The Simple Way to Clean Your Washing Machine

Even though you rely on your washing machine to keep your clothes clean, it still needs to be cleaned itself from time to time.  If you have smelled a bad odour on your clothing after being washed, this may be what is to blame.

It makes sense – the dirt on your clothes has to go somewhere!  Also, your washing machine may have laundry detergent built up from frequent uses.

However, making sure your washing machine is clean is not a difficult task and does not require special equipment.  Find out below how you can keep your washing machine clean!


How often should I clean my washing machine?

To make sure your clothes are being properly washed, you’re going to want to complete this once a month.

Does it matter if I have a front loader or a top loader?

Most of the instructions below will work for both machines.  We will note when special considerations need to be made.

washing machine

How to Clean Your Washing Machine

If your washing machine has a self-cleaning function, choose that cycle and follow the instructions from the manufacturer.  If not, refer to the instructions below.

What you will need


  1. Run a hot cycle with two cups of vinegar or 1/2 cup of liquid bleach.
  2. While the cycle is running, use vinegar and water to wipe down the exterior of your washer with a cloth.
  3. Remove the soap dispenser and clean it with vinegar and water, or with bleach if you need something stronger.
  4. Clean the inside of the door with vinegar.  This is where you will want to use a nylon brush or toothbrush to clean every nook and cranny.
  5. Run an additional hot cycle with 1/2 cup of baking soda.
  6. Wipe the interior with a microfiber cloth to get any lingering residue.

Vinegar is a good cleaner, as it disinfects the machine, but will not damage it.  The tea tree oil can be added, as it is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial!

Vinegar may not sanitize quite as well as bleach but is safer to use as it is less caustic.  If you have heavy dirt or mildew, bleach may be a better option.

Top-Loaders v. Front-Loaders

There are a few considerations depending on the type of machine that you have.


A perk of top loaders is that you can stop the cycle at any time.  Therefore, try pausing the cycle after the tub fills up to let the vinegar soak in.

Top loaders tend to collect more dust.  You will want to pay more attention to wiping under the door, as dust will collect there.


The cause of mildew in a front-loading machine is the rubber gasket around the door.  You can prevent this from getting too bad by keeping your washer open for a few hours after every load of laundry.

To clean this, spray the area around the door with vinegar or diluted bleach.  Let it sit for one minute and then wipe away with a microfiber cloth.

washing machine

Keeping your washing machine clean will help keep your washing machine last longer and run more efficiently.  Make sure you do this on a regular basis and see the results!

Of course, if this is something you are consistently not getting around to, along with other cleaning, it may be time to hire a professional.  A professional cleaner will make sure that all these tasks are done, leaving you with more time to do what you enjoy.