Like most of the population, cleaning your washing machine may have never crossed your mind. After all, the washing machine is designed to clean your clothes; clean being the operative word. With the amount of antibacterial laundry soap and hot water that courses through your machines, no one would really think that this work horse still needs cleaning. “Cleaning a washing machine that cleans” sounds really redundant.
But yes, your washing machine actually needs periodic maintenance to keep it in its tip top fighting form. The worst nightmare of any woman (or man who does the laundry) is for a machine to conk out on wash day. With massive and a mountain like load of soiled clothes, this is the last thing you need. Thus, washer maintenance is a necessity.
Besides, things in the washer can end up smelly and disgusting because of mildew and molds. On top of that, detergent, fabric softener, and hard water builds up over time. The exterior of the washer is probably full of your fingerprints and smears from your fingers and the soiled clothes. Once a month washer cleaning and maintenance are key components in making sure your expensive gadget lasts for a long time. In addition, regular cleaning means the mess will not build up to unmanageable proportions over time. Regular cleaning makes for a faster and easier cleaning job. Here are some tips on how to clean your washing machine.
The first step to your massive washing machine clean-up job, especially if you have never ever done it at all, is to prepare your materials. Your best bet is to go for environmentally safe cleaning tools that don’t harm your skin and your lungs due to their toxic fumes. Get your apple cider vinegar ready and lemon juice. Both acids are great at combating build up, while being nice smelling and one hundred percent all natural to boot. Baking soda also helps in taking away yucky grime. Prepare a cleaning rag to help you wipe away years of gunk. Prepare an empty spray bottle where you will mix your all-natural cleaning solution. Put the acids halfway through the bottle, add a teaspoon of baking soda, and then dilute with some pure water. You can then use it to spritz away.
Note: if you are feeling lazy to make your own concoction, then you can buy a gentle and earth-friendly all purpose cleaner at your favorite super market. On top of that, good old reliable bleach is a good cleaner and bacterial killer.
Spritz your cleaner on the exterior of your washer. Vinegar is always a good cleaning choice because everyone has it in their pantry. It is abundant and inexpensive while doing a great job of erasing finger prints and detergent build up. Lemon juice also functions extremely well. They both easily break down years of grime. If there are particular stubborn spots, you can use the solution to soak the spot for a little bit. If soaking is not a possibility, spray the solution on a rag, and use it to press on top of the stubborn spot to help eradicate soap scum. Be sure not to neglect any part of the machine including the knobs that get the most hand manipulation. And as many people say, bulk of the germs are in people’s hands.
Pour two cups of vinegar or lemon juice into the tub. You can also add a cup of bleach as this really gives things squeaky clean look and feel. Bleach is also well known for taking away nasty soap scum and other residues. After the aforementioned steps have been done, run the washing machine in the hottest and longest setting. Be sure to complete the entire wash cycle. This will help remove nasty odors, ugly stains, and stubborn detergent build up. If you have very hard water, the acid present in the vinegar and lemon juice will help blast away mineral deposits.
You probably don’t pay attention to the edge of the lid. But newsflash: that is the part where mildew, dust, and detergent builds up. Be sure to scrub the edge of the lid or door with your cleaning solution. If there are stubborn spots, use an old toothbrush or a small scrub to get into all the hard to reach grooves and tight areas. Apply gentle force to take all those nasty gunk away. Be sure to keep a balance with your efforts because anything too strong, and you risk damaging the seams of the lid.
If you have a front loading washing machine, gently pull back on the upper portion of the rubber door seal to check for molds and mildew. Once again, use your ever reliable vinegar and lemon solution to take them out. You can use an old toothbrush if your rag is not reaching those stubborn spots. Remember, there’s no need for you to be wonder woman so manage your strength.
Temporarily take out your washer’s bleach and fabric softener dispensers. Be sure to scrub them in the sink and wash them with your favorite anti-bacterial dish washing soap. Then, you can thoroughly dry them before returning them inside your washing machine. While you have them out, take a bit of time to scrub around the crevices they are stuffed into with an old toothbrush and some vinegar. You’ll be amazed at how much detergent and fabric conditioner builds up over the course of time.
This all important filter is responsible for catching all the yucky minerals and debris which comes from your water. This prevents your water from polluting your wash cycle. Over the course of time, the filter can get clogged with deposits preventing the water from flowing effectively into the washing machine. This is the primary reason why this must be cleaned regularly. If you do this, it is vital to switch off the water supply, so you can easily disconnect the house and remove all the debris in the opening of the hose itself.
While you have actually taken the time out to clean your washing machine, be sure to spend time to inspect the washer hoses. These are the lifeblood of your washer. Without them, there will be no water coursing through the machine and you obviously cannot do your laundry without water. Making sure the hoses are still firmly in place and in good condition matters a lot. Ideally, these hoses should be replaced every few years or so. Remember that wise old adage that prevention is better than cure? Well, that totally applies for this scenario because you spend a few bucks for your hose as opposed to spending so much because the machine conks out due to years of neglect.
Humans shed hair every single day. Some of these attach to the clothes. On top of that, many people now have fur babies around their house. These pets shed large amounts of hair, too. All of these hair strands inevitably make their way inside the washer. Even as the water drains in washer cycle, some of them get left behind. It is important to dry the inside of the but before vacuuming. Ensure that you use the soft brush attachment of the washer to make sure all the human hair and animals fir are cleaned from you tub’s washing machine. It it is best to do this part before any cleaner is applied. That way, you don’t have to recirculate the debris as you clean with your rag and cleaning solutions.
Other Helpful Hints
These are helpful hints that must be done each time the washer is used. This will help keep mildew and foul odors away. Always remember:
Do a visual inspection of the tub before placing your dirty laundry inside, so you can take away any big debris, like coins or toys, which can damage the machine.
Leave the lid open in between your loads, so the machine will have a chance to air out and dry. Molds and mildew thrive in a damp environment with insufficient air flow. If you want to keep those away, just leave the lid open. If you have small kids and pets, be mindful of this. If you have a lock in you laundry room, do it to keep them away.
Commercial fabric conditioners have been known to leave residue over time because of their components. If you make vinegar as your fabric softener of choice, you’re machine will have less residue and it won’t need to be cleaned as often. Vinegar is not as strong smelling as fabric softeners, but the sour scent of vinegar could barely be detected after the wash cycle is done.
Once the machine is done working per load, it is critical to empty the washing tub immediately. If you leave the clothes in the washer for too long, you risk having a wet dog stench in both your clothes and the machine. Doing things promptly is critical!
The cleaning and maintenance of your washing machine is an easy task that needs to be done regularly to extend the life of the machine. If you have run into some bit of trouble or you spot issues that you cannot resolve yourself, then it is time to call in the professionals. Call a company like ProCare Cleaning. This is a family-owned residential and commercial cleaning company in Vancouver Washington. They use safe, high quality, environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies. That’s quality cleaning and caring with a heart!