It may seem a little counterintuitive to have to clean cleaning equipment, but if you’ve ever ended up with clothes that smell after washing them, one of the main culprits is often a less-than-pristine machine. The appliance could be depositing all kinds of mould, bacteria and germs on your laundry in the process of “cleaning” it, so you can wave goodbye to that sought after fresh cotton smell. Don’t worry though as cleaning washing machines is really easy, even if for those who have left grime to build up for some time.
The cleaning team at Cleanipedia have shared a quick and easy step-by-step guide to help get washing machines good as new again.
They said: “Washing machines work hard, what with all those loads of stained and dirty laundry.
“Over time, soap scum and detergent can build up and start causing problems, leading to less efficient wash cycles and a smelly washing machine.
“Thankfully, cleaning a washing machine at home is relatively quick and easy – you don’t need specialist materials, just some common household items and a little bit of time and elbow grease.”
The experts noted that a hot setting is needed to clean washing machines.
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“Use an old toothbrush to get into all the nooks and crannies.
“If you’re able to remove the drawer (your machine’s manual should have details for how to do this), try soaking it in hot, soapy water for 15 minute before placing it in the detergent drawer of your dishwasher and running a hot wash.
“If there’s mould growing, use a specific mould and mildew product first, which can be applied to the problem area and wiped off easily.”
The next step is to unclog the filter if your washing machine has one.
Most washing machines will have a filter to catch any fluff, coins, hair grips or whatever else is lurking in the forgotten depths of your pockets.
Like the detergent drawer, these seals can often get unsightly and become a haven for dirt, mildew, detergent residue and the odd coin or hair clip.
The cleaning gurus suggested: “Start by cleaning the area with hot water and detergent, paying particular attention to the inside of rubber seals and surrounds.
“Then, simply wipe with a clean dry cloth and make sure there’s no residue left before your next wash.”
The final step is to run an empty hot wash to rinse all the compartments of the machine out.
The experts said: “Once you’ve cleaned your washing machine’s heavily trafficked areas, it’s important to then run an empty cycle to rinse the drum clean of detergent before using it to wash clothes and other items.”
The hot water should be enough to get things clean and ready to go again, but if there are still strong smells remaining, homeowners might want to add vinegar or soda crystals for an added boost.