How To Properly Clean Your Laundry Washing Machine

Cleaning the house may be a fun task for some people, but for others, it's one chore that they wish they could skip over entirely. At times — especially during busy seasons in life — it's easy for the mess and clutter to pile up and leave you with a much bigger job than you anticipated, per Totally The Mom. Even if you've got a weekly cleaning schedule that you stick to, and your home appears to be tidy and clean, there are likely still some places you are forgetting to clean up during your daily or weekly cleaning sessions.

There are so many small places in a home that it seems impossible to keep everything tidy. However, adding spots such as lamp shades, door knobs, your coffee maker, ceiling fans, remote controls, air filter grates, banisters, and garage door buttons to your list may help you keep your house looking and smelling great, per Keeping Life Sane.

According to Apartment Therapy, other places that many may simply forget to clean up are pet food bowls, backsplashes, the oven hood, the tops of their refrigerator, and their dishwasher. Meanwhile, The Spruce notes that underneath furniture and baseboards are also often neglected. Of course, one other place that likely gets overlooked is the washing machine.

Your washing machine may be holding bacteria

If you've been noticing that your washing machine doesn't seem to be cleaning your clothes as well as it used to, it may be time to clean the appliance (via Live Strong). If you're not cleaning your washing machine your clothes may be coming out of the laundry even dirtier than when you put them in. Many machines can hold bacteria and other germs such as the norovirus, and because many people wash their clothes in cold water, the germs can survive through each cycle.

"For those of us who use cold or warm water wash and efficient short-drying cycles, some hardy germs will be left on our linens and clothes, [but] the possibility of dangerous, resistant bacteria in our washing machines causing disease is very remote," Dr. Bruce Hirsch told Healthline.

Cheat Sheet reveals that regularly cleaning your washing machine will not only be a health benefit but also help you preserve your washer and ensure that it's running better and longer while also deodorizing your home and clothes.

So, how exactly do you clean your washing machine?

Tips for cleaning your washing machine

If you're ready to take the plunge and deep clean your washing machine you'll need a few items to help you along the way. Some helpful items are some soft cloths, bleach, and vinegar, per The Spruce. The outlet suggests cleaning your washing machine at least twice a year, but it can be done every three months, especially if you have hard water.

To begin deep cleaning your washer, start by wiping off the outside of the machine with all-purpose cleaner, and then moving to areas around the seals, filters, and drains (via Martha Stewart). While cleaning the drain, consider using a bowl to catch any excess water and prevent your floor from getting wet. If you want to use vinegar — a good option for those who like natural cleaners — simply pour two cups of hot water into the detergent dispenser and run your machine like normal using a hot water cycle. When that cycle is complete, you want to finish off the clean with a half-cup of baking soda in the drum of the washer and another hot water cycle.

If you'd rather use bleach to clean the machine, fill your empty washer with hot water on the largest load setting possible (via HGTV). Once the drum is filled, add a quart of bleach and let the water sit for an hour before allowing it to run through the rest of the cycle.

Remember to repeat your washing machine clean every few months for great-smelling clothes.