How to Keep Your Washing Machine Clean

Why should you clean your washing machine?

Your washing machine is a pivotal appliance within your household to maintain hygiene and sanitation. Thousands of household owners have to pay excessive and unnecessary washing machine break down covers per year due to sloppy cleaning treatment on their appliances, therefore cleaning your washing machine could save you a lot of hassle! Cleaning a washing machine doesn’t have to be difficult. Read on to know how to make your machine grand-spanking new…

How often should you clean your washing machine?

Advisedly, once every 2-3 months, however if your are washing very dirty clothes or occasionally overloading your machine, then cleaning your washing machine more often would be vital to keep it functioning properly! We would generally recommend cleaning each component separately which increases the overall performance.

Cleaning your top load washing machine in 5 simple steps…

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of bicarbonate soda
  • 1/4 cup of water


  1. Mix the water and bicarbonate soda in a small bowl. This will act as the ‘detergent’
  2. Place the mix into the drum and pour the white vinegar in with it. (the combination of both the vinegar and bicarbonate soda naturally breaks down mould and mineral depositions)
  3. Close the door and start the machine – make sure you run the wash on hot!
  4. Once the wash has finished, clean off any stubborn residue with fresh water and dry the drum afterwards
  5. Your washing machine is now ready for use – make sure to repeat this process AT LEAST once every 3 months!

Top Tip!

To counter any mould from flourishing on the seals of the your washing machine, keep the door slightly unlatched between uses, this allows more airflow to enter the machine which will deteriorate the dampened mould.

Cleaning your front loading washing machine

Follow the instructions above, however you can also place the solvent in the detergent drawer as well as the drum to sufficiently maximise the outcome of this process.

Other components that need a scrub!

Its not just the bulky base of your washing machine that needs a constant clean but also the smaller more delicate fundamentals of it that need a continual freshen up too.

The Detergent Tray

person cleaning a washing machineThe detergent tray usually attracts mould within the summer season and the most efficient way of cleaning it is to simply stick in your dishwasher and let it dry out.

If you do not have a dishwasher then fill your sink up with warm water and wash it with lime scale bleach for best results – remember to wear rubber gloves!

The Door (4 simple steps)

What you’ll need:

  • Scoop of washing powder
  • Shot glass of lemon juice
  • Toothbrush or a scouring sponge
  • Rubber gloves


  1. Combine the washing powder and lemon juice together in a small bowl
  2. Smear the paste onto the dirty areas of the door (including the rubber seal)
  3. Leave the solution on for approximately 15 minutes until it has dried up
  4. Use an old toothbrush or a scouring sponge to scrub off the solution and use water to rinse off any excess solution

Cleaning Out the Pump

This may only apply to certain models of front loading washing machines:

Natural vs Chemical Cleaning

Chemical cleaning provides a more enhanced and superior finish in comparison to a natural substance, however the exposure to chemical compounds, such as bleach can be toxic and deadly.

Common natural ingredients to use for a washing machine:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Lemons/ lemons juice
  • Water
  • Bicarbonate soda

Common chemical ingredients to use for a washing machine:

  • Bleach (lime scale)
  • Washing powder / detergent
  • Borax

Hopefully, you will recognise some of these ingredients within the recipes you may use and make a well-educated and conscious decision on the ones you use depending on the job required – for your safety and the ones around you.


Why does my washing machine smell and how do I get rid of it?

The mildew smell of a washing machine indicates the growth of bacteria and mould which is caused by not cleaning your washing machine. To simply get rid of the smell follow the steps above and possibly add a scented ingredient such as lemon juice to destroy the odours further. A tip for preventing a lingering smell is too limit the use of detergent and fabric softener as this decreases the source of ‘food’ for the bacteria to thrive and grow.

How do I know when its time to replace my old washing machine?

Watch out for any of these 5 signs, as one may just be indication of repair or in need of a new purchase:

  1. Excessive leaking
  2. Excessive noise
  3. If it shakes a lot whilst washing
  4. If the water does not fill the drum
  5. If your washing machine is over 8 years old

If you want to replace your old washing machine with something that does a better job and is cheaper to operate then you can check out a selection of the best appliances right here on our website.

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