Your washing machine is used to clean stuff, so you probably don’t often think about how to clean it. But just because you wash other things in it doesn’t mean you don’t have to clean the machine itself. Washing machines can fill up with bacteria and residue, and the last thing you want is for it to spread to your clothes. According to most manufacturers, you should actually be cleaning your washing machine once a month. (Uh-oh is right.)
If you’ve never thought to do it, you probably don’t know where to start. Here’s a handy guide so you can easily get on that once-a-month, or at least once-a-year (!), cleaning schedule.
1. Choose A Cleanser
First decide what kind of cleanser you’ll use to clean your machine. You can opt for something more natural like vinegar, or if you feel like your washer might need some more intense disinfecting, you can use bleach. Be sure to only choose one, however, and don’t mix.
2. Wipe Down The Interior
Before you run any cycles, wipe down the interior of the washing machine with your cleanser, including the door and the rubber gasket. Also be sure to clean the soap dispenser.
3. Run A Cycle
Fill your soap dispenser up with your cleanser of choice. Some machines will have a clean cycle, which you should choose to run at this time. Some machines don’t, in which case you would choose the hottest water setting and run the machine.
4. Do An Extra Rinse
If you have a second rinse cycle, choose that setting. If not, run the rinse cycle again manually.
5. Clean The Exterior
Once the cycle has finished and you’ve double checked the inside for any mildew or mold, clean the outside of your machine with your cleanser. Use a microfiber cloth dipped in vinegar to wipe down the controls and the exterior of the machine. Dry with a microfiber cloth for shine.