Have you ever actually taken the time to look at what washes your clothes? If you do, you may be surprised at what you see. How clean can your clothes actually be when you never take the time to wash the washing machine?
I find myself washing about a dozen loads of clothes a week, but I have never actually cleaned the machine! If I think about it now, I don’t know why I didn’t! It all started about four months ago. We bought a new kind of fabric softener to try out. We heard it was supposed to be great, but while doing laundry, it wasn’t just that! It was thick and needed to be thinned before being used. We didn’t realize this until it basically plugged the detergent dispenser! We stopped using it not long after, but in the meanwhile I pulled the whole dispenser out and saw how gross it was on the inside. Our white washing machine was black on the inside. Like ewww!
Not long after that, I had a problem with the drain on the washing machine. I washed a load of clothes and came back about an hour later to switch them over to dry, and had the message “drain clogged” on the screen. The cycle had barely even started. That was a huge mess. Because the washer had water in it still from the cycle, taking out the drain filter and cleaning it wasn’t the nicest to clean up. Gravity can be a pain sometimes! Needless to say though, once I took the filter out and cleaned it, the washer ran just fine!
Have you ever noticed in a front load washer, the rubber gasket that is around the door? I bet you haven’t thought of pulling that back and cleaning behind it before! I mean, you would think because of the soap that you wash your clothes with, your machine would get a washing at the same time, but no, that’s not quite how it works.
When you wash your clothes the dirty water has to go somewhere, and with gravity doing its thing, that can be behind your washers rubber gasket. The farther you read, the more you will know about how to properly clean your washing machine!
Enter blog post! I did some research on how to properly clean a washing machine and found bleach to be the best cleaning solution for the mold and mildew inside the detergent tray that trickles down with the detergent to my clothes, as well as for the gunk that was thick behind the rubber gasket. I wasn’t going to clean just this though. My washing machine needs to be sparkling when it is done! I mean it washes things that I wear EVERYDAY!
I did start with the rubber gasket. Bleach here I come! But I did take a few steps just before I started to ensure that I didn’t kill anything that didn’t need to be! When I say that I meant my clothes and hands! I wore some old clothes that I didn’t care about in terms of staining them with bleach. Just in case something splashed up at me – which it totally did. Bleach is an irritant so I also wore a pair of gloves to protect my hands.
I found a bucket and started with a mixture of half bleach and half hot water. I used a white rag for the job so I wouldn’t ruin a good one. Remember, bleach does stain! Take your wet rag and gently pull back your rubber gasket and start cleaning! I will say that it took some time to get mine to come clean. With years of not being cleaned it definitely added up. You will also notice in some of the pictures a red coloured reside. We don’t have the softest water and I find that after longer periods of time the iron builds up and stains certain surfaces red. Even the bleach wouldn’t take it out.
Once the rubber gasket is scrubbed clean you’ll want to switch to the detergent dispenser. I pulled the tray out completely and set that aside for the time being. I used a heavy-duty scrub brush and an old toothbrush for those hard to reach places in behind the tray itself. This was the easier part for me since I have small hands, but I can imagine if you have larger hands it would be harder to get in the right place to clean the icky out.
The second last step before a sparkling washing machine is to clean the actual detergent dispenser tray. I took it to the kitchen and washed it with straight bleach and a toothbrush. It cleaned super quick and easy. I went back to the washing machine and put it back in place. A quick wipe down of the outside of the machine made it sparkle. I wanted to clean the inside of the machine too, so chose to put some older rags in the drum to wash them. I filled the liquid bleach option in the dispenser and turned the washing machine on a quick cycle to clean it out. Not long after it was spinning away!
You’ll noticed in the pictures above this paragraph that the washing machine looks so much better! I did was a load of clothes after I ran the cycle through and I couldn’t believe how much better it smelled! I can tell you now that I will be washing my washer fore frequently now!
Have you ever tried cleaning your washing machine? Do you have any great tips or tricks to make it easier?
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