Hey Collectors! Happy Fall! If you are in California, we hope you are getting a break from the poor air quality and smoke. We talk about doing laundry a lot here at Collector Care. This blog post is all about deep cleaning your washing machine. What? People actually do this you ask? Absolutely! Cleaning can prolong the life of your washer and keep your clothes from getting stained and smelly.

Before you get started make sure you pull on a pair of household rubber gloves to protect your hands from all of the germs inside your washer. You are also going to make sure that you have access to your washing machine. If your washing machine and/or dryer is blocked by clutter, your first step is to move everything out of the way. Put it in a bag or a box, label it, and get it out of the way.

How to clean your washing machine:

Front loader & Top loaders without agitators

Wipe the inside of the drum using a soft cloth to remove any dirt, hair, soil, odor, mold, mildew. You may need to repeat this process a few times until all the debris is removed.

Remove the detergent dispenser. Clean it under running water using a cloth to remove the detergent and fabric softener build-up. A small soft brush such as an old toothbrush can be helpful for getting in the crevices.

Clean the seal around the opening. Gently pull back the rubber flap and wipe a damp cloth around the inside of the seal. Do this several times the area is dirty, rinsing the cloth in clear water after each wipe. Do not use harsh abrasives (scrub brushes) or chemicals (bleach, all-purpose cleaners) as they can degrade the rubber. A small, soft bristled brush such as an old toothbrush can be helpful for getting in the crevices.

Clean around the door. Again, use only a soft cloth, soft brush, and soapy water so you do not scratch the glass or damage the seal.

Clean the filter and trap. Follow manufacturer’s instructions. Most companies have their user manuals online or will send you an electronic copy by email if you contact them. Make sure you have the model number handy before phoning or emailing.

If your washer has a self-clean cycle, run it according to the manufacturer’s guide. Many websites suggest adding bleach to this cycle but the water gets too hot and the bleach may damage the machine. If your washer does not have a self-clean cycle, run the machine empty with the hottest water possible on the longest cycle.

Once the self-clean cycle is complete, clean the seals, filter, and trap again to remove all of the slime and dirt the self-clean cycle released.

After every wash cycle, dry the inside fold of the door seal and leave the washer door open to prevent mold and mildew build up. If you have a real mildew problem, spray the inside of the seal with 3% hydrogen peroxide weekly. Run a self-clean cycle every month. Clean the filter and trap at least once or twice a year. You may need to do it more frequently if you have pets.

Top loader with agitator

Wipe the inside of the drum using a soft cloth to remove any dirt, hair, or mildew. You may need to repeat this process a few times until all the debris is removed.

Remove the fabric softener dispenser from the agitator if you have one. Clean it under running water using a cloth to remove the detergent and fabric softener build-up. A small soft brush such as an old toothbrush can be helpful for getting in the crevices.

Clean around the opening. Clean the lid and around the hinges as well as the underside and edges of the lid.

Reach around the top of the drum and wipe with a damp cloth. Clean underneath the rim of the drum as well. Do this several times the area is dirty, rinsing the cloth in clear water after each wipe. Do not use harsh abrasives (scrub brushes) or chemicals (bleach, all-purpose cleaners). A small, soft bristled brush such as an old toothbrush can be helpful for getting in the crevices.

Clean the agitator using a soft cloth and brush. In some models, the agitator can be removed for easier cleaning. Re-install the agitator once cleaned.

Set the washer to wash with the hottest water on the largest capacity setting. Add 2 cups (32 oz) of white vinegar to the water. Let the machine agitate for about 5 minutes. Open the lid open so it will not continue the washing cycle. Let the washer soak for about an hour then close the lid and let it finish the cycle.

Clean the filter and trap. Follow manufacturer’s instructions. Most companies have their user manuals online or will send you an electronic copy by email if you contact them. Make sure you have the model number handy before phoning or emailing.

Repeat the soak process again but this time use 2 cups (32 oz) of bleach instead of vinegar. Remember NEVER mix bleach and vinegar!

Tips to keep the washer clean

Brush or rinse excess dirt off of clothes before washing.

Use only as much detergent as required.

After every wash cycle, leave the lid open to prevent mold and mildew build up.

Follow the cleaning procedure every month to keep your washer smelling fresh.

Clean the filter and trap whenever you run a clean cycle. You may need to do it more frequently if you have pets.

Do you need help doing your laundry or cleaning your washing machine? Collector Care Professional Organizers and Cleaners LOVE helping you create the inviting home you have always wanted. We help wash, fold, and organize laundry on a regular basis! Have us over and you’ll see why we have 5 STARS on YELP! It’s because we truly love to help!

Schedule your estimate today! 925-548-7750