How did I not ever know about this? No one ever told me. It never occurred to me that my washing machine needed washing, and I have owned a few washing machines over the last 10 years. Doesn’t it get clean while washing the clothes? I mean there is soap with each load right?
Looking back, I realized there have been times in my life when things get so busy that I have completely forgotten about a load of wash in the machine for a few days. I am sure you all know what I am talking about. When I go to do another load of wash I discover that rancid mildewy smell that takes your breath away. So I would just re-wash the clothes and move on. I never knew that the mildew could stay in the washer, not to mention after many washes, your washer can grow mold. It also holds dirty water, mineral deposits, detergent deposits and feces can stay in the washer. This means that all the other clothes that you are trying to wash, come into contact with all that junk. It wasn’t until I smelled my washer without any clothes in it, and realized it smelled a little funky. That funk is coming into contact with my clean clothes and then thrown into the dryer with that funk drying into them. There is nothing worse than getting out of the shower and smelling that rancid smell on your towels.
Here are some ways to clean your cleaning machine:
Whichever option you choose make sure you don’t mix them together. I personally have only done the bleach option and it has worked well for me. I think I might try the vinegar next time. Always let air dry with the lid open.
Bleach: Kills bacteria and any feces left behind. Will also remove any stains, prevents slime and mold. Fill your machine with hot water and set the water level on high. Add 2 cups of bleach and let it run through the entire cycle.
Vinegar: Distilled white vinegar, a non-toxic alternative. Removes soap scum, grease and odors.
Fill machine with warm water and add about half-gallon vinegar. Run through the entire cycle.
Lemon Juice: For rust and odor removal. Add 1 cup lemon juice to hot water on high-level and run through the whole cycle.
**Remember when cleaning your washer to make sure it is empty of clothes.
***For best results try to clean once a month.
If you have a front loading washer, then be sure to check out How to Clean Your Front Loading Washer and Get Rid of that Smell!
So u give directions for an older type washer but post photo of front loader, how do I use these tricks with a front loader? Can’t fill with hot water first?????!!!!
I was wondering the same thing!!!
Does the front loaders have a dispenser for bleach? If so I would use it.
I have a front loader that allows me to pause. Once the initial water is in the machine, I pause the cycle then add vinegar.
Makes sense. Thank you!
[email protected]tness says
lol please make sure washer isn’t full of clothes… Common sense would tell me that but then again seems now days people don’t have much of that anymore! :) anyway, that made me laugh
How do you clean inside of a dryer ?
How do you do these tips with a modern machine that is HE so it detects by weight how many clothes there are. If I dont have any it wont start.
My Thirty Spot says
Hi Sheila. Reed. There is not much you need to do to clean a dryer. You can just wipe out the inside with a dry cloth and you can also read this post:
How To Get Your Dryer To Last Twice As Long
Virginia Comerford says
I would put a few rags in the machine that you might use for dusting, etc…or some dish towels. This way you don’t have to use the vinegar with your clothes.
My Thirty Spot says
Thanks for commenting. Your comment stumped me. I have an old fashion top loading washer, so I didn’t even know they made those types of machines. I need to get with it. I would suggest using the vinegar method and just include it with some clothes. The vinegar will wash out of your clothes and won’t leave a smell.
How often should this be done?
My Thirty Spot says
I would suggest that you do this 2-3 times a year, or if you start to smell a funky odor coming from your washer.
Thanks for commenting!
I use vinegar in the fabric softner dispense(of my front loading machine) in 6 or 8 loads of clothes when I notice that smell. It gets rid of it and the clothes do not smell like vinegar.
This just happened to my washer. It put black mildew all over a white load of clothes. And it did have that stinky smell, but I thought that it was coming from the drain and not the machine. My machine is less than a year old (Whirlpool water-saver). I am not that crazy about this water-saver model. But as soon as I realized that it was mildew, I put it on the clean cycle (it has one and uses lots of water to do this) and put in a 1/2 cup of Charlie’s soap and ran it through and then did another clean cycle with a 1/2 gallon of white vinegar. I will be using vinegar in my wash loads more often now.
I had a front load washer and once a month I put vinegar in the detergent area, softener area, and bleach area, ran the machine with the hottest water through all the cycles, let the machine dry with the door open, That is the key after every wash too. If you do this once a month your machine will stay fresh.
Phew, I’m glad the bleach will remove any remnants of feces left in my washing machine. (WHAT?!)
Cloth diapers are making a comeback.
Thank you. I know your post is old but since I bought my home and spent about $1,800 + tax on a new washer and dryer (house didn’t come with any) I was looking for something to help maintain it. I didn’t have enough vinigar or lemon juice on hand so I am now running a load with bleach,
I always leave my door open when not in use, and wash every load of towels with bleach (all white). I never have odor issues.
Amanda Bowen says
So using white vinegar in your wash with clothes can essentially remove oders from clothes? How about disinfecting clothes any typos because I have to use public machines and I’m noticing a huge difference in our clothes and I’m not happy.
Erin Kennedy says
I have a post that gets the funk out of towels, it would work the same on clothes I am sure. You should try it. https://www.mythirtyspot.com/de-funk-your-bath-towels/
Amanda Bowen says
That comment ment to say do you have any tips for disinfecting clothes
Linda Scofield says
I have a relatively new washer, 1 year old. I do not have HOT WATER, only cold. My towels are also relatively new because I can’t stand the oily smell and have replaced them several times. They move the water around on my body they don’t driy me and they are 100 Cotton.. I use a non-smell liquid detergent and no softner. HELP!!!!!!!!