Laundry 101: How to clean your washing machine

24 Feb

It seems silly but even your washing machine needs a little love from time to time. No, I’m not talking about another load of delicates… believe it or not, your washer needs washing, too!

Reward your washer and ensure the cleanliness of your clothes by following this simple tutorial for top loading washing machines.

Your supplies










Here’s what you’ll need:

White Vinegar

Baking Soda



Microfiber Cloth

Filthy washing machine lid

That’s pretty icky!

1. Fill your washer with hot water to maximum capacity; this means selecting the hottest water temperature, longest cycle, and the largest load size available.

Add vinegar to wash

2. As water fills up the tank, pour a cup of white vinegar into the washer. Bleach can also be used instead of vinegar, both kill bacteria and will disinfect the washer.

Add baking soda to wash

3. Next, add a cup of baking soda.

4. Close the lid and allow the mixture to agitate for about a minute. Then, open the lid and let the water sit for 1 hour. If you’re washing machine is like mine and still functions with the lid open then cut the power to the machine.

Scrub around the lid

Scrub inside the washer

5. While the mixture soaks, dip a sponge in the vinegar water and scrub all the nooks and crannies.

A toothbrush is also a great tool for detailing areas under the lid and the top of the agitator (you know the thing that makes the washer spin). Don’t forget to clean the dials as well as the fabric softener and bleach dispensers.

6. After an hour, close the lid and let the cycle complete.

7. Repeat. Run the wash cycle one more time adding another cup of vinegar to the hot water. This second cycle should take care of any residue that loosened from the first cleaning.

8. After the washer has drained, wipe down the inside and outside of the machine with vinegar to get any last residue.

9. Prolong cleanliness and keep your washer fresh by leaving the lid open between loads. By allowing the interior to dry, you can prevent mildew and odor.

Freshly cleaned washing machine

That’s better!

Experts like Clorox, recommend cleaning your washing machine at least once a month or on a weekly basis, if possible.

What do you think? Share your thoughts below.

4 Responses to “Laundry 101: How to clean your washing machine”

  1. svrod16 February 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    How often should we do this?

    • ajustice27 February 24, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

      Ah I forgot to mention this! Experts like Clorox recommend cleaning your washing machine at least once a month, if possible on a weekly basis.

  2. Erin February 24, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    What about front loaders? You can’t let the water sit in it with the door open….

    • ajustice27 February 24, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

      Erin, stay tuned for my next post, which will elaborate on how to clean HE and front-loading washing machines. The process is really very similar actually, but with the door closed of course!

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