Clean your washing machine with vinegar because it is the most deeply penetrating substance that cuts through all of the dirt, bacteria, grease, and mold.
Washing machines are subject to the most dirt, mold, germs, and eventually, unpleasant odors. It is always better to keep a track of when your laundry is losing that usual right-out-of-the-washer-dryer freshness.
When you start to sense that it is a bit musty or starts to smell less than perfectly fresh, it is time to scrub away the accumulated gunk from your good old top loader.
Talking about top loaders, you should keep in mind that they are structured differently from front loaders. Both have different cloth loading styles and they take different types of cleaning and maintenance.
You have to take care of the parts like gasket, drawer, drum, and lid differently. With front loaders, the major problem is that the gravity draining system isn’t great.
The detergent, hard water, and dirt residues don’t get properly flushed out of the rubber gasket due to its vertical placement – not very gravity friendly. With top loaders, gravity does most of the job and you don’t have to work too much on the lid. So, now that we’ve decided that our moldy washer is getting a nice scrubbing, let’s consider our options.
Table of Contents
Why should I use vinegar to clean a washing machine?
Detergent obviously doesn’t affect its health much –using what made it dirty to clean it is not an option. So, what are our options? Here’s a list of some common substances that people use to clean their washing machines.
- Vinegar (of course)
- Baking soda
- Soda crystals
Vinegar is the most deeply penetrating substance that cuts through all of the dirt, bacteria, grease, and mold. It overcomes and nullifies the unpleasant odors as well. That is why it is one of the most commonly used and most well-liked substances.
However, it also has a pickle-like odor that you might not be interested in getting a whiff of, through your favorite dress shirt or necktie.
That is why you can always do an extra hot cycle or two with another substance to make sure that your washer is good as new. We’ll get to that part, let’s first break the process down into steps and parts that you can easily understand and follow.
What wash cycle settings should I use during the washer cleaning and maintenance cycles?
Use the hottest and the longest cycle available to get perfect results because it will make everything melt and get drained out in due time, hassle-free.
If there’s an antiseptic or anti-allergy cycle available in your washer, using that setting will also help because it usually elevates the temperature too.
What supplies are a must-have for ideal washer cleaning with vinegar?
Here’s a list of what you’re going to need to enjoy the best laundry freshness level later on.
- Distilled white vinegar
- Baking soda
- Spray bottle
- A soft bristle brush or toothbrush
- Microfiber clothing – the type that they give you to clean your eyeglasses
As we’ve noted above, front loaders and top loaders are different in the way they are cleaned. That is why we will elaborate on some varied steps for the top loaders at the end.
Step by Step Vinegar Cleaning for Front Loader
Step 1: Create a Vinegar Solution And Spray
Create a white vinegar solution in your spray bottle and start spraying the inside of the drum.
Step 2: Scrub With Clothe
Scrub the sprayed surfaces away with the microfiber clothe very neatly, leaving nothing untouched.
Step 3: Wipe The Gasket
The rubber gasket that lines the door is a very important scum-collecting part of your front-loading washer that you must clean in detail. We discussed above how it can collect all sorts of dirt and even hair from your laundry. Wipe off any grime and mildew you find around it.
Step 4: Clean Detergent Drawer
Measure out two cups of distilled white vinegar and pour it into the detergent drawer before turning the washer on. Remember to set it to the hottest and longest wash cycle.
Step 5: Remove Vinegar Smell
Get rid of the smell of vinegar by sprinkling baking soda directly into the drum. Run another cycle of the hottest and longest wash cycles.
Step 6: Clean The Exterior With Vinegar
Start scrubbing the entire exterior of your front loader with the microfiber clothe after spraying it with white vinegar solution – don’t miss the knobs or control panel
Step 7: Air Dry Your Machine
Let the machine air dry by leaving its door partly open to avoid any musty odor, mold, or mildew from developing further
What should I do differently if I own a top loader?
Skip the rubber gasket cleaning or step 3, replacing it with a quick and neat scraping of residues from the detergent and comforter drawers of your top loader with the help of a soft bristle toothbrush.
Following this guide will leave your washer smelling fresh and looking new, by all means. Maintain the cleanliness level of your washing machine by using a slow dissolving tablet in between deep cleans. It is ideal to perform this procedure once every 6 months.