How to Clean a Washing Machine? (Front and Top Load)

A washing machine serves as one of the essential household companions these days. After the daylong stress and hectic schedule throughout the week, washing clothes would have been the most challenging task without it. Having a washing machine saves time and effort to a great extent.

Well, today, let’s get the complete answer for how to clean a washing machine?

This is indeed one of the top unresolved queries for most households. With a washing machine in your house, you can forget about your washing task for sure. All you have to do is lookout for an efficient machine for your needs.

But, to deliver efficient performance, the device should also be taken care of. It doesn’t seem very easy to clean the washing machine that is wired for most households, but trust me; it is not.  So, without seconds late, let’s dive into the complete information about cleaning different washing machines.

How to Clean a Washing Machine

How to clean a front load washing machine?

Front loading washing machines are probably the most efficient machines and are probably the most preferred ones. The best front load washing machines in India come with some very useful features that make maintenance easier. But, since its operation carries mostly against gravity, the chances of residue and detergent storage increase.

You can always find some residues gathered at the bottom of these washing machines after completing the wash cycle. This is due to several factors like excess detergents and stubborn hard dirt on the clothes thrown into it. 

The presence of such residues and dirt emits foul odors and can affect your machine’s performance and efficiency in the long run. Thus, it is essential to get a proper answer on how to clean a front load washing machine.

how to clean front load washing machine

Cleaning procedure to remove dirt from front load washing machine

  • After the washing is complete, remove the clothes from the machine.
  • Remove the detergent drawer and wipe up the bottom area with a cloth dampened in hot water.
  • Clean all the visible dirt, residue, and debris from all around the drum
  • Now wipe inside the dispenser drawer hole.
  • A toothbrush could be better to clean the unreachable areas.

Even though the tank is free from the leftover stains and residue, a foul odor may stay. Thus a separate procedure can be implemented to remove familiar odors.

How to remove foul odor from front load washing machine?

  • Drain the remaining water in the tank thoroughly after cleaning
  • Now add water with a temperature of about 40 degrees
  • Keep the water stored in the tank for an hour
  • Now drain the water from the pipe entirely and wipe using a dry cloth

How to get rid of stubborn stains from front loaders?

1. A wash cycle with vinegar

  • Remove the clothes from the tank after washed and select the large load setting.
  • Add vinegar (2 cups would be enough) to the detergent tray.
  • Run the washing machine. Leave it until wash and rinse cycles complete.

Vinegar contains acetic acid, which will remove foul odor and the odor-causing residues as well.

2. A hot wash cycle with bleach

  • After the vinegar cycle completes and water is out, go for the most extensive and most desirable settings again.
  • Add bleach to the detergent tray (2 cups of bleach would be enough)
  • Run the machine for both the wash and rinse cycle.
  • The addition of bleach will remove germs and all kinds of stubborn stains easily.

3. A rinse cycle

An additional rinse cycle without adding anything to it ensures removing remaining residue.

4. Cleaning of detergent tray

Remove all kinds of dispensers and remove parts from the detergent tray. Take a bucket of warm water with some dish soap. Drop those trays into the water and let it soak for half an hour.

5. Exterior and door seal cleaning

Now that all the interior and removable parts are perfectly clean, let’s move to the exterior elements. Follow these simple steps.

  • Take a bucket full of warm water and liquid chlorine bleach (1 cup is enough)
  • Dip a clean cloth into the water bleach solution
  • Use this dampened cloth to wipe the door seals and complete the body.
  • Later, use a dry cloth to remove the moisture.

This method is probably one of the most sophisticated and effective ways to ensure a clean front load washing machine.

How to clean a top load washing machine?

The best top load washing machines are also an effective means of washing clothes. They are quite reliable when it comes to continuous cleaning with heavy loads. But, the best thing about those models is that they have a gravity-based build. Thus, these are not prone to mold, residues, and odors compared to the front-loaded machines.

However, dirt indeed stays in the bottom of the tank after every wash as the drainpipe can’t just wipe away all of it. These leftover residues and dirt particles may result in a foul odor later on. Thus we shouldn’t ignore the cleaning sessions of the top loading washing machine. So let’s start with the procedures to clean a top load washing machine.

how to clean top load washing machine

Cleaning procedure to remove dirt from top load washing machines

  • Take out the clothes after the wash completes
  • Remove the detergent drawer and drain the entire water from the tank.
  • Take a clean cloth dampened in hot water and wipe the entire tank.
  • Make sure that no visible residue or stains remain.
  • Wipe the dispenser hole and other racks in it using a toothbrush

Like the front load washing machine, top loads can also emit foul odor due to several factors. In such a case, you can follow these steps to remove the foul smell.

removal of foul odor from top loading washing machines

  • Drain the water from the drum after cleaning of dirt is completed.
  • Add a bucket full of water with a temperature of above 40 degrees.
  • Keep the water stored in the drum for an hour.
  • Drain the water from the drum and wipe using a dry cloth.

Effective cleaning method to remove stubborn stains from top loaders

Drum cleaning (with vinegar or bleach)

Top load washing machines are less prone to such leftover dust particles. This is why you can choose between vinegar and bleach, and there is no need for both in many cases. Well, the answer to “how to clean washing machine drum?” could be much easier with many advanced machines. The self-cleaning option in a washing machine can accomplish this task with the press of a single button.

Eco Drum Clean function is available in most machines specially designed to remove residue and build-up. Using this option will make your task way more accessible. However, in case it is not available, you can follow these steps for how to clean.

  • Add 2 cups of vinegar to the detergent tray.
  • Run the cycle for both wash and rinse operation
  • Drain the water entirely from the drum

Adding either of these should be enough to remove stubborn stains due to extreme reactive properties.

Cleaning of filters

Most of the modern top load washing machines possess active residue filters. These filters collect the leftover residues from the clothes in wash cycles. You can remove the caps and clean them separately.

Exterior Cleaning

You can follow these steps to clean the exterior body of the machine.

  • Add one cup of bleach into a bucket of hot water.
  • Take a clean cloth and dampen it in hot water.
  • Wipe the entire exterior area with the cloth
  • Take a dry cloth and wipe on the cleaned area again to remove moisture lock areas.

Cleaning detergent trays and drawer recess

The detergent trays that hold fabric softeners and detergent powder can also keep residues within them. You can follow these steps to clean the detergent trays.

  • Remove the detergent trays and other removal parts.
  • Take a bucket of hot water with liquid chlorine bleach.
  • Leave those parts to soak well in the water for half an hour.
  • Wash them well and then clean with dry clothes.

This method is enough to clean both the stubborn stains and odor possible with the top load washing machine models.

Also Read: Front Load vs Top Load Washing Machines

Tips for maintaining a clean washing machine

  1. Don’t use too much laundry detergent: Using excess detergent in a washing machine is the topmost cause of the leftover residues in the bottom. Thus, reading the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer of the respective washing machine is better. Ensure that the detergent used for the wash matches the number of clothes dropped in the machine. Using the recommended front or top load detergent is always better. This is because the excess of other detergents can leave residue spots on clothes.
  2. Use vinegar or eco-clean settings often: A washing machine with a foul odor is probably a bad sign. The drums of washing machines are highly durable plastic, which can absorb that foul odor. This is why it is essential to keep the drum odor-free every time. The use of eco-clean settings meant to clean the washing machine easily by along with removing the foul odor. You can also use soft liquid chlorine with hot water to remove odor. Neglecting the bad smell from the washing machine can affect your clothes easily.
  3. Remove hard dirt before washing: Sometimes, clothes can fill with hard soil such as sand or gravel. It is better to remove those visible particles by hand as such particles can’t travel through the drain pipes easily. It will be better to unfold the pants or jackets and remove those sand particles by blowing them off.
  4. Use separate cycles: The washing machine operates by mixing, twisting, and rinsing the clothes in the washing drum. Thus, you should use a specific type of clothes for a single cycle. This is because different clothes require different amounts of detergents and, therefore, different types of washing. The use of excess detergents may tear the delicate fabrics apart and leave residue spots on it. On the other hand, hard materials may need more detergent to get cleaned thoroughly. Separate cycles are necessary, mostly in front load washing machines.
  5. Check water hoses regularly: Water hoses are most prone to residue, dirt, and stains as it is the only way for them to leave the clothes and drum. Thus, make sure that the water hoses are clean, Water hose and drain pipes are removable in most models. The use of dish wash or liquid chlorine can easily clean any dirt on the water hose or water drain pipes.
  6. Clean lint filter frequently: Lint collector or lint filter remains in the center column or top of the washtub or else in the agitator tube. They should be cleaned often to ensure an efficient washer operation.
  7. Don’t overload: Overloading the washing machine with less water is one of the frequent causes of a defective washing machine. Using more loads is harsh on the motor’s efficiency and increases the prone to dirt and mildew in the drum.
  8. Seal the drum: One should make sure that the machine is sealed from all sides as pests can easily crawl inside and leave dirt inside the drum. These may affect your clothes while washing and leave spots on the clothes even after rinse and spin operation.
  9. Cleaning the washing machine can be easier and convenient if you put the dishwasher and washing machine together with one waste pipe.

Washing machine cleaning : Conclusion

Cleaning a washing machine is not as difficult as it seems. These steps of cleaning should be followed once in three weeks to ensure a clean washing machine always. However, the tips of maintaining a clean washing machine can reduce your efforts of cleaning to a great extent.

Likewise, it is also essential to choose the perfect machine for your requirements, i.e., clothes type and frequency of washing. Well, you must have mastered the maintenance of your washing machine with this. This is also applicable for semi-automatic washing machines in India.

From now on, make sure that your washing machine is clean before serving you in cleaning and managing your busy schedule.  Anyhow, washing machines from reputed manufacturers possess self-cleaning features these days, which will reduce your cleaning efforts.

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