Did you know you need to clean your washing machine? Sounds counter-intuitive, right? Washing machines are what you use to clean your clothes. Don’t they just keep themselves clean every time you do a load of laundry? No they don’t! Washing machines get dirty just like anything else, so today I’m going to show you a simple, step by step tutorial on how to clean a washing machine with vinegar and bleach. It’s simple to do and it works wonders!
How To Clean A Top Loading Washing Machine With Vinegar And Bleach
- 20 minutes (time spent doing stuff)
- 3 hours (time spent waiting around)
- 3 hours and 20 minutes (total project time)
- a scrubby sponge
- a dirty washing machine, obv!
We just bought our first house, and check out what was waiting for us in the laundry area of the basement…
Obviously that sucker needed a serious deep clean before our dirty laundry was going anywhere near it!
Step 1: Bleach
Set your washing machine on the longest wash cycle and start it filling with hot water. HOT!
Add four cups of bleach as the machine is filling (don’t add detergent or anything else, just the bleach). Let the machine fill all the way and agitate for a minute or two to mix the bleach in.
Then turn it off and let the bleach mixture sit for an hour. (Get some other spring cleaning done while you’re waiting! Clean your microwave with vinegar, or make this homemade grout cleaner and clean your tile grout!)
After an hour, turn the machine back on again and let it completely run through its longest wash and spin cycle.
Step 2: Vinegar
As soon as the bleach cycle is done, immediately fill your washing machine again with hot water (still set on the longest wash cycle). This time add four cups of distilled white vinegar as the machine is filling (again no detergent, just vinegar). Let the machine agitate again for a minute or two and then turn it off and let the vinegar mixture sit for an hour.
This time, while the vinegar mixture is soaking for an hour, carefully dip your sponge in the vinegar water and clean the rest of the machine.
The dispensers for fabric softener and bleach are usually removable. On my machine, the fabric softener dispenser at the top of the agitator just twisted right off, and the bleach dispenser in the corner popped up when I pulled gently.
Just toss the plastic dispensers into your washing machine and let them sit in the vinegar mixture for a few minutes. Wipe away any grunge on the machine itself, and then scrub the dispensers clean with your sponge.
The vinegar wash cycle will help remove a lot of the grunge inside the barrel of the washing machine, but if you have really bad scummy icky grossness like I did (or if there is soap scum and build up above the water level inside the machine) scrub those areas with the sponge now, while the vinegar mixture sits.
You can use the vinegar water to detail the exterior of your washer too; don’t forget the lid and the knobs!
Once an hour has passed, turn the machine back on and let it run through its longest wash and spin cycle.
And your washing machine should be good as new!
Besides cleaning inside the drum of your washing machine, the bleach and vinegar help clear out mineral deposits and soap scum in the pipes and hoses of your machine as well! So be sure to clean your washing machine with vinegar and bleach at least twice a year, and if, like us, you live in an area with hard water, aim for 3 or 4 times a year to keep everything running smoothly!
Truth time: How often do you clean your washing machine? I will definitely be doing this at least twice a year from now on so it never gets as bad as it was when we first moved in! Yuck!
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