You keep a nice 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 did a washing machine maintenance cleaning? That's what I thought.
Let's face it: It's hard enough to get through your regular cleaning routine without worrying about the major appliances in your home that do the cleaning for you. So washing machine cleaning is often overlooked.
Actually, most of us would clean the silly thing - if we just knew how. While I can't give you more time for cleaning, I can provide the know-how. Print and save this washing machine cleaning tips cheat sheet. (After all, you may get around to it one day.)
If your washing machine is not properly maintained, the outcome of your wash can be affected. By following these washing machine cleaning tips, 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, sine their design creates trouble spots that, if left unchecked, can lead to funky mold and mildew plus the attendant odors.
Manufacturers have made some improvements to front-loading washers to address the problem, but if you do laundry in a top-loader, you'll need to make a few key adjustments, following the washing machine cleaning tips listed below.
Top-loaders and front loader washing machines will benefit from these same measures.
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 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 lingering inside the drum after a wash, 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. Th filter can usually be found on the front of the washing machine behind a small hatch.
To clean, simply unscrew the the filter cap and pull out anything that's inside, then replace the cap. If the filter is really clogged you can let it soak for a couple hour 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 drawer of remnants, simply remove it, and give it a good scrub with a tooth brush under hot running water. Then replace the filter in the machine.
You can prevent the build up of dampness in your washing machine by leaving the door open for a couple hours after use. This allows the seal around the door to dry out, keeping your machine fresh.