to your machine’s detergent tray or pour it directly into the wash drum. Run a wash cycle using the hottest water setting to get rid of mold and mildew and to dissolve mineral deposits.

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Step 2 – Bleach Wash

Once the first wash cycle is done, add 2 cups of bleach to your machine’s detergent tray or pour it directly into the wash drum. Run another hot water wash cycle to remove stains and eliminate germs that may be lurking in the wash tub.

(Note: If you prefer not to use bleach, you can use 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide for this step instead.)

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Step 3 – Rinse Cycle

After the second wash cycle is complete, run an additional rinse cycle to flush out any remaining grime or residue.

Step 4 – Detergent Tray

Once the rinse cycle is done, remove the bleach dispenser, fabric softener dispenser, and any other removable parts from your washer’s detergent tray.

Fill a bucket with warm, soapy water, and drop the detergent tray pieces into the bucket and let them soak for a few minutes. Clean each piece thoroughly with a sponge or cleaning rag, dry them, then return them to their original position in your detergent tray.

Step 5 – Finishing Touches

The last step involves a few finishing touches, including cleaning the rubber seal around the door and cleaning the exterior of the machine.

Add 1/4 cup of bleach and 1 quart of warm water, then dampen a clean cloth with the bleach solution. Wipe down the rubber seal as thoroughly as possible, then go over it again with a dry cloth to absorb any remaining moisture. Finally, use a damp cloth to wipe down the outside of your machine, and you’re done!

How To Clean Your Top-Loading Washing Machine

For more on how to clean a top-loading machine, click the link or scroll down.

Step 1 – Bleach Soak & First Wash

Fill the washer drum with hot water, add 1 quart of bleach, and let it soak for about an hour to eliminate mold and mildew. After an hour, run a complete hot water wash cycle.

(Note: If you prefer not to use bleach, you can use 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide for this step instead.)

Step 2 – Vinegar Soak

After the cycle is done, fill the washer with hot water again and add 1 quart of white vinegar. Let it soak for another hour.

Step 3 – Wipe Down

Meanwhile, dip a microfiber cloth or sponge into the vinegar water. Use your dampened cloth to wipe down all the nooks and crannies of your washing machine, including the knobs, the lid, and the exterior.

If your machine has built-in dispensers for fabric softener or bleach, be sure to wipe those down as well.

Step 4 – Second Wash

After an hour of letting the vinegar soak, run another hot water wash cycle. Your trusty washing machine will be sparkling clean!

… And Don’t Forget Your Dryer!

Your washing machine isn’t the only appliance that needs to be cleaned and maintained regularly. Your dryer needs attention too! Follow the link below to get my easy tutorial on cleaning and maintaining your dryer.

Related: How To Clean And Maintain Your Dryer To Avoid A Fire


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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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