Claning washing machine - expert tips

Today, we’re diving into a topic that might not scream ‘exciting’ at first glance, but trust me, it’s a game-changer. Yes, I’m talking about cleaning your washing machine. Let’s be honest, here – it toils relentlessly, day in and day out, to ensure your clothes are clean and free from unpleasant odours. The least you can do is clean it every once in a while.

If you don’t, it can develop its own set of issues over time. From detergent build-up to mould infestations, you need to regularly clean your washing machine to make sure it also takes care of you. So, what’s the secret sauce to a happy washing machine? Let’s break it down below.

In this article:

  • The Art and Science of Washing Machine Cleaning
    • Start a washing machine cleaning cycle:
    • Clean the dispenser drawer:
    • Clean the rubber seal and drum:
  • How to Prevent Washing Machine Odours
    • Airing out the machine:
    • Removing pet hair and debris:
    • Gleaming gaskets and controls:
  • Vinegar vs. Bleach
    • When to utilise vinegar in the laundry:
    • Vinegar as a laundry triage:
  • Conclusion

The Art and Science of Washing Machine Cleaning

Okay, washing machine cleaning is not the most artistic activity out there. It doesn’t even rank in the top 50, but it’s nonetheless important and requires a certain finesse. Here’s what you need to do in order to keep your washing machine clean.

Start a washing machine cleaning cycle:

  • In the modern era of washing machines, many models feature a dedicated cleaning cycle that simplifies the ordeal. It’s as easy as adding bleach to the prescribed dispenser or following the manufacturer’s directions.
  • For the less technologically advanced machines, pour 1/2 cup of liquid chlorine bleach into the dispenser and run a regular hot water cycle. Be careful when handling bleach.
  • To tackle stubborn issues, feel free to use specialised cleaning products. They’re equipped to obliterate greasy build-ups and stubborn hardwater mineral deposits. It’s so easy, it almost feels like cheating. Almost.
  • Once the cleaning cycle is done, don’t forget to let it run for an extra rinse and spin to ensure there are no lingering traces of bleach or other cleaning products.

Clean the dispenser drawer:

  • Dispenser drawers are the culprits behind many laundry issues. Disassemble these troves of residue and submerge them in hot water.
  • Use a gentle brush to remove any persistent build-ups. This one might require a bit of elbow grease. Also, be careful not to scratch the dispenser. When you’re done, reassemble and reintroduce the now clean parts into the washing machine.

Clean the rubber seal and drum:

  • For front-loading machines, thorough cleaning of the rubber gasket encircling the door is essential to reduce mould accumulation. Mould loves moisture, making your washing machine the perfect place for it.
  • Spare no surface. Wipe away all moisture from the drum and the door, or simply allow it to air out after each use.

How to Prevent Washing Machine Odours

If you’re a regular reader, you know I prefer prevention to dealing with full-blown problems. If you want to follow my approach, read on.

Airing out the machine:

  • Every time your washing machine does its job after a cycle, leave its door slightly open. This small action allows for air circulation and prevents the insidious rise of moisture.
  • Remove your clothes from the drum as soon as the cycle concludes. This action safeguards against the dreaded specter of musty odours. And it will make you feel more productive. It’s a win-win.

Removing pet hair and debris:

  • A minor yet essential task is waiting for you if you’re a pet owner. Pet hairs tend to stick to the drum so you need to deal with this problem by allowing the door to stay open until both fur and drum are dry.
  • To remove the pet hairs, grab your trusty vacuum, fitted with the soft brush attachment, and vacuum the stubborn remnants.

Gleaming gaskets and controls:

  • Regularly inspect the gaskets for small items and use a towel to keep moisture at bay.
  • As for the controls, door handles, and any errant drips of detergent or softener must not be overlooked.
  • Act quickly. The sooner you act, the more you safeguard against bacteria and mould.

Vinegar vs. Bleach

Vinegar and bleach are both contestants for the disinfection crowning in the realm of cleaning. Each one has its distinct strengths and purposes, yet they must never mix. Mixing bleach with anything else is usually a bad idea.

When to utilise vinegar in the laundry:

  • The true power of vinegar lies in its use against mould and mildew. Unlike bleach, which can only be used when white clothes are involved, vinegar is more universal.
  • I feel obligated to say this again: Never, under any circumstance, mix vinegar and chlorine bleach in the same laundry; use one or the other, but never both.
  • Be sure to use white, distilled vinegar. Apple cider or other types of colour vinegar can end up staining your clothes.

Vinegar as a laundry triage:

  • Vinegar’s nimble qualities come to the fore when you find yourself in a laundry conundrum. It excels in scenarios where, despite your best efforts, a musty odour lingers on your towels. Or you’re having issues with product residue.
  • Nonetheless, remember that vinegar should be a one-off solution. Use it rarely and for specific challenges, rather than a perpetual regimen. Otherwise, vinegar might end up damaging your washing machine.


An impeccably clean washing machine is your loyal companion in the quest for laundry excellence. With proper maintenance and the strategic use of cleaning agents like vinegar, you can ensure that your laundry always emerges fresh and invigorated.

The odyssey to laundry excellence beckons, and your washing machine is the unwavering vessel that will carry you there. And, as always, if you need us, we’re never more than a phone call away.

Samyx Cleaning - Branding Consultant, Author - Atanas
Author: Atanas Dzhingarov

Hi, I’m Atanas - brand consultant and writer. I’m helping Samyx Cleaning create the best cleaning company blog on the Internet. Join us on our journey and learn how to live a cleaner, healthier, happier life in the process.