How to Clean a Washing Machine: A Comprehensive Guide

Greetings Challenger! Are you tired of dirty clothes? Do you sometimes notice unpleasant odors or stains on your freshly laundered garments? These problems might not be due to the detergent or fabric softener that you use. Instead, they may result from neglecting your washing machine.

Yes, washing machines need to be cleaned too! Even though they are designed to clean clothes, they can become dirty from residue, bacteria, and mineral deposits. If left unattended, this can reduce the efficiency of your machine and lead to musty smells and stains on your clothes.

Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! In this article, we will teach you how to clean a washing machine and have it running like brand new. Follow our step-by-step guide and read on!

Why Clean Your Washing Machine?

Some people may be surprised at the notion of cleaning their washing machine. After all, isn’t the machine supposed to be self-cleaning? Well, in reality, washing machines need a little help from time to time.

Here are several reasons why you should clean your washing machine regularly:

1. Remove Dirt and Grime

As you wash your clothes, your washing machine will accumulate dirt, grime, and lint. This buildup could lead to musty smells and stains on your clothes. Cleaning your machine helps you remove this and keep it smelling fresh.

2. Improve Efficiency

A dirty washing machine will have to work harder to clean your clothes, leading to higher energy bills. With regular cleaning, your machine will run efficiently, saving you money in the long run.

3. Prevent Mold and Mildew Growth

Washing machines can become breeding grounds for mold and mildew. These organisms can cause health problems and produce unpleasant odors. Regular cleaning helps prevent their growth.

4. Extend the Life of Your Washing Machine

With regular cleaning, you can extend the life of your washing machine. A machine that is well-maintained and free of buildup will function better and last longer.

5. Keep Clothes Looking Great

Clothes washed in a dirty washing machine may become stained or develop an unpleasant odor. Regular cleaning ensures your clothes come out of the machine looking and smelling clean.

How to Clean a Washing Machine

Now that you know why it’s important to clean your washing machine let’s get started with the cleaning process. Follow the steps below, and you’ll have a clean machine in no time!

1. Gather Your Supplies

Before you begin cleaning, ensure you have the following supplies:

Supplies Description
Baking Soda Cleans, deodorizes, and softens water.
Vinegar Kills bacteria, dissolves soap scum, and removes mineral deposits.
Microfiber Cloth Removes dirt and grime without leaving scratches or lint.
Toothbrush Cleans small crevices and tight spaces.

2. Clean the Inside of the Washing Machine

The first step is to clean the inside of the washing machine. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Remove Any Objects

Take out any clothes or laundry from inside the machine. Check to make sure there are no forgotten items like coins or buttons left in the pockets.

Step 2: Run a Cycle with Baking Soda

Place one cup of baking soda in the washing machine drum. Set the machine to a hot water cycle and let it run.

Step 3: Wipe Down the Inside

After the cycle has finished, use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the inside of the machine. Pay attention to the areas around the door seals, as these can harbor dirt and bacteria.

Step 4: Clean the Dispenser

Clean the detergent dispenser in the machine with a toothbrush and warm water. This will remove any debris that could cause clogging.

3. Clean the Outside of the Washing Machine

The outside of the washing machine also needs cleaning. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Unplug the Machine

Turn off and unplug the machine for safety reasons.

Step 2: Wipe Down the Exterior

Wipe down the exterior of the machine with a damp microfiber cloth. Focus on any buttons or knobs that may have accumulated dirt or grime.

Step 3: Clean the Filter

Most washing machines have a lint filter that should be cleaned regularly. Refer to your machine’s manual on how to remove and clean the filter.

4. Perform Monthly Maintenance Tasks

Perform these monthly maintenance tasks to keep your washing machine running smoothly:

1. Use the Right Amount of Detergent

Using too much detergent can cause excess buildup in your machine. Be sure to follow the detergent manufacturer’s instructions and measure it precisely.

2. Leave the Door Open

Leaving the washing machine door open between loads allows air to circulate and helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

3. Run Hot Water Cycles

Running a hot water cycle with no clothes once a month helps eliminate bacteria and keeps your machine clean.

4. Check the Hoses

Check the hoses and faucets attached to your washing machine monthly for signs of leaks and wear. Replace any damaged hoses or connections immediately.


1. Can I use bleach to clean my washing machine?

Yes, you can use bleach to clean your machine. Pour one cup of chlorine bleach into the machine and run a hot water cycle.

2. Can I clean my washing machine with just vinegar?

Yes, vinegar can be used to clean your washing machine. Pour two cups of white vinegar into the detergent dispenser or straight into the drum and run a hot water cycle.

3. How often should I clean my washing machine?

You should clean your washing machine at least once every six months. However, if you notice any musty odors or stains on your clothes, it’s best to clean it more often.

4. How can I prevent mold and mildew growth in my washing machine?

Prevent mold and mildew growth by leaving the door open between loads, using the right amount of detergent, and running hot water cycles to eliminate bacteria.

5. How do I clean the detergent dispenser?

Remove the detergent dispenser from the machine and clean it with warm water and a toothbrush. Be sure to remove any clogs or buildup.

6. Why is my washing machine making noise?

Your washing machine might be making noise because of a clogged filter, unbalanced load or faulty motor. Try cleaning the filter and adjusting the load before calling a technician.

7. Can I clean a washing machine that’s not working?

No, you should not try to clean a washing machine that’s not working. Call a certified technician to diagnose and repair the machine.


Cleaning your washing machine may seem like a tedious task, but it’s important to keep your machine working efficiently and prevent it from reducing the lifespan of your clothes. By following our guide, you can easily learn how to clean a washing machine and keep it running like new. Remember to perform monthly maintenance tasks and use the right supplies to keep your machine clean and smelling fresh.

So what are you waiting for? Get started with your washing machine cleaning routine today!


The information contained in this article is for general purposes only. We are not responsible for any damage done to your washing machine or any injuries sustained during the cleaning process. Always refer to your machine’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.