You keep a lovely house. Your cabinets sparkle. The laundry's always done.
You could eat off your floor. OK, most of the time anyway.
But how long has it been since you cleaned your washing machine? That's what I thought.
Actually, most of us would clean the silly thing - if we just knew how.
These washing machine cleaning tips can help you get the job done.
If your washing machine is not correctly cleaned and maintained, the outcome of your wash can be negatively affected.
By following these washing machine cleaning tips, about two or three times a year, you can help your machine function properly and deliver outstanding results.
Cleaning an appliance that's designed for cleaning might seem a little counterintuitive. But for a washing machine to do its job effectively, it needs regular care and attention on your part.
This is especially true for front-loading washers since their design creates trouble spots that, if left uncleaned, can lead to funky mold and mildew and the attendant odors.
Specialty cleaners, while available, aren't necessary. A cup of white vinegar or bleach will get the dirty job of cleaning the drum done and will remove any built up bacteria, mold, or mildew.
Use either the machine's cleaning cycle or select the hottest wash temperature and the largest load setting. Allow the washer to fill with water, then add either vinegar or bleach.
If you don't have vinegar on hand, two cups of lemon juice will work to remove not only dirt and grime but also hard water deposits. When the water drains and the washer is empty, wipe clean all the interior surfaces with a solution of hot water and white vinegar.
If water is pooling inside the washer drum after a cycle is complete, chances are the filter is clogged.
The filter catches any fluff, hair bands, loose coins, and whatever else is hanging out in the forgotten depths of your pockets.
The filter can usually be found on the front of the washing machine behind a small hatch.
To clean, unscrew the filter cap and pull out anything that's inside, then replace the lid.
If the filter is clogged, you can let it soak for a couple of hours first before cleaning to dislodge any dried-on debris.
Then scrub the filter with a toothbrush under hot running water.
To clean the detergent and fabric softener drawers of remnants, remove them, and give each drawer a good scrub with a toothbrush under hot running water.
Then return the filters to the machine.
You can prevent the build-up of dampness in your washing machine by leaving the door open for a couple of hours after use. This allows the seal around the door to dry out, keeping your machine fresh.