How to Clean a Washing Machine: Tips and Tricks

Are you tired of your clothes coming out of the washing machine still smelling dirty? Or worse, is your machine starting to smell funky itself? It may be time to give your trusty washing machine a good cleaning. Not only will it help remove odors and buildup, but it can also improve its overall performance and lifespan. In this article, we’ll show you how to deep clean your washing machine in just a few easy steps.


Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of cleaning a washing machine, let’s first take a look at why it’s important. Your washing machine is responsible for keeping your clothes fresh and clean, but over time, dirt, grime, and soap residue can build up inside. This buildup can affect the performance of the machine, lead to unpleasant odors, and even transfer bacteria to your clothes. By deep cleaning your washing machine every few months, you can prevent these issues and keep your machine running smoothly.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about cleaning a washing machine, including the tools you’ll need, the steps to follow, and some helpful tips and tricks.

Tools You’ll Need

Before you start cleaning, gather together the following tools:

Tool Purpose
Distilled white vinegar Softens hard water and dissolves buildup
Baking soda Cleans and deodorizes
Microfiber cloth Cleans surfaces without scratching
Old toothbrush or small scrub brush Scrubs hard-to-reach areas
Dish soap Cuts through grease and grime
Bucket Holds cleaning solution

Now that you have your tools ready, let’s get started on cleaning your washing machine.

How to Clean a Washing Machine

Step 1: Prepare Your Machine

Before you start cleaning, turn off your washing machine and unplug it from the wall. Then, pull out the detergent dispenser and soak it in hot water and dish soap. While that’s soaking, use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the inside of the drum, removing any dirt or debris.

Step 2: Clean the Dispenser

Once the dispenser has soaked for about 30 minutes, use a scrub brush or old toothbrush to scrub away any remaining buildup. Rinse the dispenser thoroughly with hot water and set it aside to dry.

Step 3: Run a Hot Cycle with Vinegar

Fill the detergent dispenser with distilled white vinegar and run your washing machine on the hottest cycle possible. This will help dissolve any mineral buildup and kill bacteria.

Step 4: Scrub the Drum

Once the cycle is complete, use a microfiber cloth and some baking soda to scrub the inside of the drum. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies, paying special attention to any areas with visible buildup.

Step 5: Clean the Exterior

While you’re waiting for the baking soda to work its magic, take a moment to wipe down the outside of the machine. Use a damp microfiber cloth and some dish soap to remove any dirt or grime.

Step 6: Run a Rinse Cycle

Once you’ve finished scrubbing the drum and cleaning the exterior, run another hot cycle with just water to rinse away any remaining vinegar or baking soda residue.

Step 7: Wipe Down and Dry

Finally, use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe down the inside and outside of the machine. Leave the machine open to air dry for a few hours before using it again.

Tips and Tricks

Tip #1: Use High-Quality Detergent

Using a high-quality, low-suds detergent can help prevent buildup and keep your washing machine running smoothly. Look for detergents that are labeled “HE” (high-efficiency) and avoid using too much detergent.

Tip #2: Leave the Door Open

After each load of laundry, leave the door to your washing machine open to dry out. This will help prevent mildew and keep your machine smelling fresh.

Tip #3: Clean Your Machine Regularly

Make deep cleaning your washing machine a regular part of your cleaning routine. Aim to clean it every 3-6 months, depending on how frequently you use it.

Tip #4: Check the Hoses

Periodically check the hoses that connect your washing machine to the water source for any signs of wear or damage. Replace them if necessary to prevent leaks or flooding.

Tip #5: Use a Water Softener

If you have hard water, consider using a water softener to help prevent mineral buildup in your washing machine.

Tip #6: Don’t Overload

Overloading your washing machine can strain the motor and affect its performance. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for load size.

Tip #7: Call a Professional

If your washing machine is still not performing well after deep cleaning, it may be time to call in a professional. They can diagnose and fix any issues, potentially saving you money in the long run.


By following these simple steps and tips, you can keep your washing machine running smoothly and prevent unwanted odors and buildup. Remember to deep clean your machine regularly, use high-quality detergent, and keep an eye on any potential issues. With a little maintenance, your washing machine can provide you with clean, fresh clothes for years to come.

Don’t wait until your machine starts smelling funky or stops working altogether. Take action today and give your washing machine the TLC it deserves.

Thank you for reading our guide on how to clean a washing machine. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. We’re always here to help!

Closing Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional maintenance or repair. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and use caution when working with electrical appliances.

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