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How to wash the washing machine at home: clothes will be perfectly clean again

Yulia PoteriankoLife
Natural products will help to effectively clean the washing machine

A washing machine's job is to make our clothes clean. But sometimes we forget that the machine itself gets dirty in the process. Therefore, the question of how to clean a washing machine always remains relevant. Especially for those who don't want to use aggressive factory-made chemicals and are used to relying on natural products.

Pro Housekeepers has compiled detailed instructions on how to care for different types of washing machines. It also lists typical problems that can occur with this appliance.

What's wrong with my washing machine?

The device that takes care of our clothes is a dark, warm, and humid environment inside, which is a paradise for bacteria and mold to grow. That's why it's important to clean the washer regularly. Hard water can also be a problem, as it deposits limescale on the heating elements - just like in a kettle. And finally, during the washing process, some of the lint and solid dirt that settles inside the appliance is washed out of the clothes anyway. They need to be dealt with as well.

Here is a list of the most common problems that can occur with your washing machine, the causes of these problems, and how to solve them:

Mustyodor: This is caused by mold and fungi that develop inside the washer, which means that the drum and its rubber seal need cleaning.

Rancideggs (hydrogen sulfide) smell: this is the result of bacteria - the entire mechanism needs to be treated with a disinfectant.

Slow water drainage: soap scum has accumulated in the pipes - it can be removed by using an "empty" wash cycle with a degreaser and hot water.

Unpleasant odor from the laundry: This is again the result of mold and fungi, which means that the machine needs to be cleaned at high temperature.

How to make antibacterial detergent for the washing machine at home?

To avoid buying expensive and not always environmentally friendly washing machine cleaners, you can use baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice - they have an antibacterial effect and will do a good job of cleaning the appliance.

Baking soda and white vinegar

These substances react to produce a powerful foaming agent that washes away dirt and disinfects at the same time. However, it is better to use white or distilled vinegar for your washing machine. It will definitely not leave stains and a characteristic odor.

For the product to work, it is important not to mix vinegar and baking soda before starting the wash. This way, they will work more effectively. How can you do this?

Method 1

Add 2 cups of vinegar to the detergent compartment and half a cup of baking soda to the fabric softener compartment.

Method 2

Pour 2 cups of vinegar directly into the drum. Mix enough water with half a cup of baking soda to make a loose paste and place it in the detergent compartment.

Method 3

Pour half a cup of baking soda into the drum, start the wash, and then pour 2 cups of vinegar into the detergent tray.

For either of these methods, you will need to select a long cycle with hot water. The machine should be empty. Once it has taken in the right amount of water and the baking soda and vinegar have mixed, you will need to pause the wash and leave the detergent for 30 minutes. This way, the solution will penetrate all the parts and have time to act on them. After that, simply resume the wash cycle to rinse the machine properly.

If you have a machine with a vertical load

Most top-loading models do not have detergent trays. This means that you will have to add vinegar and baking soda to the drum. You'll also need twice as much baking soda and vinegar (1 cup and 4 cups, respectively) to make sure the detergent works effectively. There are a couple of different ways to do this as well.

Method 1

Add 4 cups of vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda to the drum and run a long hot cycle. If possible, pause the cycle for half an hour after filling the drum with water.

Method 2

Fill the drum with hot water and add 4 cups of vinegar. Let stand for 30 minutes, then add 1 cup of baking soda and start the long hot cycle immediately.

Method 3

Pour 1 cup of baking soda into the washing machine and run a long hot cycle. Wait 10 minutes for the baking soda to dissolve in the water, stop the cycle and add 4 cups of vinegar. Leave the product to work for half an hour and resume the cycle.

If you don't want to use vinegar for cleaning

Not everyone likes even the trace smell of vinegar. In this case, lemon juice can successfully replace it. Simply replace the vinegar with the same amount of freshly squeezed lemon juice, which should be strained to ensure that no pips or pulp particles get into the machine.

You can also replace lemon juice with a solution of citric acid or pharmacy hydrogen peroxide.

What to use to clean the door, the seal and the exterior parts

Even the longest wash cycle won't clean the outside of the door. It also won't clean the rubber drum seal and detergent tray. You will have to clean them separately.

To do this, you can prepare a solution according to one of the following recipes.

Hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice

Take 2 cups of water, half a cup of hydrogen peroxide, and a quarter cup of fresh lemon juice and mix thoroughly.

Vinegar and lemon juice

Add half a cup of white vinegar and a quarter cup of lemon juice to 2 cups of water. These ingredients should also be mixed well.

You can use this solution on a cloth to clean the rubber bands and doors, or you can soak the detergent tray for 30-40 minutes, then brush it and rinse it well under running water. Vinegar can also help to remove limescale stains from the door.

How to clean other parts of the washing machine

Rubber seals are not always easy to clean, and yet they are the main place where mold grows. A soft toothbrush will help you reach hard-to-reach places. Just don't move it too vigorously to avoid damaging the rubber.

Also, any model of washing machine has a filter that captures solid particles - lint, debris, residues of solid dirt, etc. It needs to be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria and fungi from growing in it. As a rule, it is located at the bottom of the machine and sometimes access to it may be covered by a protective panel. Refer to the manual for its location. Before cleaning this filter, place a cloth or an old towel under the machine - there is always water residue that needs to be collected. Then unscrew it and rinse it.

It is important to dry all removable parts of the washing machine before putting them back after cleaning. Otherwise, they will remain a source of mold growth. And don't forget to leave the door of the washing machine open after each use to allow it to dry inside.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told you what to what do with the washing machine if the power goes out during the wash. 

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